Early bird in a new wood

| Siu Sai-wo 15 May 2019

The silver-hair market has huge potential, especially in an affluent city like Hong Kong where high-end services are in great demand.

Targeting such business opportunities, a consortium is riding on the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge to build a large retirement community in Hengqin near Macau.

The project, Serensia Woods, is the brainchild of the HN Group, an old-time company in Macau.

Amber Li, its new generation chief, is a graduate of the Stanford University and has worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

After taking the helm of the family business, Li saw good prospects in the upscale retirement residence and health-care sector.

At one stage, she considered buying land in Huairou district in the Beijing suburb for related projects.

And when Hengqin development began around that time, she put forward her plan to the free trade zone, went through the hoops and got accepted.

The project, in fact, ranked fourth among seven selected from 102 plans submitted in response to the regional government's call after President Xi Jinping inquired about Macau's investment in Hengqin during a visit there many years ago.

Serensia Woods encompasses deluxe retirement living, family vacation, business reception as well as medical and health-care services in partnership with well-known Chinese and Western medical institutions. There are entertainment facilities too.

It offers short-term vacation packages as well as membership, with premium ones that target Hongkongers priced from HK$7 million.

Similar to the Hong Kong Housing Society's senior housing, Serensia Woods memberships are transferable upon paying an administrative fee, or can be passed on to family members. So they can be for self-use or as a vehicle to hedge against inflation.

There is a strong demand for quality senior homes in Hong Kong, but local land resources are precious, so it is not easy to find sites for such developments.

Seeing the vast potential of the high-end retirement market, Li made a head start years ago.

Now Serensia Woods is ready to open by next September, in good time to reap the lucrative early-bird advantage.

Siu Sai-wo is publisher of Sing Tao Daily

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