President / Hyatt Hotel [1963-2006]
This hotel opened as The President Hotel in 1963, but later was re-branded as a Hyatt hotel.
It was demolished in 2006, and re-built as the iSQUARE mall:
The [iSQUARE] project had its start in 2004 when the site was still the Hyatt Regency Hotel, which succeeded the President Hotel that had been operated since 1964 by AIHL, a subsidiary of Singapore’s Tian Teck Group which is owned and run by the Cheong family.
Hong Kong was at that stage recovering from the SARS epidemic and hotel occupancy was lingering at around the 20 percent mark. AIHL looked into selling the property but could not get what they considered fair value given the depressed property prices at the time.
“The family approached us in 2005 as development consultants to figure out what to do with the property – they realised that something pretty dramatic was needed because the building was becoming obsolete. They wanted to move away from a purely hotel site, partly because SARS had shown them the vulnerability of such a use,” said David Watt, managing director and chairman of DTZ North Asia.
“After looking into various scenarios we soon came to realise that less is more – the site is not that huge, though it is in a fantastic location. We needed to focus on one sector, but one that offered more variety than a hotel.”
Also see the hotel's entry on Emporis.