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Hongkong Land (HKL) is a property investment, management and development groups with premium commercial and residential property interests across Asia. It owns and manages almost 800,000 sq. m. of prime office and luxury retail property in key Asian cities, principally in Hong Kong and Singapore. Its Hong Kong Central portfolio represents some 450,000 sq. m. of prime property. In Singapore it has a further 165,000 sq. m. of prestigious office space mainly held through joint ventures, while MCL Land, its subsidiary, is a well-established residential developer. Hongkong Land also has a 50% interest in a leading office complex in Central Jakarta, and a number of residential and mixed-use projects under development in cities across Greater China and Southeast Asia, including a luxury retail centre at Wangfujing in Beijing.
|Founder||Sir Paul Chater|
Jardine, Matheson & Co.
|Revenue||US$1.9 billion (FY 2015)|
|US$905 million (FY 2015)|
|Total assets||US$31 billion (31 Dec 2015)|
Number of employees
|1,503 (31 Dec 2015)|
|Footnotes / references|
Underlying profit attributable to shareholders – US$930 million (FY 2014) and gross assets excluding cash – US$30 billion (31 Dec 2014)
Hongkong Land was founded in 1889 and is one of Asia's longest established property groups. Hongkong Land Holdings Ltd is incorporated in Bermuda. It has a standard listing on the London Stock Exchange as its primary listing, and secondary listings in Bermuda and Singapore. The Group's assets and investments are managed from Hong Kong by Hongkong Land Limited. Hongkong Land is 50% owned by Jardine Matheson Holdings.
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Presence in Hong KongEdit
In Hong Kong, the company has continued to upgrade its commercial buildings in Central. In 2003, the redevelopment of Swire House into the new Chater House was completed. Major renovations have since been carried out in the Prince's Building. The Landmark has also been redeveloped, with the luxury Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hotel and York House added.
In early 2012, a new brand "LANDMARK" was launched covering the company's four most famous shopping destinations The Landmark, Alexandra House, Chater House and Prince’s Building, which are linked by pedestrian bridges, part of the Central Elevated Walkway. It was accompanied by a new logo "L", representing LANDMARK and luxury retail.
The company has also developed three luxury residential buildings on Hong Kong Island in recent years, namely Serenade, The Sail at Victoria and Ivy on Belcher’s. Since 2003, Hongkong Land has worked with the Hong Kong Government on CENTRAL Cityscape - an initiative to enhance and upgrade the physical environment of Central. New pavements, street furniture, modern signage, landscaping, lighting and more greenery are all part of Cityscape’s efforts to raise Central’s attractiveness.
In October 2006, Hongkong Land hosted the CENTRAL Rat Race for the first time in the heart of Central, which has since become an annual event. This charity relay event helps raise funds for MINDSET, a registered charity supporting mental-health related organisations and projects in Hong Kong and mainland China. The inaugural race raised over HK$2 million and as at 31 December 2015, some HK$25 million has been raised.
Footprint in the rest of AsiaEdit
Hongkong Land has expanded its business outside Hong Kong in recent years, and has significant interests across Asia, mostly in joint venture with local developers, including the Keppel Group in Singapore, the CIFI Group in Shanghai and the Longfor and China Merchants groups in Chongqing.
In its commercial portfolio, in Singapore, it has attributable interest of some 1.8 million square feet of commercial space. Following One Raffles Link, the company developed One Raffles Quay, its second commercial complex in Singapore, in the Marina Bay area. It also has a one-third interest in the Marina Bay Financial Centre that was completed in 2012. The company owns a 50% stake in Jakarta Land, which is expanding its complex of commercial buildings in the central business district of Jakarta. Hongkong Land also owns prime office and retail space in Bangkok and Hanoi, with sites also under development in Beijing – the WF CENTRAL shopping centre – and in Phnom Penh. In Macau, Hongkong Land has developed One Central Macau in joint venture with Shun Tak Holdings. This is a major mixed-use development on the waterfront comprising luxury residences, a premium retail development, the Mandarin Oriental Macau hotel and residences managed by the hotel.
On the residential side, the company developed two residential projects in Singapore, Marina Bay Residences and Marina Bay Suites. The company also has a 100% interest in MCL Land, a Singapore residential developer active also in Malaysia. Hongkong Land is also developing residences in Indonesia and the Philippines.
Hongkong Land has also developed luxury residential properties and mixed-use projects in mainland China. In Beijing, there are residential projects such as Central Park and Maple Place. In Chongqing, there are Yorkville North, Yorkville South, Bamboo Grove and three other projects. In Chengdu, there is WE City, a mixed-use residential and commercial development. In Shanghai, Hongkong Land is now developing Parkville, which is located in Pudong, Shanghai, for residential and commercial use.
