Henderson Land Development—controlled by billionaire Lee Shau Kee—will invest a total of HK$113 billion ($14.5 billion) to build an iconic landmark with 1.6 million square feet (148,645 square meters) of office and retail space in Hong Kong’s Central harbor front.
The total investment includes the record HK$50.8 billion Henderson Land is paying for the land, dubbed as Site 3, after winning the government auction in the world’s most expensive property market. The bid surpassed the previous record price for a commercial site in city that was set in 2019 by Sun Hung Kai when it paid HK$42.2 billion for the plot above the West Kowloon rail terminal.
Henderson Land said it will spend another HK$63 billion to build an office and retail complex on the 516,312-square-foot (47,967-square- meter) waterfront site right next to the International Finance Centre skyscraper in Hong Kong’s Central. The company proposes to create three buildings, with a mixed-used block closest to the harbor and the other two will be offices, the government said in a statement. It also plans a garden with jogging paths and lots of outdoor space.
“Site 3 will significantly elevate Henderson Land’s presence in Central and expand the company’s reach beyond Hong Kong, cementing Hong Kong as one of the exemplary world-class cities,” Martin Lee Ka-shing, Henderson chairman and son of the company’s founder Lee Shau Kee, said in a statement. “We are confident that the project will generate favorable financial returns to the company.”
The property was hotly contested, attracting bids from Hong Kong’s biggest developers including Sun Hung Kai, billionaire Li Ka-shing’s CK Asset Holdings and tycoon Peter Woo’s Wharf Real Estate Investment. The city’s subway operator MTR Corp. teamed up with Chinachem Group, while Robert Ng Chee Siong’s Sino Land partnered with the Lo family’s Great Eagle Holdings and China Merchants Group to submit competing joint bids.
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The project will be developed in two phases, with the first phase containing about 270,000 square feet of office space and 340,000 square feet of retail, dining and entertainment areas due to be completed by 2027, Henderson Land said. The second phase—comprising 390,000 square feet of office space and 600,000 square feet of retail space and an underground link to the Central MTR Station—is slated for completion in 2032.
Henderson Land said it will also create an urban park with over 300,000 square feet open spaces that will connect Central to the waterfront promenade and the Star Ferry Clock Tower and associated piazza space. The public will have 24-hour access to these amenities.
The development is based on the concept of a bridge that aims to curate a world-class iconic landmark in Hong Kong, enhance the connectivity between the hinterland and the harbor front in Central, and create a vast amount of green and public spaces, the company said.
“The site will be accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds, bridging communities while promoting environmental sustainability and a healthy lifestyle,” Lee said. “To us, this is a monumental project beyond the physical boundaries of Site 3. It will be designed with functions that will benefit and radiate to other parts of the city with the ability to evolve and re-shape itself over time.”
The elder Lee, 93, cofounded Sun Hung Kai in 1963 with Kwok Tak-Seng, the late father of Hong Kong’s billionaire Kwok brothers. He started Henderson Land 13 years later and now makes up the bulk of his wealth. With a net worth of $31.7 billion, Lee ranked Hong Kong’s second-richest person when the World Billionaires list was published in April.