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Old June 11th, 2013, 12:13 PM   #1621
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High hopes after Lantau zipline group tries again
The Standard
Wednesday, June 05, 2013

A British tour group is proposing new locations for a zipline tour on Lantau in its latest attempt to gain approval for the project.

The group, Flying Fox, is a commercial partner of popular cable car attraction Ngong Ping 360.

An advisory committee of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department successfully opposed the proposal last year.

The Country and Marine Parks Board claimed the Flying Fox proposal to promote an "ecological tour" was only a gimmick and the project just an exciting amusement park game.

The group had proposed a zipline tour near Ngong Ping 360, involving the construction of four new stations for customers.

Ngong Ping 360 managing director Wilson Shao Shing-ming said the latest plan will include locations that are different from the ones rejected earlier by the board.

"Three new sites will be in the plan, one of which will be located at the Ngong Ping market, as it is well-equipped with facilities such as a ticket office, restrooms and restaurants."

Ziplines are cables suspended above slopes to which a pulley and harness are attached. They will be built at a height of 404 to 432 meters with a suspension bridge 15 to 20m above ground.

Flying Fox earlier proposed charging about HK$150 for each customer, and Shao said this is still the case.

Meanwhile, the cable car attraction will be down for three weeks in September to allow for regular maintenance.

A 12m-track rope in the system will be moved from one section to another to prevent it coming under strain from parts that are in contact with the arms of cable cars.

"This is the first time for this to be done since the system began operating in 2006," Weller Chan Kwok-wai, head of cable car operations, said.

The cable car manufacturer in Italy will assist in the work.

Chan also dismissed a report in a Chinese language newspaper that rust was found on cables and parts of cars, saying it was only dirt.

"Our cable cars and the entire system are made from aluminum alloy and have an anti-rust coating. It is very unlikely to be affected by rust," he said.

"Lubricant oil is applied on the track ropes every six months to help the cars run smoothly. The oil is thick and dark brown and may fall on the cars and give the appearance of rust. But it can be cleaned and will not affect the safety of the entire operation."
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Old June 13th, 2013, 11:51 AM   #1622
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PLA headquarters under renovation
May 30

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Old June 25th, 2013, 08:40 PM   #1623
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Villagers shave heads in park protest
The Standard
Friday, June 21, 2013



A village chief and three others shaved their heads to protest against a government plan to include Sai Wan Village in the Sai Kung East Country Park.

At the same time, more than 600 villagers in the area gathered at the Heung Yee Kuk Building in Sha Tin to voice their concerns.

"Defend our homes" and `Don't surrender" the villagers chanted yesterday as Lai Yan had his head shaved.

The Sai Wan villagers said they will apply for legal aid in order to seek a judicial review if the government does not scrap the plan within a month.

Heung Yee Kuk chairman Lau Wong-fat claimed the government six months ago published a plan to include 17 hectares of land in Sai Kung East Country Park without consulting the rural body.

Sai Wan Village in Tai Long Sai Wan is included in the controversial plan.

Lau said that including the village in a country park will freeze development in the area and this is unfair to residents.

"If the government wants to preserve the area, then it should compensate the villagers or offer them alternative land sites," he said. "Environmental protection should not be shouldered by the villagers alone."

There are about a dozen homes in Sai Wan Village, where residents have to walk half an hour before being able to reach public transport to the urban area.

Lau said there may only be a few villagers but Tai Long Sai Wan is one of the top destinations for local hikers.

He said he has raised the opposition of the kuk to the Country and Marine Parks Board but the matter was scheduled for another meeting. The board is under the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.

Lau described the villagers as very upset and said they may have to take to the streets to air their grievances.

"The government appears to have little idea when it comes to the needs and concerns of the indigenous villagers," he said.

"If the government had communicated more with the villagers, they would not have taken such radical action."

Banners opposing the government plan were strung up at the entrance to the village.

A resident named Lai Mau said he too is deeply unhappy with the park move.

"We will not be able to live here anymore if the plan goes ahead," Lai said.

"The government should compensate us."

