The top player among Hong Kong’s four major developers, Henderson Land Development Co (0012.HK), intends to give the government extra land so that it can construct interim housing and is eager to hasten the development of a region near the Chinese border.
The vow by Hong Kong to establish the “Northern Metropolis” is an inevitable path according to Martin Lee, co-chairman of Henderson, which has the greatest farmland reserves among developers, as the financial centre merges more deeply with the Greater Bay Area (GBA).
According to him, many residents will be drawn to live in northwestern New Territories in the long term due to the growth potential in the Greater Bay Area.
In an effort to alleviate a severe housing crisis, the Hong Kong government presented proposals for the Northern City last year. Its goal is to build dwellings for roughly 2.5 million people in isolated areas near the mainland border.
The Greater Bay Area, a plan by the Chinese government to connect Hong Kong, Macau, and nine cities in the Guangdong region of southern China, will be just a short distance from the construction.
Since Hong Kong’s restoration to Chinese administration in 1997, housing affordability has been a top concern for all of the city’s leaders, even if they did everything in their power, many residents continue to live in small apartments in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world.
In response to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s related query to give a better quality of life and a bigger flat for Hong Kong residents, Hong Kong’s incoming leader, John Lee, indicated he would be reasonable and take appropriate measures as needed in expanding land and housing availability.
Beijing recognised housing issues as a significant cause of Hong Kong’s unhappiness, particularly among the city’s millennials, which contributed to the pro-democracy, state-based protests, and anti-government riots in 2019.
As China pressed businesses to do more for society, developers increased their commitment to Hong Kong’s housing programs in recent years.
In 2019, Lee Shau Kee and his brother took over the real estate tycoon from their father Lee Shau Kee. Lee stated that if the government chooses to take back the property for the development of public dwelling or other essential services, they intend to comply entirely.
Lee, 51, called for the government to relax international travel restrictions and reopen Hong Kong’s boundaries with the mainland, echoing recommendations made by other business executives. He said that doing so would improve the city’s real estate market.
As it pours $8 billion into a Bayshore property and fulfils the development of its new skyscraper named The Henderson, set to open doors in 2023, Henderson expects to become the state’s main office landlord in Central.
The Henderson, a building fashioned after the Bauhinia blossom, the emblematic flower of Hong Kong, and conceived by Zaha Hadid Architects, recently announced a 20,000-square foot lease with the American private equity group Carlyle Group (CG.O), Lee revealed in a private conversation.
Carlyle declined to provide any additional information regarding the office contract or its current workspace in Hong Kong. Nonetheless, the relocation will be enlargement for the American company, according to a source with familiarity with the given information.
Henderson’s first principal focus, British auction company Christie’s, leased 30,000 square feet from the building last year.
Despite a decline in the commercial market due to the epidemic, Lee stated that it indicated that these global businesses have placed themselves to show support in the long-term survival of Hong Kong as a global financial hub.