Home buyers of the uncompleted Pearl Horizon residential project may request a refund from the developer Polytec Group, said the company’s chairman Or Wai Sheun yesterday, while a representative of the buyers expressed doubt as to whether the proposal can resolve “this complicated issue”.
A National Committee member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Mr. Or said in Beijing yesterday that the company would treat refund requests seriously. “If they request a refund from us, and if they’re first-hand home buyers, we will take the requests seriously to see how we can refund them,” said the businessman, as quoted by local broadcaster TDM.
However, he added that the company will not accept requests filed by second-hand or third-hand home buyers, as it is hard to confirm how much they paid to purchase the units, adding that most of the home buyers hoped to see their units completed rather than getting back their money.
Speaking to Business Daily, the Chairman of the Pearl Horizon Condominium Owners United Association, Kou Meng Pok expressed his concern that just refunding first-hand buyers would only worsen the conflicts in the issue, given the fact that most of the home buyers are second-hand or third hand buyers.
“The only way to solve the issue is to get the project completed,” Mr. Kou said in a phone interview yesterday. “Or, other buyers will ask why only first-hand buyers can be refunded. Moreover, how can the company calculate the amount of refunds to the buyers that are repaying mortgage loans to banks?”
Nevertheless, the association chairman believes that by announcing the possible refund scheme for the first time, the company is finally willing to take some responsibility for the situation.
“Liability not on us”
Pearl Horizon, located on a site known as lot-P of the Areia Preta zone on the Macau peninsula, is designed to house 18 towers with a total of 5,000-plus residential units. The MSAR Government announced that the developer’s land grant for the plot was invalid in January 2016, following the developer’s failure to complete the project before its land use term expired in December 2015.
“For the delay of the Pearl Horizon project, we’re sure that Polytec is not the liable party,” Mr. Or said yesterday. “We hope to reach a consensus with the government to resolve the issue. We’re not talking about who should bear the liability, but about how we can restart the construction as soon as possible.”
According to the government’s previous disclosures, over 3,000 of the Pearl Horizon units have already been sold off-plan.
Asked whether the company would transfer its assets to other subsidiaries or declare bankruptcy to avoid paying compensation to buyers, the company boss claimed: “These are only the thoughts of certain individuals. Polytec has been based in Macau for a few decades. We have never run away irresponsibly.”
“P+P1” completion in May
The developer currently has another high-end residential project under development in the same district, on lots “ P+P1”, for which the land concession will expire on July 5 this year.
“We expect Lots P+P1 will be completed by May. We hope that the company can coordinate to issue occupancy permits in June,” the businessman said yesterday.
He added that he is confident that the project will not turn into another “negative issue” in the territory.
According to the company’s interim report, released last September, the foundation works of the project have been completed while ‘the superstructure work is progressing smoothly’.
Meanwhile, the businessman declined to comment on reports regarding the National People’s Congress’ determination that the city’s current land law is in line with the Basic Law, the broadcaster reported.
On the other hand, Mr. Kou told Business Daily that homeowners had petitioned the city’s former Secretary for Transport and Public Works, Lao Si Io earlier this week.
He said owners would gather outside the Macau Science Centre if the former secretary – who is currently the chairman of the science centre – does not give any response this week.
He added that homeowners are trying to meet with the President of Legislative Assembly, Ho Iat Seng, as well.