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Old March 8th, 2010, 05:23 PM   #1
hkskyline
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HONG KONG | Murray Building Conversion | 27 fl | U/C

Murray Building sale bid sparks transparency call
3 March 2010
The Standard











A surprise policy U-turn has sparked calls for more transparency and public scrutiny over the intended sale of Murray Building in Central.

In his policy address last October, Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen said the government will retain ownership of the 27-story building, built in 1969, even after it is converted into a 300-room hotel.

But development officials yesterday said the building, as well as its title-related rights, will be put up for tender next year, with the successful bidder given a 50-year ownership lease. Quizzed on the apparent about-face, officials said the latest proposal is ``current policy.''

Central and Western District Council chairman Chan Tak- chor expressed outrage at the government's decision, taken without public consultation. ``The news has come as a shock. We thought the government was only inviting the private sector to run and manage the hotel instead of giving away the ownership of the building,'' Chan said. ``It will become difficult to scrutinize the repair and maintenance of the building once ownership is in private hands.''

He said the council will press the government for more information on the proposal.

Chan's sentiments were echoed by Town Planning Board members Bernard Vincent Lim Wan-fung and Anna Kwong Sum-yee. They said the government should make the project more transparent and require the developer to submit the master layout plan to the board.

Chief town planner Fiona Lung Siu-yuk said yesterday that tenders will be called next year for the 50-year sale of Murray Building along with an adjacent 370-square-meter plot of government land to be used as public open space.

Lung said the tender and land lease will set out specific requirements and restrictions, including preserving the building's exterior design, its elevated driveway linking to Cotton Tree Drive and all the trees on the site.

Deputy Secretary for Development Gracie Foo Siu-wai admitted the deal will be a ``land sale,'' with the ownership of Murray Building and the site passing to the successful bidder for 50 years. The winning developer will not be required to submit its master layout to the Town Planning Board for approval, she said. There are no plans for a special mechanism to monitor the maintenance of the building after the sale or any restriction on a further sale or transfer, she said.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 06:38 PM   #2
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Opinion : Conservancy comes first
8 March 2010
South China Morning Post

I do not think there is any need for the government to give the Murray Building in Central to the developer who offers to pay the most ("Murray Building to go to top bid", March 3).

It should choose the candidate who offers the most comprehensive conservancy plan.

The Murray Building is a historic edifice in Hong Kong. Therefore it is very important to strike a balance between development and conservancy needs. But the conservancy needs must always have priority because so much of our past is disappearing and it will continue to do so if we focus only on development.

Kelly Tam, Kwun Tong
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Old June 18th, 2010, 04:51 PM   #3
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March 2, 2010
Government Press Release
Murray Building conversion tender set for 2011


Conversion plan: Government Architect Stephen Tang, Deputy Secretary for Development (Planning & Lands) Gracie Foo, and Chief Town Planner Fiona Lung outline the Murray Building Conversion project.


The public tendering exercise for the conversion of Murray Building into a hotel will start next year when its offices relocate to the new Central Government Complex at Tamar.

Speaking at a press briefing this afternoon, Deputy Secretary for Development (Planning & Lands) Gracie Foo said the building will be vacated by the end of next year.

"Statutory planning procedures will start in the coming months, amending the existing 'Government, Institution or Community' zone and 'Road' area to facilitate preservation of the building with architectural merits for hotel use. The public can submit views on the amendments to the Town Planning Board," she said.

Local and overseas developers and hotel operators are invited to submit tenders for the project. The land's lease term will be 50 years, from the date of the memorandum of agreement.

Design requirements

Technical submissions, including the Master Layout Plan, Landscape Master Plan, Pedestrian Connectivity Plan, Structural Feasibility Assessment for alternation or addition works, and Architectural Design for Additional Structures are required under the conditions of sale after the tender is awarded.

"A publicity drive will be launched in Hong Kong and overseas to allow potential developers and hotel operators to know more about the tender exercise," Ms Foo added.

The development must comply with conservation requirements and the successful bidder should preserve the main building setting and exterior design, the elevated road link from Cotton Tree Drive, and the land's trees.

The Government has proposed including a nearby government site in the project for the provision of public open space which will be designed, built, managed and maintained by the purchaser.

Development parameters

The proposed construction floor area of the main building, additional structures above rooftop and podium level will be 42,560, and 880 and 400 square metres. The minimum gross floor area for hotel rooms will be set with reference to the construction floor area.

Additional structures above the rooftop can be used to accommodate food, beverage and other ancillary facilities.

Additional structures above the podium should be in the southeastern portion.

All additional structures should follow a similar architectural language of the existing building while exposed utility plants should be screened effectively.

