Caixin
Feb 19, 2021 06:20 AM
BUSINESS & TECH

U.S. Consulate Properties in Hong Kong Cleared for Sale

Residential houses stand in the Shouson Hill area of Hong Kong
Residential houses stand in the Shouson Hill area of Hong Kong

The Chinese government cleared Hang Lung Properties to buy a cluster of luxury residential properties in Hong Kong from the U.S. government, the developer said.

The U.S. consulate sold six multi-story mansions with 26 units at 37 Shouson Hill Road to the local developer in September, but the deal was suspended as it involved diplomatic matters. Hang Lung Properties agreed to a price of HK$256 million ($33 million) and paid 10% as a deposit.

A spokesperson for Hang Lung Properties told Caixin that the company is pleased that the seller fulfilled its diplomatic obligations and obtained consent from the Chinese government. Hang Lung Properties is working with the seller to complete the transaction and will announce it in due course, the spokesperson said.

The property, in a luxury residential area where Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing’s family lives, was put on the market in May, just days after China unveiled a proposal to impose a controversial national security law in Hong Kong.

The U.S. consulate repeatedly said the sale was a “purely commercial decision.” But Hang Lung Properties said in December that the deal involved diplomatic matters, not an ordinary commercial transaction, and was subject to applicable diplomatic requirements.

The Chinese government told the Hong Kong government that the U.S. consulate’s lease, purchase, sale or disposal of any real estate in Hong Kong must comply with “diplomatic obligations,” Hang Lung Properties said. Those include submission of an application and information to China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs commissioner in Hong Kong 60 days in advance and obtaining of written consent, the company said.

Hang Lung said it plans to redevelop the site into multiple detached luxury residences, expected to be completed by 2024, with a total investment of about HK$4 billion.

Hang Lung is one of the leading property developers in Hong Kong. In recent years, its business has shifted to leasing. It operates a number of shopping malls, office buildings and residential properties in Hong Kong. In the mainland, the company mainly develops high-end commercial real estate and operates Plaza Hang Lung projects in Shanghai, Shenyang, Wuxi, Tianjin and other cities.

Contact reporter Denise Jia (huijuanjia@caixin.com) and editor Bob Simison (bobsimison@caixin.com).

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