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Old February 21st, 2009, 06:35 PM   #601
hkskyline
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紅磡灣臨海地王估值減20%
17 February 2009
星島日報

地政總署昨日公布紅磡灣填海區D1地盤的賣地章程,供發展商申請勾地,有測量師指出,受金融海嘯影響,該地樓面地價減值達兩成,由去年年初每方呎估值的八千元減至六千元,地皮身價由逾二十九億減至不足二十二億元。

估值21.9億元 可供試勾

是次推出賣地章程的紅磡灣填海區D1地盤,位於紅鸞道及愛景街交界,地皮面積為八萬零五百一十五方呎,可建樓面約三十六萬五千七百五十七方呎,其中地面三層可作商鋪發展,覆蓋率為六成,高度限制為主水平基準以上一百米。

該地皮於早年推出時,政府有關方面已指出,由於地皮臨海,在有關方面研究後,將地積比率由原來的九倍減至四點五倍,令可建樓面大減一半,而整體覆蓋率則限制在六成以內,而住宅覆蓋率的上限更限制在三成;另外在高度方面亦由一百二十米減至一百米,將發展兩座物業,同時限制在地盤內設二十米的觀景廊,最高為十五米;而紅磡灣臨海綜合用地,發展比率亦落實為四倍,高度則維持最高七十五米,以作酒店、零售及寫字樓發展。

美聯測量師行董事林子彬指出,受金融海嘯影響,該幅地皮的呎價將由原先預計的八千元跌兩成至近六千元,折合地價為二十一億九千四百萬元。因地皮在沿海附近,住宅建成後可享維港海景,雖然該地前臨的商業用地,未來亦會作出發展,不過由於該地已定出了高限,相信紅磡灣填海區D1地盤住宅未來落成後,高層單位亦可享海景,故他相信該地皮有一定吸引力。

同時推出月租作停車場

雖然該地現時已推出賣地章程供發展商試勾,不過,據了解,地政總署早前公布一批短期招租用地,當中紅磡灣填海區D1地盤亦包括在內,將於四月以每月續租形式推出招租,主要供新租客用作收費停車場使用。
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 01:49 PM   #602
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District councils seen as key to development of harbourfront
22 February 2009
South China Morning Post

District councils will be engaged to develop better waterfront designs and connect promenades around Victoria Harbour, the development chief said during a harbour boat tour with lawmakers yesterday.

Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor also said a harbour authority should be established to manage waterfront areas but that the private sector should manage them in the short term.

About 40 government officials and eight lawmakers from the Legislative Council's harbourfront planning subcommittee joined the three-hour tour.

Some waterfront areas, like those in Hung Hom and Yau Ma Tei, are occupied by private developments and public cargo-handling areas, posing difficulties to connecting waterfront areas into one promenade.

Waterfront areas in West Kowloon, Tsim Sha Tsui and Yau Ma Tei are blocked by public utilities such as a ventilation shaft and a refuse collection station, discouraging people from using them.

Officials said they faced challenges making a reality of good designs. "It would be good to have a beautiful bridge linking Kwun Tong and Kai Tak," said Kwan Pak-lam, Civil Engineering and Development Department project manager. "But the bridge would be too high and too steep for vehicles to run on."

District planning officer Brenda Au Kit-ying said there would be difficulties building a boardwalk under the Island Eastern Corridor in North Point because it would require denial of sea access to private land and a fire station. Controversy over land reclamation also might arise if the boardwalk were slightly wider than the expressway.

Harbourfront planning subcommittee chairman Patrick Lau Sau-shing said the Marine Department should solve some of the problems and he hoped the government would set up a more powerful authority to co-ordinate departments involved in waterfront management.

Mrs Lam said improvement works proposed by district councils for waterfront land would be given greater priority than short-term tenancies, even though the latter brought in more revenue.

Eastern District Council member Patrick Lau Hing-tat said his council would hold a design competition for waterfront areas near the old North Point Estate site this month.

Winning entries would be submitted to the government and harbourfront enhancement committee.
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Old March 4th, 2009, 07:02 AM   #603
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A sensible balance needed in development
25 February 2009
South China Morning Post

It is not often that an opportunity arises to defend naked self-interest as in the public interest. The owners of the International Finance Centre complex in Central have been quick to take advantage. There is obvious self-interest in their argument for the preservation of public open space that gives their tenants unobstructed views of the harbour and Central ferry piers. A spokesman for the owners says they are doing it for "public benefit". There is room for debate, however, as to whether their opposition to development balances the public interest.

This newspaper has been a staunch defender of public access to the harbour and an advocate of more open space to enhance living and working environments. They are causes that have won wide support from the public. It matters little whether one developer or property owner gains at the expense of another. It does matter, though, that we strike a sensible balance between development and the environment.

