30th September 2013
Eight Plots of Vacant Land Worth Up to US$7.1bil – Ten Thousand of Units Can Be Built
The Hong Kong SAR Government has been complaining the difficulties of finding land (for building residential units) and mentioned the possibilities of developing country parks. However, there are a number plots of land in the urban areas that have been left idle for years. At least eight plots of land in the urban area have been left idle and some have been left idle for over ten years. According to a surveyor, the land worth up to US$7.1 billion with a total gross floor area of 5,350,000 sq. ft. which is sufficient to build 10,000 residential units that are net 500 sq. ft., as big as City One Shatin.
At least eight plots of land in the urban are have been vacant for over ten years, including Beacon Hill in Kowloon. Wai Woon-nam, Sham Shui Po District Council member, said that the vacant lot in Beacon Hill was for temporary housing and all of them have been demolished over ten years ago, Planning Department proposed a plan, out of the blue, a few years ago, “they proposed to build low density housing there! In other words, it’s for building luxurious properties!”
Planning Department’s document shows that the plan for the empty site in Lung Ping Road, right next to Beacon Heights, approximately 236,800 sq. ft. with a plot ratio of 1.23x, is to build four blocks of eight level high luxurious residential buildings and 26 stand-alone houses, providing 138 units to the market. Another plot of land nearby is around 130,000 sq. ft. big. The industry estimated that based on the progress, the land will be available for sale between 2014 and 2015.
Alvin Lam Tsz-pun, Director of Midland Surveyors, said that Beacon Hill is a traditional area of luxurious properties, and there are very limited units in this area available in the market. Based on the market condition and the Planning Department’s proposal, this plot of land should worth around US$570 million.
Six plots of land in Kennedy Town in the Western District have been left idle for years, including Mount Davis Cottage Area, Ka Wai Man Road former police married quarters, Kennedy Town’s former incinerator and slaughter house, and Sai Ning Street’s former public mortuary, bus terminal and temporary playground. Base on an estimated 5x plot ratio, a surveyor believes that the six plots of land could worth US$6.4 billion.
Chan Hok-fung, Vice Chairman of the Central and Western District Council, said that these plots of land have been vacant for over ten years and no plans have been announced in terms of their use, “the property market was stagnated in 2003, of course no one would mention about building residential units then!” He also thinks that this is a problem left behind by the previous terms of government. Chan mentioned that earlier this year, the Planning Department proposed to list these six plots of land for both private and public residential buildings, but the existing residents in the area worry the massive increase of population in the community will overload the local public transport system and facilities.
Tony Chan Tung-ngok, an experienced surveyor, pointed out that the vacant lot in Ka Wai Man Road where the former married police quarter located is very valuable as it’s right next to the station next to the future MTR Island South Line, and enjoys an open sea view with quietness yet convenient. However, the facilities in the neighbourhood area is not fully developed, which could affect the price of this lot. He estimated that the lot will be sold for at least US$1,300 per sq. ft.