But another villager supports the move, saying it will protect the environment.

"It's good to turn it into a country park so that no more buildings will go up," she said.

"It will not be as beautiful if it is polluted."
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Old June 26th, 2013, 01:17 PM   #1624
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(Wanchai) Chung Wui Mansion post-renovation

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Old June 26th, 2013, 09:02 PM   #1625
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Chinachem wins $3b site bid
The Standard
Wednesday, June 26, 2013





Chinachem Group snapped up the largest site near the Tseung Kwan O MTR station at a lower-than-expected price of HK$3 billion yesterday.

There were reports that some homeowners in the area immediately reduced their asking prices. The price of a 677-square-foot unit at Lohas Park was cut by 6 percent, or HK$400,000, to HK$5.9 million.

A 363-sq-ft unit at Metro City Plaza in nearby Po Lam is now seeking HK$4.18 million after its asking price was slashed by 7 percent, or HK$320,000.

Prices paid for the two plots that were auctioned in the past six weeks have come in below expectations. This indicates that developers are anxious over the latest Federal Reserve announcement that it may scale back its stimulus programs.

The Tseung Kwan O Area 68B1 plot, which will allow a gross floor area of 821,035 sq ft to be built, attracted only seven bids.

It went to privately held Chinachem for HK$3 billion, lower than surveyors' estimates of HK$3.4-HK$3.8 billion. The company is set to build no less than 840 units on the site.

At HK$3,653 per gross sq ft, the price was 15 percent lower than what Wheelock (0020) paid in April for the nearby plot 65C1.

Chinachem obtained a site at West Rail Long Ping Station South earlier this month at a "bargain" HK$2,876 psf, while Wheelock took an upscale residential site in Ho Man Tin for HK$3.8 billion.

Centaline Surveyors director James Cheung King-tat said developers are "clearly not bullish about the market."

Chinachem has disclosed plans to spend HK$7 billion, including land cost, to build homes and a shopping mall on the Tseung Kwan O site.

Meanwhile, Wah Yip Holdings - controlled by Cheung Kong (0001) former executive Albert Chow Nin-mow - clinched a site in So Kwun Wat for HK$150 million.
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Old July 4th, 2013, 09:03 AM   #1626
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No thanks, Uncle Four
The Standard
Thursday, July 04, 2013

The government has rejected billionaire Lee Shau-kee's offer of a donation of farmland for building affordable homes and instead suggested he work with non- profit organizations - a move widely believed to have been taken to avoid giving any impression of collusion.

The chairman of Henderson Land (0012) said he would talk to NGOs and that he plans to gather 10 billionaires to help the one million people in Hong Kong who neither own a home nor are covered by social security protection. Lee, popularly known as Uncle Four, made the proposal in January.

But Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po yesterday said "ideals and conditions of land donors vary."

It would be best, he said, for interested donors to approach non-profit organizations "to take forward the projects to realize their ideals."

Chan said the Housing Society is an appropriate body to handle such proposals and it can expect to be backed up by the government.

Lee said yesterday he "understands the government's difficulties," and will partner with NGOs to develop the land.

"I thought as many as 30,000 people could benefit from my idea, but there are concerns about many things, from planning to the environment. "One million people [in Hong Kong] do not own their own homes and are leading difficult lives. I suggested we build homes to help these people to help reduce the social inequality."

Henderson is the largest holder of farmland, with 42.8 million square feet in its land bank. Last month, Lee
proposed a donation of seven agricultural plots on which 10,000 small homes could be built.

In return, he asked the government to waive the land premium for converting the sites into residential use. The proposed homes would have been sold to young people for about HK$1 million, requiring no downpayment.

Apart from Lee, New World Development (0017) chairman Henry Cheng Kar-shun also said land donation was "a good idea."

But yesterday, Cheng declined to comment on whether the firm or he had been in touch with officials on the matter.

Housing Society chief executive Wong Kit-loong said it has yet to receive any proposal from developers, but will be happy to study the possibilities.

He said in evaluating any plan, the society will have to consider several factors, including how much land premium the government will charge and the planning conditions of the sites.

