Hong Kong Lohas Park
Highrise residential and commercial buildings are seen at Hong Kong island (Photo: Reuters / Bobby Yip)

 Hong Kong-based financial real estate firm Wheelock and Company Limited managed to outbid other contenders to win the opportunity to develop the latest phase in the New Territories' Lohas Park development. The win gives the company a huge advantage over other competitors who are now struggling to replenish their land banks after the recent dip in real estate prices.

For winning the bid, Wheelock will be given the opportunity to develop a 961,000 square foot plot of land in the southeastern New Territories. MTR Corporation, the vendor for the site, revealed that the plot should produce up to 2,000 new homes. This essentially means that future development will become one of the largest phases within Lohas Park once it is completed.

The other companies that submitted their bids to develop the plot of land included big-name firms such as CK Asset Holdings, Sun Hung Kai Properties, Henderson Land Development, Chinachem Group, Sino Land, and China Overseas Land & Investment. Empire Group and New World Development also submitted a bid but did so as one entity.

Real estate experts have pointed out that Wheelock should be a perfect fit for the project given its vast experience and the fact that it currently has existing projects nearby. The win is also a great opportunity for the company given the current difficulty in acquiring land in Hong Kong.

The development will be Wheelock's fourth project within the massive Lohas Park development. All in all, the Lohas Park development is expected to produce more than 58,000 residential units and 21,500 flats.  It is the city's single largest residential community to be fully completed by 2025.

After winning the bid, Wheelock revealed in a statement that it plans to develop small and medium-sized residential buildings in the area that will all sit on top commercial shopping centers. The shopping areas will, in turn, be connected to the Lohas Park MTR Station, given both residents and visitors easy access.

The commercial shopping centers are expected to bolster future property sales for the projects. Each unit in the proposed residential buildings is expected to cost around HK$16,000 per square foot, slightly above the average pricing of similar developments in the area.

Since April of last year, major Hong Kong real estate developers have spent a total of HK$110.1 billion purchasing different plots of land auctioned off by the government. This was somewhat surprising for most given the current state of events last year, which included the city's worst political crisis that eventually led to civil unrest.