During the time years ago that the 4-seasons apartments were being completed, there was much press on the notion that the SAR would not allow any kind of a "fee-simple" type ownership of them. The methodology being batted around was that people buying a condo would essentially be sold a percentage interest in the entire development with a clause that assigned their occupancy to the unit chosen. Thus, if someone wanted to buy a condo that contained 0.71% of the total square footage of the entire project, then they would receive a 0.71% interest in the entire project and occupancy of the unit they had selected.
I took this as indicative of the "collective" nature of asset ownership that still exists in greater China to some degree. I don't think that they havn't sold because of a disageement in said priciple... I think it's been more because of perennial foot-dragging on the part of the SAR in getting them approved.
Sands should just turn them into hotel-style rentals for now, then convert them back to condos and refurbish them once they get the OK to sell them (as co-ops)... probably sometime in 2022 (sic).