Hongkong Land was formed on 2 March 1889 and was initially named The Hongkong Land Investment and Agency Company Limited. It was founded by two prominent businessmen in Hong Kong — Sir Paul Chater and James Johnstone Keswick. Besides property, Chater was also known for his interests in brokerage and bullion while Keswick was Tai-pan of Jardine, Matheson and Company Limited.
Chater had been lobbying for some time in government circles for a new reclamation project in the Victoria District in Central Hong Kong and the construction of a new Praya along the harbour front. Six days after the formation of Hongkong Land, he got his way. The reclaimed land was to yield an area of 65 acres (260,000 m2) of building land some 250 feet (76 m) wide along a new waterfront road that came to be known as Chater Road. This "Central Reclamation" has since become a core element of Hong Kong's Central District, forming as it does the land between today's Des Voeux Road Central and Connaught Road Central, including Statue Square and Chater Road itself.
The four-storey New Oriental Building was the first commercial building on the Central Reclamation built on Marine Lot 278 at No. 2 on the then newly formed Connaught Road and completed in 1898. This building was demolished in the early 1960s and the site is today occupied by the AIA Central building. The Chater Road reclamation can thus be seen as the starting point for Hongkong Land's development of "Central" as Hong Kong's business district.
Following construction of The New Oriental Building, between June 1904 and December 1905, Central saw the completion of five major buildings that were Hong Kong's first 'skyscrapers'. These included the Alexandra Building in 1904, which was built on the location of today's Alexandra House.
By 1941 the company possessed 13 major properties in Central. The most valuable among them were Marina House, Alexandra Building, Holland House, Queen’s Building and Prince’s Building.
Hongkong Land ceased business for three years and eight months during the Second World War. But when the company reclaimed its office buildings in September 1945, they were all in good structural condition.
The first post-war project came in 1947, adding three more floors to the five-storey Marina House. Then came the redevelopment of 11 and 13 Queen’s Road Central into the nine-storey Edinburgh House, which was completed in 1950. These buildings stood on the sites of today’s Edinburgh Tower and York House.
At the same time, three old buildings on a triangular site formed by Des Voeux Road, Chater Road and Ice House Street — Alexandra Building, Royal Building and Chung Tin Building — were demolished to make way for the 13-storey Alexandra House.
1960s and 1970sEdit
By the mid-1960s Hongkong Land owned nine major office blocks as well as the shopping complex in Prince’s Building and The Mandarin Hotel. These were connected by the first pedestrian bridge. Since then, Hongkong Land’s buildings have been linked to one another, forming a network of commercial buildings.
During the 1970s, the company began investing in international markets, building a portfolio of properties in Australia, Hawaii, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
Perhaps the biggest feat of Group Chief Executive Vernon Robert's leadership during this period was the construction of the Connaught Centre. On 1 June 1970, the company paid a then world-record price of HK$258 million at public auction for an important new central reclamation site. On completion in 1973, the 52-level, 696,000 square feet (64,700 m2) Connaught Centre was Hong Kong’s largest and most advanced office block. It was renamed Jardine House on 1 January 1989.
Redevelopment during the 1970s of Hongkong Land’s “Central” portfolio began with the demolition of Alexandra House and the construction of what was to be the third building to bear that name on the site. The new 36-level project, which was finished in 1976, and was joined to Prince’s Building, Swire House, The Mandarin Hotel and Connaught Centre by overhead walkways. Today, it forms the hub of a footbridge network connecting Hongkong Land’s commercial portfolio.
Hongkong Land developed residential properties in mid-levels, including May Tower in 1974 and Branksome in 1976. The company also acquired a large tract of land in Pok Fu Lam and started construction of the massive Chi Fu Fa Yuen complex. This consisted of 20 towers with 4,258 flats, along with a shopping centre, restaurants and recreational facilities.
1980s and 1990sEdit
The 1980s saw Hongkong Land diversify from its usual property interests, as it bought significant shareholdings in Hong Kong Telephone Company Ltd and Hong Kong Electric Holdings Ltd.
In 1982, Hongkong Land acquired the last major site available in Central with a bid of HK$4.7 billion and began construction of the first phase of Exchange Square. It was the largest commercial complex in the territory at the time and the most technologically sophisticated.
The year 1982 saw the property market in Hong Kong plunge dramatically, and in the following two years rentals halved. This was a period of financial difficulty for Hongkong Land as it looked to reorganise itself and reduce its debt burden through asset disposals and restructuring measures. Hongkong Land sold its international properties as well as its non-core assets in Hong Kong, including its interests in Hong Kong Telephone and Hong Kong Electric. But its core assets in the heart of Central were left untouched.
