End of an era as HK icon is set to be demolished

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The iconic Excelsior hotel in Hong Kong will close to be redeveloped into an office tower in March 2019.

Mandarin Oriental had put the four-star waterfront hotel for sale in June last year, before calling it off in September as bids fell short of expectations, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.

Mandarin Oriental decided not to sell The Excelsior hotel as bids for the plot of land were too low

The Excelsior opened in 1973 on Plot 1, the first piece of land sold when Hong Kong became a British colony in 1841.

Mandarin Oriental will demolish the hotel and build a commercial building in its place. The redevelopment will take about six years and cost about US$650 million.

The redevelopment comes amid what SCMP refers to as “a chronic shortage of grade A office supply” in the city, which has forced rent upwards and made Hong Kong the most expensive office market in Asia-Pacific.

James Riley, group chief executive of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, said: “The Excelsior has always been an important and much-loved hotel in the group’s portfolio. We will ensure there are plenty of opportunities over the next few months for local and international guests to visit the property and celebrate 45 years of memories.”

As well, the group is committed to ensuring fair treatment of all Excelsior staff, with many expected to be offered positions in other Mandarin Oriental properties, he added.

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