Henderson continues to build up its land bank in Hong Kong, invests over US$1.1 billion in redevelopment projects

harbourfront commercial plot, Henderson

Henderson Land Development, which earlier this month bid a record HK$50.8 billion (US$6.5 billion) for a harbourfront commercial plot in Hong Kong, is gradually boosting its land bank in other parts of the city.

Hong Kong’s third largest developer by market capitalisation has invested more than HK$9 billion in Kowloon’s To Kwa Wan area since the MTR station opened in June.

Henderson on Tuesday completed the acquisition of a 100 per cent stake in a 61-year-old eight-storey residential building under the Land (Compulsory Sale for Redevelopment) Ordinance through its wholly owned subsidiary Asia Bright Enterprises. The Land Tribunal approved an application from Henderson to force a compulsory sale for the building at a reserve valuation of HK$962 million.

“We will redevelop the building with a focus on small to medium-sized flats,” said Augustine Wong Ho-ming, executive director of Henderson Land.

harbourfront commercial plot, Henderson

Augustine Wong Ho-ming, executive director of Henderson Land, attends the compulsory auction organised by JLL on Tuesday. Photo: Handout

Developers are increasingly seeking redevelopment opportunities in urban areas in view of limited land supply from the government. Fifty-eight applications for compulsory sale orders were under process as of September. These applications have been increasing over the past couple of years, rising from 22 in 2019 to 27 in 2020, government data shows.

The upcoming project on the site, located at the intersection of Lok Shan Road, Mei Wa Street and Ha Heung Road, will have a total gross floor area of 91,764 sq ft, with the valuation working out to HK$10,438 per square feet, according to JLL, the auctioneer for the compulsory sale.

Two months earlier, Henderson won another redevelopment project offered by the Urban Renewal Authority in the same area for HK$8.2 billion.

“The opening of the Tuen Ma Line has unlocked the redevelopment potential of To Kwa Wan and will lead to an increase in housing demand in the area,” said Cynthia Li, senior director of projects strategy and consultancy department at JLL. “Given the lack of land supply in urban areas is expected to worsen, we believe that old buildings in urban residential areas will continue to be well sought-after.”

To Kwa Wan MTR station is on the Tuen Ma line, the city’s longest rail corridor at 56km with 27 stations. It links the east and west of the New Territories and includes interchange stations on the existing railway network.

The Tuen Ma line’s first phase, connecting Wu Kai Sha and Kai Tak by way of Tai Wai, Hin Keng and Diamond Hill, opened in February last year. The rest of the line running from Kai Tak to Hung Hom through Sung Wong Toi, To Kwa Wan and Ho Man Tin opened in June this year.

harbourfront commercial plot, Henderson

To Kwa Wan MTR station on the Tuen Ma line commenced operations on June 27, 2021. Photo: Nora Tam

The opening of the To Kwa Wan MTR station is expected to have a big impact on residential developments in the area, said Vincent Cheung, managing director of Vincorn Consulting and Appraisal, who estimated the construction cost for Henderson’s latest acquisition would be around HK$6,500 per sq ft.

“The landscape in To Kwa Wan is expected undergo a dramatic change. There are about 20 redevelopment projects under construction or in the process of compulsory sale,” said Cheung.

“It will take about 15 years to complete all the potential redevelopments that are under way,” he said.

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