Lawmakers from across the political spectrum are disappointed by the government's decision.

Democratic Party's Sin Chung-kai said the government may be trying to avoid being viewed as colluding with the business community but it should instead aim for a win-win outcome rather than pass the ball to non- profitable organizations.

Chan Yuen-han of Federation of Trade Unions suggested the government come up with a set of open criteria for accepting land donations, rather than rejecting the idea altogether.

But Long Term Housing Policy Steering Committee member Michael Choi Ngai-min said the government's housing policy is to cater to the needs of people of all ages, and Lee's targeting the young generation will require extra discussion.

Waiving downpayments contradicts government efforts to control risks for lenders to deter property bubble, people familiar with the government's thinking said.

Henderson shares plunged 3.7 percent to HK$44.90, as hopes for boosting the firm's valuation through farmland donations vanished.
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Old July 8th, 2013, 01:08 PM   #1627
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Opposition puts housing plans at risk
The Standard
Monday, July 08, 2013

Nine plots to be put up for sale this year by the government face opposition, threatening the orderly launch of fresh housing.

The sites, measuring a total of 855,320 square feet, are among the 10 plots now going through land planning processes.

All nine, which together will yield a maximum gross floor area of 3.05 million sq ft, are expected to be designated for residential use.

The 94,726-sq-ft plot on Renfrew Road, Kowloon Tong, faces the strongest opposition.

It is located at the former Lee Wai Lee Technical Institute. About 99 percent of the total 25,877 comments on the plot submitted to the Town Planning Board expressed opposition to the government's plan to turn it into luxury housing.

Most comments expressed support for Hong Kong Baptist University's plan to use the site to build its school for Chinese medicine.

Midland Surveyors director Alvin Lam Tsz-pun said 400 luxury homes could be built on the site, fetching about HK$6.39 billion.

Meanwhile, Sino Land (0083) remains opposed to the government's plan to turn two seaside plots at Pak Shek Kok in Tai Po - each measuring 204,522 sq ft - into housing projects.

Future developments would block the view of new units to be built at Sino Land scheme Providence Bay. Sino executive director Gordon Lee Ching-keung has urged the government to re- consider the plan.
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Old July 11th, 2013, 09:28 AM   #1628
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Wheelock bags last south TKO plot
The Standard
Thursday, July 11, 2013



Wheelock Properties (0020) clinched its fourth plot at Tseung Kwan O South for HK$3.67 billion yesterday.

The site, 68B2, measuring 295,160 square feet, was tipped to fetch a price from HK$3.25 billion to HK$3.59 billion.

It was the last available plot in the area.

With a gross floor area of 855,964 sq ft, the site was sold for about HK$4,288 per buildable sq ft.

Last month, Chinachem Group bought the nearby 68B1 site at a lower-than-expected HK$3,654 psf. Since then, surveyors have lowered the estimate of 68B2, which was initially expected to fetch between HK$3.97 billion and HK$4.28 billion.

At least 875 units have to be built on the plot, with up to 708,379 sq ft to be reserved for residential use.

Vice chairman Stewart Leung Chi-kin said Wheelock was determined to acquire the plot since 75 to 80 percent of units in the development can have seaviews.

A total of HK$8 billion, including the land price, will be invested in the project, he added.

Leung said the project will consist mainly of two- and three-bedroom units, measuring 500 to 800 sq ft.

Vincent Cheung Kiu-cho, national director of Greater China at Cushman & Wakefield, said the price of HK$4,288 per buildable sq ft is still relatively low compared to other seaside plots in Tseung Kwan O.

Cheung expects future units there to fetch about HK$13,000 per sellable sq ft.

Meanwhile, John Swire and Sons (HK) bought a 15,480 sq ft plot on Lantau at a surprisingly high price of HK$93.5 million.

The South Lantau Road site was expected to cost up to HK$37 million. It attracted 27 bids.

