CITIC Tower II: The Real Option
Citic Pacific Ltd. (CPL) had to decide whether to purchase newly reclaimed land at the waterfront of Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong, and develop a Grade A office building for investment purposes. The decision was to be made at an approaching cyclical high point in the market for Grade A office space, in the second half of 2000. CPL knew that the commercial real estate market was extremely cyclical and that very few companies active in the market had managed to time rental cycles and investment strategy successfully. If Citic Tower II came onto the market at the right time, it might be far more promising than it appeared in mid-2000. Nobody knows when the "right time" is, of course, but being able to defer the decision to develop while still retaining control over the site could buy time and the option to retain what could be a very good opportunity. In other words, CPL had to value its options.