Public access

The development must fulfil transport requirements, turning the northern access road into one-way traffic from Garden Road to Cotton Tree Drive and maintaining the elevated road link.

To ensure public access, all existing facilities open for public access should be retained and public open space should also be provided.

The project must comply with environmental building design criteria, with a minimum of 20% green ratio and perimeter walls being planted.
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 02:00 PM   #4
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8/22













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Old April 19th, 2011, 07:12 PM   #5
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11/7/10











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Old April 20th, 2011, 03:30 AM   #6
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Old May 30th, 2013, 07:23 AM   #7
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Cashing in on history as Murray hotel tender opens
The Standard
Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The historic Murray Building site in Central, allocated for hotel development, was put up for tender by the government yesterday. It is expected to fetch at least HK$2.28 billion.

Developers can submit a tender for the 68,136-square-foot site - located on Cotton Tree Drive - between June 28 and October 25, the Lands Department said.

Market estimates put the cost of the plot with a maximum gross floor area of 325,072 sq ft at between HK$2.28 billion and HK$4.23 billion, or HK$7,000- HK$13,000 per buildable square foot.

The tender is part of the government's plan to preserve historic buildings in Central.

The Development Bureau earlier announced it would convert the 44-year- old Murray Building for hotel use.

The 27-story building, situated next to the Peak Tram station, was Hong Kong's tallest government building in 1969 when it served as the office of the government. By 2011, the office had been relocated to the new Central Government Complex at Tamar.

The government expects around 300 hotel rooms to be provided by the future owner, who is not allowed to demolish the property.

But Vincent Cheung Kiu-cho, national director of Greater China at Cushman & Wakefield, said it is unlikely the development will become a five-star hotel, which would require at least 400 rooms.

Cheung said the size of the 300 rooms could be as large as about 1,000 sq ft. Some floor area of the building would be wasted if no demolition was allowed.

He hopes around 604 hotel rooms will be offered, expecting the plot to fetch HK$4.23 billion, or HK$13,000 per buildable sq ft. This would mean a value of HK$7 million per room.

He estimates future room rates at HK$5,000-HK$7,000 per night, with reference to hotels in nearby Admiralty.

But Knight Frank executive director Alnwick Chan Chi-hing expects the plot to bring HK$7,800 per buildable sq ft.
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Old November 7th, 2013, 04:52 PM   #8
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New horizons for giant
The Standard
Thursday, November 07, 2013

Wheelock (0020) splashed out HK$4.4 billion to acquire the Murray Building in Central, which is to be turned into a hotel.

The price was about 35 percent higher than market estimates.

Also yesterday, Swire Properties (1972) struck across the harbor purchasing a site in Kowloon for the first time that is meant only for building offices. It paid HK$2.64 billion for a 46,253-square-foot plot located at the junction of Wang Chiu Road and Lam Lee Street in Kowloon Bay.

Experts had expected the 44-year-old Murray Building - now a 68,136 square- foot site on Cotton Tree Drive - to cost between HK$2.6 billion and HK$3.25 billion.

Outbidding 17 other tenders including one from Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016), the developer chaired by tycoon Peter Woo Kwong-ching snapped up the site for HK$13,535 per buildable square foot through its subsidiary Habour Centre Development (0051), the Lands Department said yesterday.

The firm will invest HK$7 billion on the project. The site yields a gross floor area of 325,073 sq ft.

Wheelock will not be allowed to demolish the building and should complete the hotel by the end of 2018 at the latest. About 30 percent of the Murray Building site has been allocated for retail facilities.

The government earlier expected the heritage hotel to contain about 300 rooms, which would mean the average cost to build a room would be HK$14.67 million - a hefty sum by hotel investment standards.

"The site is a unique property and possibly the last
remaining prime site available to build a hotel in Central," Wheelock and Habour Centre Development said in a joint statement. This will be HCDL's second hotel as it now holds the Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Surveyor Tony Chan Dung-ngok expected the room rate of the new hotel to stand at about HK$10,000 per night.

Nevertheless, a surveyor noted that Wheelock's bidding price was "very high" as he knew a consortium led by Sino Land (0083) had offered HK$3.25 billion.

But several other surveyors said the high bid was reasonable given its unique location. The 27-story building, situated next to the Peak Tram station, was Hong Kong's tallest government building in 1969.

It served as government offices including that of the Information Services Department, where press conferences and briefings were held. By 2011, the offices had been relocated to the new Central Government Complex at Tamar.

Meanwhile the site bought by Swire Properties in Kowloon East - with the firm outbidding 16 developers - was expected to have cost between HK$1.78 billion and HK$2.87 billion.

