AIG Tower

The AIA Central (previously called AIG Tower) (Chinese: 友邦金融中心) in Hong Kong is a 185 m (607 ft.), 40 storey skyscraper that was completed in 2005. It is located in Central, not far from the landmark Bank of China Tower.

The Furama Kempinski Hotel, famous for its revolving restaurant, formerly stood on the same lot that the AIG Tower rises from, but in December 2001, the 33-story hotel was demolished in order to make way for the AIG Tower.

The building was jointly developed by Lai Sun Development, CapitaLand, and insurance giant American International Group (AIG), which is also a major tenant of the building. The architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill designed the building to look like the Chinese junk, a Chinese sailboat design dating from ancient times and still in use today.

The building has approximately 41,777 m² (450,000 ft²) of office accommodation.

Plot history

The 999-year leasehold site has an area of 24,427 square feet (2,269 m2).

Lai Sun Development ("LSD"), founded by textiles magnate Lim Por-yen, paid HK$7 billion for Furama Hotel Enterprises in June 1997. Lai Sun, which already owned the Ritz-Carlton Hotel next door, acquired a 45.42 per cent stake for $3.13 billion, and made a general offer at $33.50 for each remaining shares at a total cost of $6.893 billion.

LSD intended to combine the two plots into a prime office block. Then the Asian financial crisis struck, plunging the entire group into distress and forced asset sales. In March 2000, LSD announced that a 65% stake in the Furama Hotel would be sold to a 50:50 joint venture between Pidemco and AIG for HK$1.88 billion. Pidemco, the largest owner of commercial properties in Singapore, is part of Singapore Technologies, controlled by Temasek Holdings. As part of the deal, Lai Sun would continue to operate the hotel until its redevelopment, at an annual rental of HK$145 million. The Furama closed in November, and was demolished in December 2001.

The site has an approved buildable gross floor area of 366,405 square feet (34,040 m2) Bayshore Development Group, a joint venture between LSD, CapitaLand, and AIG, was formed to develop the 39-storey commercial office block with a gross floor area of 450,000 square foot (41,800 m²). AIG and CapitaLand each owned 35 per cent, and Lai Sun owns 30 per cent.

The HK$4 billion capital investment includes land premium, construction costs and interest payments. About HK$1.4 billion of financing was arranged with the Bank of China.

The tower was renamed from AIG Tower to AIA Central on 9 July 2009

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