Plans by hotel operator Shangri-La Asia (0069) for a luxury hotel on a prime Hung Hom site took a step closer to fruition after town planners gave the green light to the project.
The Metro Planning Committee of the Town Planning Board last Friday approved the section 16 planning application by its subsidiary Shangri-la Hotel (Kowloon) for a 599 room hotel with conditions.
When asked for further details on the project such as the timetable for tendering, a spokeswoman for Shangri-La Asia said it was still too early to provide this information.
According to a consideration paper compiled by Planning Department, the company plans to build a hotel with total gross floor area of 62,492 square metres (672,664 square feet) with the GFA for the hotel portion set at 46,034 square metres.
At 18 storeys including a basement level for carpark, the hotel would also provide GFA of 5,708 square metres for retail and restaurants.
A public transport interchange with an area of 10,750 square metres would also have to be constructed on the ground floor to comply with the government lease.
Due to adverse comments from the public during statutory public consultation, the company was forced to tweak the design by lowering the building height of various portions of the hotel to comply with height restrictions in the planning brief for the site.
In its own comment on the design in the consideration paper, Planning Department said the “wave-like” structure of the hotel generally complied with the planning brief although there were minor deviations from building height restrictions.
In its planning statement, the company said on following town planning approval, construction of the high tariff (five star) hotel would start immediately once building plans were approved with completion expected in 2018.
According to the latest Quarterly Construction Cost Update for Hong Kong compiled by construction cost consultants Rider Levett Bucknall, the cost of a five star hotel ranged from HK$28,700 to HK$35,000 per square metre of construction floor area.
Assuming then that the total GFA of 48,862 square metres for the hotel portion of the project, consisting of the previously mentioned 46,034 square metres along with GFA exempted area of 2,587 square metres for back of house use, is the about the same as construction floor area and using the higher cost of HK$35,000, then the cost for the hotel portion alone could top HK$1.71 billion at 2013 first quarter prices.
Shangri-La beat off three other competitors including Cheung Kong (Holdings) (001), Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016) and Sino Land (0083) to bag the 15,623 square metre (168,166 square feet) site in Hung Hom with a winning bid of HK$2.38 billion in December 2011.
On completion, the hotel will go head-to-head with the neighbouring Harbourview Horizon, Harbour Plaza Metropolis, Harbourfront Horizon, Harbour Grand Kowloon hotels that were developed by Cheung Kong along with its sister company Hutchison Whampoa (0013).