The government proposes a 30-storey office block in front of Two IFC and an 18-storey office or hotel building next door. IFC Development's alternative plan for 9,600 square metres of public open space with fountains and festival squares, restaurants, bars and performance areas, connecting the central business district with the harbourfront, is a worthy idea. A Development Bureau spokesman pointed out that it had to be balanced against other needs, like the demand for more office space when the economy rebounds.

The courts have drawn a line against any further reclamation of the harbour. Ironically it is past reclamation that has created an opportunity to make something of this prime piece of harbourfront open space. Perhaps we should now be thinking of smaller buildings. It is worth recalling too that Two IFC and the International Commerce Centre opposite on the Kowloon side of the harbour were envisaged as iconic city pillars. A 30-storey building in front of the 88-storey Two IFC will distract from that vision. There is an argument therefore to think of more imaginative ways to realise the value of land without sacrificing public and visual access. After all, the government responded to public demand for a more vibrant streetscape in the Central reclamation by splitting large buildings into smaller blocks. The answer may lie in taking advantage of the large land area and IFC's high podium levels to achieve low-rise floor space, and devoting more space, including roof area, to public access.
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Old March 4th, 2009, 06:52 PM   #604
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
A sensible balance needed in development
25 February 2009
South China Morning Post

The courts have drawn a line against any further reclamation of the harbour.
They did? Permanently?

I think developers and the HK Gov't should also begin to realize that (unfortunately) the mainland's economic hubs are also growing, and that if HK builds too much commercial space, it will one day have more office space than is needed there.
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Old March 5th, 2009, 12:20 AM   #605
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wowwwww me encanta
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Old March 6th, 2009, 07:25 PM   #606
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By Nikon_D50 from a Hong Kong photography forum :

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Old March 7th, 2009, 01:09 AM   #607
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Is the old Ritz building completely gone?
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Old March 7th, 2009, 02:07 AM   #608
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yep, and from what i could see last week there are already piling machines on site. but don't quote me on that
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Old March 14th, 2009, 05:43 PM   #609
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Waterfront parks come under fire
Survey finds leisure spots lack views, shade and refreshments

10 March 2009
South China Morning Post

Users of the city's waterfront parks are frustrated by the lack of harbour views, food and drinks, and shade, a study has shown.

Respondents to the survey, commissioned by concern group Designing Hong Kong, pointed to design shortcomings that left visitors sitting with their backs to the harbour or having the view blocked by obstacles such as breakwaters and steel bars.

"How can you keep visitors at the waterfront without food and comfortable seating?" group founding member Paul Zimmerman asked in commenting on the study, which looked at all 48 waterfront sites managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. "The study has provided us evidence {hellip} I hope the department will take action to improve the waterfront designs."

Researchers observed waterfront parks, sitting-out areas and promenades managed by the department in January and February this year.

The researchers, students of Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the United States, also gauged public views on the parks' designs by interviewing users.

They found that not every site provides visitors with a harbour view despite being close to the waterfront.

In a sitting-out area at the Lei Yue Mun Typhoon Shelter, visitors on benches provided by the department cannot appreciate the sea view because the benches are under a massive concrete breakwater.

A promenade in North Point fences people off from the harbour with steel bars for safety reasons.

While about 70 per cent of the sites offer a sea view, a similar proportion offer no food or drink. Although most sites had at least one form of public transport within 400 metres, only a fifth had signs to direct users to them from the transport stops.

In North Point, a small park hidden behind the headquarters of the Independent Commission Against Corruption can only be discovered by visitors curious enough to walk through a narrow path next to the headquarters. There are no signs until they reach the park.

The study also noted that few parks are connected with promenades or other sites along the waterfront. One example is Tsuen Wan Riviera Park, in which a gate was installed to stop visitors from entering the promenade connected to the park.

A common complaint by interviewees was the lack of shaded seating. Photographs taken by researchers as part of their observations show people resting on benches had brought umbrellas to provide shade from strong sun. The photographs also show the stark contrast of the empty waterfront and the crowded inner city.

Mr Zimmerman urged the government to give more funding and resources to the department for improving the quality of the waterfront, saying open space was increasingly in demand due to the needs of the ageing population.

The study commended the design of one park. It gave Hoi Sham Park in Kowloon City high scores for accessibility, connectivity, facilities and design quality.

Results of the study were submitted to the department last month and presented to the Harbourfront Enhancement Committee early this month.

A spokeswoman for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department said the findings were useful and they would consider the feasibility of the study's recommendations.
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Old March 17th, 2009, 06:16 PM   #610
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Coastline cycling track under study
12 March 2009
South China Morning Post

The government is exploring the possibility of building a cycling track that will connect the coastline between Central and Siu Sai Wan, development minister Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has confirmed in writing to lawmakers.