A spokeswoman said the plot, which yields 6,191 sq ft, is for the company's own use.
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Old July 15th, 2013, 04:53 AM   #1629
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Wheelock lords it over TKO with four in bag
The Standard
Monday, July 15, 2013

Wheelock (0020) has become the biggest developer in Tseung Kwan O South with the clinching of its latest site putting four plots worth nearly HK$10 billion in its land bank.

The sites will yield a total gross floor area of more than 2.34 million square meters and can provide about 2,400 new homes.

Wheelock's first project in the area is expected to go on sale by the middle of next year.

Managing director Ricky Wong Kwong-yiu said HK$8 billion to HK$8.5 billion will be invested in the latest plot acquired.

With sea views on three sides, Area 68B2 has the most potential.

The 875 units to be built will include 30 full-seaview houses to meet demand after Kowloon East is turned into a business district similar to Central and Admiralty, Wong told Sing Tao Daily, sister paper of The Standard.

The project will take up to three years to complete, he said. Wong's vision is to turn Tseung Kwan O into another Island East.

"Tai Koo Shing and Kornhill have altogether about 19,000 units. A total of about 18,000 units could be built on the 12 plots the government sold recently in Tseung Kwan O," he said.

"The density should be lower than in Quarry Bay."

Wheelock's first purchase in the area was plot 66B2 in January last year.

Foundations are currently being laid and building work on the site is expected to complete by mid-2014, Wong said.

On lower-than-expected bids for recent land sales, Wong said the government's active land sales policy has calmed prices.

On June 25, Chinachem Group bought plot 68B1 in Tseung Kwan O for HK$3 billion, or a modest HK$3,641 per square meter.
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Old July 21st, 2013, 07:36 AM   #1630
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MTR Admiralty Station
Harcourt Garden has been demolished to build an expanded Admiralty Station for the South Island Line (to Aberdeen and Ap Lei Chau).

By gibson355300 from dcfever :

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Old July 21st, 2013, 07:50 AM   #1631
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LCQ14: Demand and supply of commercial sites
Government Press Release
Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Following is a question by the Hon James Tien and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, in the Legislative Council today (July 3):

Question:

Quite a number of members of the business and industrial sectors have relayed to me that the inadequate supply of commercial sites over the past few years has caused the prices and rent levels of commercial properties, such as offices of various grades, shops and hotels, to rise continuously due to the shortfall in supply, resulting in higher business operation costs and commodity prices. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the respective areas of commercial sites put up for sale/made available for application for sale and those sold by the Government, as well as the floor area for commercial uses involved, in each year since 2000 (with a tabulated breakdown by type of commercial use);

(b) of the number of commercial sites to be put up for sale and the floor area for commercial uses involved in each year from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018, according to the Government's projection (with a tabulated breakdown by type of commercial uses);

(c) whether it has studied the impact of the supply of commercial sites in the past decade on the prices and rent levels of various types of commercial properties; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(d) whether it has assessed the demand for various types of commercial sites in the coming decade; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(e) given that the Government plans to convert the current government office buildings and "Government, Institution or Community" sites in Central and Wanchai for commercial uses, develop a commercial district on the north of the Airport Island, and continue to take forward the transformation of Kowloon East into a new core business district of Hong Kong, of the anticipated commencement and completion time of such projects respectively, as well as the floor area for commercial uses which will be provided (with a breakdown by type of commercial uses); and

(f) as the Chief Executive has mentioned in the 2013 Policy Address that the "Government will address the shortage of commercial land supply in a holistic, innovative and decisive manner", of the specific plans the authorities have in place to tackle the shortage of commercial sites, other than those initiatives mentioned in (e), as well as the objectives and timetables of such plans?

Reply:

President,

To maintain Hong Kong's position as a leading financial and commercial centre, the 2013 Policy Address has set out that the Government would continue to adopt a multi-pronged approach to increase the supply of commercial land and facilities so as to facilitate the further development of different economic activities, thereby supporting the continued economic growth of Hong Kong.