Swire paid HK$4,753 per buildable sq ft for the tendered site, which yields a gross floor area of 555,035 sq ft.

Also yesterday, Sino Land (0083) outbid eight other developers to win 86,898 sq ft site in Sai Kung for HK$850 million, slightly higher than market estimates.

With a gross floor area of 173,796 sq ft, the site located on Hong Tsuen Road in Sai Kung Tuk fetched HK$4,891 per buildable sq ft. At least 270 flats have to be built on the site.
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Old February 19th, 2014, 09:34 AM   #9
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Building revamp will benefit all
10 January 2014
China Daily

A couple of months ago, the award-winning (the Certificate of Merit of the Energy Efficient Building Award in 1994) Murray Building on 22 Cotton Tree Drive, in Central, was auctioned off by the Lands Department at HK$4.4 billion - the price was 35 percent higher than the estimated value. This enabled the building to become the most expensive piece of government land to be re-developed into a hotel.

Situated in a prime location, the Murray Building was designed by the then Public Works Department to be a government office building and completed in 1969. Although restricted by the government so only certain changes could be made to it and no reconstruction was allowed, the 27-story building remained attractive to many buyers. This showed that demand for good hotels in Central was still high.

I approve of the government's move to give away this prime location for hotel re-development. It generates a number of benefits.

First of all, the total rooms of luxury hotels in the main area of Central are currently less than 3,000. This means there is a severe shortage of them. In future, the re-developed Murray Building will be able to provide approximately 300 rooms, alleviating the shortage in the supply of luxury hotel rooms.

In addition, the government gains HK$4.4 billion in public money and can be more flexible in serving society. Moreover, the building can be preserved without spending government funds.

This will also help reduce pressure on providing more land for commercial and residential use. As we all know, Hong Kong suffers from a severe shortage of land, and the supply of industrial, commercial and residential buildings often fails to meet demand for it. There are currently about 69,000 hotel rooms in total in Hong Kong. But according to statistics provided by Economic Development Commission, in order to meet the growing demands of the tourist industry, the total amount of hotel rooms needs to be doubled within a decade. If all new hotels are located in recently developed areas then inevitably there will be serious competition among hotel and residential developments. The government has provided a good example in advocating the revitalization of old buildings in order to increase hotel supply. I believe this is an area we can focus more on.

This will also reduce government spending on newly developed areas - as these usually have lower rental and land values. Most importantly, it will help facilitate the development of new districts. The government has been looking at ways to develop new districts in Hong Kong to alleviate pressure on traditionally prosperous areas.

Some might wonder how a new commercial center can be established. One way of developing one quickly is to move government offices there. Government departments bring people together as well as environmental and communal facilities. The development can then be accelerated.

According to government planning, East Kowloon will be developed into another key commercial district. But this is only possible if the government can move out of three government buildings in Wan Chai to make room for expansion of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and then move the affected departments to East Kowloon. The beneficiaries of this will be the government and the convention and exhibition industry.

The author is vice-president of the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong.
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Old August 9th, 2015, 08:18 AM   #10
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Source : http://www.devb.gov.hk/tc/issues_in_...ing/index.html





Conversion Presentation
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Old November 14th, 2015, 07:46 AM   #11
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8/25


Murray [email protected] Kong by Chung Yin LIU, on Flickr
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Old January 6th, 2016, 07:24 AM   #12
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Hongkong: Stadtansichten by Alexander Stirn, on Flickr
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Old January 13th, 2016, 06:07 PM   #13
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By waddle from dcfever :

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Old December 9th, 2016, 01:09 PM   #14
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Murray Building Garden Road Hong Kong by Jamie Lloyd, on Flickr
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Old January 22nd, 2017, 12:10 PM   #15
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By Niccolo Hotels on youtube (Nov 2016)
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Old January 24th, 2017, 04:09 PM   #16
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Rendering by Foster+Partners.
Via zolimacitymag.com http://zolimacitymag.com/new-life-fo...rray-building/



Via businesstraveller.com https://www.businesstraveller.com/wp...ew-916x515.jpg

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Last edited by WhiteGerbera; January 24th, 2017 at 04:15 PM.
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Old January 30th, 2017, 12:40 PM   #17
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Scenes of solar shading model from Niccolo intro video, via youtube.



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Old June 11th, 2017, 10:12 AM   #18
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Hong Kong 2017 Kids by Jim Daniels, on Flickr
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Old October 12th, 2017, 04:19 AM   #19
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From The Murray, a Niccolo Hotel on Linkedin this week. An iconic part of Hong Kong’s heritage, the signature arches of The Murray, Hong Kong will be transformed into a landmark event space. Rendering by Foster+Partners.

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