Old SCMP office to be turned into an elderly home

May 26, 2021 08:54
Photo: Media Outreach, Pine Care Group

There is something special about 1 Leighton Road, former office of South China Morning Post from 2009 to 2018 before moving to its fancy Times Square office.

It has one of Hong Kong’s most expensive billboards because of its eye-ball catching curve to Aberdeen Tunnel, arguably a must-see for the old rich locals, but its three-storey office with a prestigious address has been left vacant for more than three years.

Why? Myth has it that the venue, situated in the less vibrant but heavy traffic area in Causeway Bay, has linked to business closedowns or sale from the early Audio Visual travel agency in the 80s owned by TVE taken over by SCMP Group in the 90s. The Xinhua bookstore lasted no more than three years after SARS.

But Hong Kong entrepreneur is not known for their creativity for nothing. Elderly home operator Pine Care Group, owned by the late Tang Shing-bor (affectionately known as Uncle Bor in the commercial property sector), signed a 10-year lease with Great Wall Pan Asia Holdings for HK$203 million.

Under the deal, Pine Care will pay HK$1.7 million per month for the 35,400 square feet area for the first four years, and an incremental 20 per cent rental in the next three years and another 20 per cent in the final three years, if the extension options are exercised.

Pine Care, now under Stan Tang, youngest son of Uncle Bor, aspires to turn the place into a new state-of-the-art community centre for the elderly with upscale and luxurious residential care.

One special angle Pine Care sees is its prime location for medication as it is within a 10-minute drive of five of Hong Kong’s leading private and public hospitals.

Fingers crossed that the renovated and innovated elderly centre, home for many as their last destination, will be able to break the bad luck it had with its previous tenants.

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EJ Insight writer