In 1984 the property market began to look up again and in late 1985 Hongkong Land completed and opened the first phase of its new flagship property, One and Two Exchange Square. In 1988, the final third phase of Exchange Square was completed and The Forum was opened.
The Landmark, another major focal point for Central, was completed in two phases in 1980 and 1983. It comprised two 47-level office blocks, Gloucester Tower and Edinburgh Tower, and a large five-level shopping podium.
During the 1990s, Hongkong Land continued to enhance its core commercial office portfolio in Hong Kong, while beginning to look at investment opportunities in other Asian cities.
In Hong Kong, Central office space supply increased substantially in late 1990s and in 1997 the company launched the redevelopment of Swire House, now named Chater House, as a world class building in the heart of Central.
In Singapore, the company began construction of One Raffles Link, an office building in the centre of the city that was an early example of sustainable construction. The building was completed in 2000.
Hongkong Land is a major landlord in the Central Business Districts of Hong Kong, Singapore, Jakarta and has a presence in other Asian cities, including:
- Hong Kong
- Alexandra House
- Chater House
- One, Two and Three Exchange Square
- The Forum
- Jardine House
- The Landmark
- Edinburgh Tower
- Gloucester Tower
- York House
- Prince's Building
- One Central Macau
- The Residences and Apartments at Mandarin Oriental
- World Trade Centre 1
- World Trade Centre 2
- World Trade Centre 3 (under development)
- World Trade Centre 5 (Wisma Metropolitan I)
- World Trade Centre 6 (Wisma Metropolitan II)
- Central Building
- 63 Ly Thai To
- Phnom Penh
- EXCHANGE SQUARE (formerly The Embassy Site)
In addition, Hongkong Land has several hotel interests, including a small luxury hotel in Beijing at WF CENTRAL in Wangfujing which is under construction.
Hongkong Land has a significant residential property development business in Asia focusing on developments for sale for the high-and-luxury end of the market, through wholly owned or joint venture projects. Examples of recent residential projects completed or being developed are:
- The Serenade
- The Sail at Victoria
- Ivy on Belcher’s
- Chi Fu Fa Yuen
- Chi Lok Fa Yuen
- Eightland Garden
- Luk Yeung Sun Chuen
- Westlands Gardens
- May Tower One
- Tregunter Towers
- Oriental Gardens
- Central Park
- Maple Place at Beijing Riviera
- WE City
- Bamboo Grove
- Central Avenue
- Landmark Riverside
- Yorkville South
- Yorkville North
- One Capitol
- One Island
- One Central Residences
- Mandani Bay
- NorthPine Land developed residential properties include Greenwoods Village, Wind Crest, Kahaya Place, Forest Ridge, South Hampton and Kohana Grove.
- One Roxas Triangle and Two Roxas Triangle
- Marina Bay Residences
- Marina Bay Suites
- MCL Land developed residential properties include Parvis, Hillcrest Villa, Fernhill, Calrose, Metz and Waterfall Gardens. Its recent projects include Sol Acres, LakeVille, Hallmark Residences, and Palms @ Sixth Avenue.
- Central Mansions
- The Nassim
- Hongkong Land Official Website - Headquarter's Address Archived 2009-01-31 at the Wayback Machine
- "Hongkong Land 2015 Annual Report P.20" (PDF).
- "Hongkong Land 2015 Annual Report P.44" (PDF).
- "Hongkong Land 2015 Annual Results Analysts Presentation P.48" (PDF).
- "Hongkong Land 2015 Annual Report P.41" (PDF).
- Hongkong Land 2014 Annual Report, P.39
- Hongkong Land 2014 Annual Results Analysts Presentation, P.53
-  2014 Annual Report, P.1
- "CENTRAL Rat Race official website".
- "Hongkong Land 2015 Annual Results Analysts Presentation, P.25" (PDF).
- Gwulo: New Oriental Building
- Chan, Chi-kau, Johnnie Casire, "Community development and management of private sector housing estates in Hong Kong" Archived 2013-10-24 at the Wayback Machine, University of Hong Kong, August 1995
- "Press Release re EXCHANGE SQUARE, Cambodia" (PDF).
- "Hongkong Land's webpage on Central Avenue, Chongqing".
- "Hongkong Land's webpage on Anandamaya Residences".
- "Hongkong Land's webpage on Nava Park".
- "About Northpine Land".
- "MCL Land official website".
- "Press Release re The Nassim" (PDF).