She said the Development Bureau was conducting two studies that would explore proposals to introduce eco-friendly transport systems to the promenade, including a cycling track and electric trolley buses.

But sources from the Planning Department said sections of the track might fall outside the waterfront area as the coastline was broken at certain spots in North Point and Wan Chai.

Mrs Lam said in a document submitted to the Legislative Council yesterday that a study of the eastern harbourfront, from Siu Sai Wan to the east of the Convention and Exhibition Centre, would begin in the next few months and be completed late next year. An outline of the Central harbourfront development is expected to be ready by the end of this year.

The department will consult Eastern District Council by the end of this month about the possible alignment of a cycling track.

Councillors had earlier proposed linking the break-off points by building the track on a boardwalk under the Island Eastern Corridor.

Mrs Lam said the government would examine the compatibility of the track with nearby land uses, associated facilities and implications for road safety and traffic management. A government source said it was unlikely that the cycling track would be connected to district centres. "The track is meant to be a leisure facility inside the promenade, not a means of transportation for people to go to work. Besides, there are many developments around the harbourfront," the source said.

The Hong Kong Cycling Alliance welcomed the plan.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 07:52 AM   #611
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Central to SIU SAI WAN!?!?!?!?! For real!?
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Old April 7th, 2009, 01:09 PM   #612
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does anyone know the final reclamation plan for wanchai reclamation phase 2? do they just have temporary reclamation for building the bypass and no new permanent reclamation at all?
i can't seems to find the final diagram for it.
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Old April 10th, 2009, 03:49 PM   #613
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Opinion : We must ensure that our precious harbourfront is protected
5 April 2009
South China Morning Post

For the sake of our environment we need to have better urban planning policies regarding Hong Kong's waterfront. If more waterfront areas are overdeveloped, then we will repeat what happened in Kowloon East, where air flows to the inland were blocked.

If we want to create a high-quality and vibrant urban living environment in Hong Kong, air quality should be a primary concern.

Even foreigners have expressed concern over air pollution levels.

With regard to its developments, the Urban Renewal Authority has been heavily criticised by some people who argue that its role should be reviewed.

The URA only accelerates the redevelopment process. The authority is not a city planner, as such. It acts as a bridge between the government and the community.

However some of its aspects could be reviewed, such as the length of time it takes to carry out its work.

The final and important decisions are made by the secretary for development, and I think Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor needs to have the right mindset to ensure she strikes the right balance between the needs of society, the environment and culture.

We can learn from what has been done in Beijing and Shanghai. They have many state-of-the-art skyscrapers.

These buildings look exceptional, but there is weak linkage with the local environment and cultural heritage.

Similarly, in Hong Kong, the URA only focuses on the redevelopment of buildings from economic and administrative perspectives without holistic consideration to environmental and cultural aspects.

I wish our legislators could force Mrs Lam to make the protection of our harbour her highest priority.

Just look at London and New York. A world-class city needs a world-class landscape and the world-class highlight of Hong Kong is our harbour.

Stefan Lam Kit-yung, Tuen Mun
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Old May 4th, 2009, 01:40 PM   #614
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5/2







































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Old May 4th, 2009, 06:45 PM   #615
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BOC, CKC and AIG looks lonely without Ritz Carlton...
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Old May 5th, 2009, 09:36 AM   #616
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Opinion : Bold visions for Central waterfront revamp fall by the wayside
3 May 2009
South China Morning Post

As you wrote ("Keep the bureaucrats away from arts hub", April 19), Sir David Tang Wing-cheung "performed an admirable public service" in conducting the forum regarding West Kowloon on April 18. He illustrated what the government might have done years ago: engage an expert team, under effective leadership, to tackle the core issue of software.

Meanwhile, Central waterfront - arguably, the most important of the harbour's three large sites - wanders forward under the direction of the Planning Department. True to the saying "To a hammer every problem looks like a nail", it has produced a scheme whose main public features are a large road and a waterfront promenade that looks about as "world class" (government's stated vision) as the one at Tsim Sha Tsui.

I get the point of your headline, but I think the crucial change - if we hope to get such strategic projects right - is introducing a process that engages relevant experts to envision one or more viable concepts at the outset. That process could be run by a senior bureaucrat or a trusted appointee.

In its early stages, a large, creative project needs a producer/champion like Sir David, who knows how to pull expertise and talent together, generate ideas, then produce a compelling concept that is greater than the sum of its parts.

One frustration experienced by the hundreds of professionals who have volunteered thousands of hours on Central waterfront is seeing good ideas disappear into the general confusion of the Planning Department's "public engagement" process. I have gone so far as to put some of my ideas on the internet (www.queenspier.com), hoping they might get adopted.

