Kai Tak sale: Hong Kong government postpones land tender for the first time as protests throw city out of gear

By Lam Ka-sing kasing.lam@scmp.com / https://www.scmp.com/property/hong-kong-china/article/3014331/hong-kong-government-indefinitely-postpones-tender-kai-tak?utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=contentexchange&utm_source=EdgeProp | June 18, 2019 1:52 PM SGT
The Hong Kong government has for the first time in its history postponed the tender of a large waterfront residential site at the former Kai Tak airport after violent street protests against a controversial extradition bill rocked the city.
"The Central Tender Board announces that the closing time for tenders to be received through the Government Secretariat Tender Box by noon tomorrow [June 14] will be extended until further notice, due to blockage of the public access to the Government Secretariat Tender Box," the government said in a media release on Thursday morning. "Following removal of the blockage, the [board] will announce the extended tender closing time as soon as practicable."
The tender, which was to take place on Friday, was expected to fetch a record price of up to HK$20,000 per square foot (US$2,555) or HK$14.3 billion for the site, according to surveyors' estimates. The residential site, Area 4C Site 1, could yield a floor area of up to 714,374 sq ft.
Vincent Cheung, managing director of Vincorn Conculting and Appraisal, said that a land tender in the city had never been postponed before.
An anti-extradition protester throws an object at police officers on Harcourt Road in Admiralty on Wednesday. Photo: Sam Tsang
Even Thomas Lam, executive director at Knight Frank, said that he could not recall such an instance previously. He however expected the tender to be delayed for at least two weeks until the protests come to a complete end, as the government will not want to take any chances with such a large tender.
"Market confidence will be dampened if there are too few bidders or it is withdrawn from sale again," he said.
The setback comes just two days after Goldin Financial walked away from a HK$11.1 billion winning bid for a plot of commercial land on Kai Tak's runway, forfeiting its HK$25 million deposit because of what the developer called...