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Exco agrees to property firm's redevelopment plans for Beaconsfield House Cheung Kong gets go-ahead

Karen Chan

Friday, April 28, 1995

THE Executive Council has approved the sale of two government properties adjoining the Hilton Hotel to Cheung Kong Holdings.

The doors of the 32-year-old hotel will close permanently in two days.

A government spokesman, Kerry McGlynn, confirmed to the Financial Review last night that the Executive Council had agreed in principle to Cheung Kong's redevelopment proposal for Beaconsfield House, the adjacent car park and the Hilton Hotel,

Cheung Kong is expected to pay a land premium of $5.5 billion to $6 billion.

Mr McGlynn said the proposed development would be taller than the Bank of China Tower, one of the tallest buildings in Hong Kong.

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He said Cheung Kong would have to provide car park facilities for the public during the redevelopment period while the new building must also provide 300 parking spaces.

Part of the deal also involves access to a public garden.

It has been suggested that Cheung Kong move its headquarters from the Chinese Building in Des Voeux Road, Central, to the new development.

Hutchison Whampoa bought out the management contract on the Hilton Hotel for $975 million in January 1994 and decided to turn the hotel into an office building.

Beaconsfield House has long been a candidate for redevelopment, given its advanced age and prime 18,300-square-foot site with 15 times plot ratio.

Together with the adjoining 33,700 sq ft government carpark, the two sites are considered the jewels of Central.

A combined site also would be worth more than three individual sites, as a larger, more efficient building could be built.

Mr McGlynn also confirmed the Information Services Department would not move into the new development as it was the government's policy to decentralise its offices after the disposal of Beaconsfield House.

He said the new office would most likely be housed in North Wan Chai.

Meanwhile, an official of the Town Planning Board said the board had not yet received any redevelopment details, but added that an application for a change in land use wasn't a complicated procedure.

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