To some extent, I sympathise with the department. It has to, among other things, plan roads and infrastructure. I suspect that its work is complicated enough without heading off on creative tangents.

But who, then, is responsible for realising the true potential of a site and delivering more than efficient roads and infrastructure? With the Central waterfront, why can't someone in government promote a process that produces a concept that has the potential to evolve into something more than the world-class mediocrity now in the making?

As Exco convenor Leung Chun-ying said about the waterfront on September 26, 2007 ("Harbour masters"), "There is no room for mistakes, afterthoughts or short-term solutions".

Dick Groves, Wan Chai
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Old May 18th, 2009, 04:40 PM   #617
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Work to start on harbour promenade at Quarry Bay
14 May 2009
South China Morning Post

The government will soon start construction of a 600-metre-long promenade at Quarry Bay.

The head of the Development Bureau's harbour unit, Alice Cheung Yan-wai, told the Harbourfront Enhancement Committee yesterday that the temporary promenade along Hoi Yu Street would be the unit's first project to open up the harbourfront for public use since it was set up last month.

Towngas and the owner of the Eastern Cross-Harbour Tunnel had agreed to open part of the land to the public.

Committee member Patrick Lau Hing-tat - who is also a member of the Eastern District Council, which suggested the promenade plan - said a simple park design would be used so the promenade could be opened as soon as possible.

The promenade, in front of the Island East Corridor, will run from Quarry Bay Park to the North Point Police Station.
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Old May 20th, 2009, 02:14 PM   #618
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Gov't Press Release:
SDEV (Secretary for Development) speaks about Central-Wan Chai Bypass and Wan Chai Development Phase II projects
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 01:38 PM   #619
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Gov't Press Release:
Authorisation of Central-Wan Chai Bypass and Island Eastern Corridor Link gazetted
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 08:09 AM   #620
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HK$28b bypass gets the green light
Work on Central-Wan Chai link to start by end of year; activists may go to courts again

21 May 2009
South China Morning Post

Construction of the long-planned Central-Wan Chai bypass will start by the end of the year, the government announced yesterday.

It said the HK$28 billion project, after clearing all its legal obstacles, was approved by the Executive Council on Tuesday and would be submitted to the Legislative Council, to seek funding.

But the Society for the Protection of the Harbour, which has mounted a series of legal challenges to the project, warned it would not rule out further legal action unless the government explained clearly why the project was not being co-ordinated with the Sha Tin-to-Central rail link, part of which would follow a similar route.

The 4.5km bypass, along the northern shore of Hong Kong Island, consisting mainly of a six-lane tunnel, will involve permanent reclamation of 12.7 hectares of the harbour and temporary reclamation of the Causeway Bay typhoon shelter.

The route will go underground at the Rumsey Street flyover near the Two IFC tower, pass Admiralty and the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, emerge near the typhoon shelter and connect to the Island Eastern Corridor.

"There is a compelling need for the bypass to ease the serious traffic congestion along Connaught Road Central, Harcourt Road and Gloucester Road," a government spokesman said, adding that a journey from Central to Causeway Bay took at least 15 minutes, and much more during peak hours "If nothing is done, by 2017 the route will take 45 minutes."

A byproduct of the bypass will be a HK$4.6 billion package of developments in northern Wan Chai and North Point on the reclaimed land after construction is completed.

Most of the land along the waterfront would be developed into a public promenade, the spokesman said, and would join the new Central harbourfront, now under construction.

To improve pedestrian links between the adjoining land and the waterfront, five footpaths, a footbridge and three landscaped decks would be built in Wan Chai and North Point.

The bypass project was halted last year after a court ruled, in a judicial review sought by the Society for the Protection of the Harbour, that the government had failed to establish "an overriding public need" for the temporary reclamation work at the Causeway Bay typhoon shelter. The government was then forced to scale down the reclamation size and conduct an extensive public consultation to establish such a need.

The amended scope of reclamation was the smallest possible, Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said, adding: "I hope the project can commence as all disputes are now coming to an end." But the harbour society's adviser, Winston Chu Ka-sun, said the dispute was not over yet. He said the Sha Tin-to-Central link, now being planned, should share the same tube as the road to avoid further reclamation, and the government owed the public and lawmakers an explanation on why this would not happen. "Litigation is the last thing I want to do, but if there is no other way, I will do that," he said.

The government spokesman said the rail project was still subject to public consultation and objections, while the bypass could not wait. "If the railway requires any reclamation in future, it will have to justify the need," he said, adding that the government had been co-ordinating with the MTR Corp on the design.

Democratic Party lawmaker Lee Wing-tat said he basically supported the project but in seeking funding approval the government should communicate with concern groups.

The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong and the Liberal Party also supported the project.
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