Windsor House (Hong Kong)
Windsor House in 2008
|Location||Causeway Bay, Hong Kong|
|Construction started||15 April 1978|
|Topped-out||3 July 1979|
|Design and construction|
|Architecture firm||Palmer and Turner|
|Main contractor||Gammon Construction|
Windsor House was built on the site of former Dairy Farm cold stores. Developer Hongkong Land acquired the land when it acquired Dairy Farm in 1972, and originally planned to build a hotel on the site. The cold stores had been demolished and the site was temporarily used as a public car park.
The new Windsor House was designed by Hong Kong architecture firm Palmer and Turner. It bore the same name as another Hongkong Land building, on Des Voeux Road Central, that was being demolished as part of the company's major redevelopment of their older properties in Central. The building is angled diagonally (relative to the street grid) in order to maximise views of Victoria Park from the office floors. In the 1990s, the building was said to comprise about 688,000 square feet (63,900 m2) of office space and 124,300 square feet (11,550 m2) of retail accommodation.
A contract to construct the first phase of the building was signed on 14 April 1978 by Hongkong Land and Gammon Construction, and work began on the following day, 15 April 1978. A topping out ceremony was held on 3 July 1979. The initial anchor tenant was the Inland Revenue Department, which leased about a third of the office space at Windsor House to centralise departments that had been scattered across a number of different office buildings. The building has two service cores – housing lifts, stairwells, toilets, and other uses – which flank the office floors. Part of the reason for including a second service core was that the Inland Revenue Department wanted its own entrance and lifts. The Inland Revenue Department later moved to the government-owned Revenue Tower in order to save on rental costs.
In September 1987 Chinese Estates acquired two properties from Hongkong Land, Windsor House and Harcourt House, for HK$2.38 billion. Windsor House was said to constitute $1.6 billion of this sum. The retail podium was renovated in 1992. At this time the first to ninth floors of the office tower, which had been vacated by the Inland Revenue Department, were converted to dining and entertainment use.
When the building first opened, the retail podium housed a Lane Crawford department store. In mid-1997, when their lease at Windsor House expired, Lane Crawford moved to nearby Times Square, owned by parent company Wharf, due to high rents as well as projected higher sales at the new location.
The retail podium was extensively renovated from 2007 to 2010. In December 2015 it was announced that China Estates would sell Windsor House to its largest shareholder, the tycoon and fugitive Joseph Lau, for $12 billion.
The building is a short walk from Exit E of Causeway Bay Station.
- "Another Windsor House". South China Morning Post. 12 January 1977. p. 1.
- Surry, Malcolm (12 January 1977). "Land unveils $185m building plan". South China Morning Post. p. 21.
- Kennedy, Sean (29 August 1990). "Windsor sale could signal Japan influx". South China Morning Post. p. 37.
- Su, Victor (15 April 1978). "Massive boost for HK Land". South China Morning Post. p. 7.
- "Windsor House 'topped out'". South China Morning Post. 4 July 1979. p. 11.
- "Inland Revenue getting new offices". South China Morning Post. 2 May 1978. p. 8.
- Williams, Stephanie (18 April 1980). "Standing apart from run-of-the-mill blocks". South China Morning Post.
- Lai, Beeven (11 December 1987). "Laus complete $2.38 billion property deal". South China Morning Post. p. 57.
- Tong, Ivan (21 April 1992). "Causeway Bay to put on new face". South China Morning Post. p. 39.
- Lyons, Don (21 August 1996). "Lane Crawford to move premises". South China Morning Post.
- "2009 Interim Results". Chinese Estates Holdings Limited. 7 September 2009.
- Li, Sandy (28 December 2015). "Chinese Estates stock up after selling Windsor House in Hong Kong to majority shareholder". South China Morning Post.
- Kwok, Ben (24 December 2015). "Santa Joseph is coming to town". Hong Kong Economic Journal.
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