SHKP may be trailblazer in land-sharing flats race

Business | Staff reporters 19 Oct 2020

Sun Hung Kai Properties could be the first developer to apply to become part of a scheme to boost housing supply through a public-private partnership.

Under the Land Sharing Pilot Scheme launched in May, developers can get government help to build infrastructure on private land plots.

Increased floor areas developed in these projects would be shared between the government and developers, and 70 percent of a site would go toward public housing or starter home development.

In the five months since its launch, the government has not received any applications for the scheme, but that could change as SHKP is considering filing an application on land it owns in Kam Tin near Yuen Long, Sing Tao Daily reports.

The plot could yield 3,000 to 4,000 flats.

And if 70 percent goes to public housing or starter homes there could be 2,800 such flats under the scheme.

The Standard's sister publication was told SHKP has multiple plots in Yuen Long, with some near better developed infrastructure. It has also developed private estates such as Park Yoho in the area.

That could increase the chance for the developer to get a green light if it decides to apply for the scheme.

The developer refused to comment on whether an application would be submitted.

The Task Force on Land Supply established in 2017 gauges public opinion on options to increase land supply.

It submitted a report to the government at the end of 2018, recommending among other ideas public-private partnerships, and the pilot scheme was officially launched in May.

Wheelock Properties could also have one to two developments that could be woven into a PPP scheme, its chairman, Stewart Leung Chi-kin, said.

Leung said the developer is putting out feelers about opportunities, but he stopped short of saying Wheelock would be making a formal application.

"Out of 10 steps, we have only taken one step forward," Leung said, and more meetings with officials were required.

A spokesman for the Development Bureau said the Land Sharing Office had yet to receive formal applications for the scheme, but there has been interest expressed and inquiries from some 30 parties, including owners of private lots.

Billy Mak Sui-choi, a member of the land-sharing scheme's panel of advisers, said there was no cause for concern about a lack of applications as it takes time for developers to consider shaping a project, and it would normally take decades for land to be developed.

Among other factor, developers would need to estimate the price of the properties upon completion of a project and the cost of infrastructure.

But he expects more companies to follow suit after a developer submits the first formal application.


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