Hysan Development and its partner Chinachem Group are turning to culture to boost the value of a HK$28 billion ($3.5 billion) commercial project they are developing in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay area, according to a planning application submitted by the joint venture last month.
The partners submitted designs created by architects Ronald Lu and Partners to add performing arts and cultural facilities, a communal garden and a larger public open space to the project being developed on Caroline Hill Road near Hysan’s Causeway Bay headquarters, while also requesting permission to expand the floor area of the project.
“Upon the project’s completion in 2026, the public will have direct access to a community space of over 110,000 square feet, which includes a park of 60,000 square feet, indoor performing arts and cultural facilities of 20,000 square feet, as well as community facilities of 30,000 square feet (an elderly day-care centre, a district health centre and a child care centre),” a Hysan spokesperson told Mingtiandi.
The plans for the three-tower commercial project, which Hysan and Chinachem purchased for HK$19.8 billion in May last year, call for boosting the maximum gross floor area by 2 percent to 1.09 million square feet (101,264 square metres). The blueprints also provide details on transport connectivity and an elevated walkway connecting the development to Hysan’s Lee Garden Six via Causeway Bay’s Leighton Road.
Each office tower on the 159,327 square foot site would feature a podium accommodating retail or community facilities, with 24 above-ground storeys for the interconnected towers one and two, and 16 storeys for tower three, which occupies the eastern wing of the plot.
“The additional (gross floor area) would be for arts and cultural facilities, which may generate some further pedestrian traffic to this area,” said Alex Leung, senior director at local surveying firm CHFT Advisory and Appraisal Limited. The elderly day-care centre, district health centre and child care centre had been conditions of the original project tender.
Leung, who estimates that the value of the completed project will be around HK$28 billion, noted that the added space could allow for the construction of higher-level office floors with better views of the city.
Causeway Bay Kingdom
As Hysan and Chinachem await approval for their Causeway Bay project plan, asking rents for prime offices and Ginza-style commercial towers in the area range from HK$45 to HK$70 per square foot per month, depending on the quality and location of the building, said Leung. However, he added that there could be room for negotiation given the current weak commercial real estate sentiment.
The new plan was revealed less than one month after Hysan moved closer to consolidating a HK$7.5 billion commercial project five minutes’ walk from the Caroline Hill Road site, with the developer’s reported purchase of a unit at 9A Sharp Street East.
That acquisition of a piece of the aging walk-up property brings Hysan nearer to being able to force a compulsory sale of the building backing against the developer’s Leighton Centre which would allow it to build a new tower on the site.