My reply to the question raised by the Honourable James Tien is as follows:

(a) The area of sites for various commercial uses (including hotel and office) available for sale in the Land Sale Programme from 1999-2000 to 2013-2014, the area of such sites sold and their maximum gross floor area (GFA) permissible for commercial uses as at June 17, 2013 are set out in the Annex. It should be noted that, depending on the lease conditions and other applicable requirements, the actual commercial GFA provided by individual developers may not be the same as the figures set out above.

(b) The 2013-14 Land Sale Programme (LSP) offers a total of nine commercial/business sites, which are capable of providing about 330 000 square metres of GFA. In the first two quarters of 2013-14, the Government has sold/will sell two commercial/business sites, which are capable of providing about 67 000 square metres of GFA. The outcome of the Government's sale of land is subject to market factors. The Government does not estimate the number of commercial/business sites expected to be sold and the commercial floor area involved after 2013-14. The Government will continue to announce the annual LSP in each financial year and set out sites anticipated to be available for sale, and make quarterly announcements of sites to be made available for sale in the respective quarters in advance. This provides a transparent and certain land supply programme to the market, and at the same time allows the Government to respond to market demand and adjust the pace of land sale, in order to maintain a steady supply of land to the market.

(c) The change in commercial land supply may affect the demand and supply balance of commercial properties (including offices, shops and hotels, etc.), thereby affecting their rents and prices. Nevertheless, prices and rents of commercial properties are also subject to the influences of other factors, including the local macroeconomic performance and inflation, operating situations of different sectors, interest rates and international capital flows, etc. In this connection, the Government has not carried out any specific study on the impact of the supply of commercial sites in the past decade on the prices and rents of various types of commercial properties.

(d) The Hong Kong 2030: Planning Vision and Strategy (HK2030 Study) provides a long-term planning strategy on various types of land uses. According to the forecast of the HK2030 Study, the Central Business District Grade A office space has to increase by 2.7 million square metres in GFA from 2003 to 2030 in order to meet market requirements. As regards other commercial uses (such as the retail industry and offices of other different grades), since their development is essentially market-driven and their land demand is more sensitive to market fluctuations, we have not made any estimate of the demand for these commercial sites in the next 10 years.

(e) and (f) To meet the housing and various other needs of Hong Kong residents, the 2013 Policy Address has clearly set out the Government's overall policy blueprint for increasing land supply in future, which includes commercial sites and facilities. Apart from continuing the proactive land sale approach to increase the supply of commercial/business sites, the Government is actively implementing a series of measures as described in the following paragraphs with a view to increasing the supply of various commercial sites and facilities.

First, the measures on energizing Kowloon East will help develop Kowloon East into another core business district of Hong Kong and in turn increase office supply. According to the 2013 Policy Address, Kowloon East has the potential to supply an additional office floor area of about 4 million square metres. To expedite the process, we are considering relocating the existing government facilities in the two action areas of Kowloon East and making available some vacant and appropriate sites in the action areas to the market as soon as possible. It is expected that these two action areas will be able to provide about 500 000 square metres of floor area in total for office and other uses. The Government plans to put on sale a vacant government land site in the action area of Kowloon Bay in the 2013-14 financial year. The said site will be made available to the market upon approval of rezoning.

Besides, in the Kai Tak Development Area, 14 sites are zoned "Commercial" under the Kai Tak Outline Zoning Plan. Five of them are located at the Kai Tak City Centre on the North Apron area, another three are in the South Apron Corner at the Kowloon Bay waterfront, and the remaining six are located in the Runway Area. These sites, with a total area of about 14 hectares, are reserved for commercial uses, including office, shop, hotel, etc. They will be made available to the market by phases after the relevant infrastructure works are progressively completed.

To tie in with the transformation of Kowloon East into a business district and meet the public expectation for increasing housing supply in urban areas, we are reviewing the land use planning in the Kai Tak Development Area, including exploring the scope for increasing office and housing supply in the North Apron area, the South Apron area and the former Runway Area, without compromising the planning vision and the land supply in the coming five years. The Government will conduct a detailed technical study to assess the impacts on the neighbouring areas from the environmental and traffic aspects, etc. Public consultation will be carried out when the results of the study are available.

Hong Kong International Airport is vital to Hong Kong's economic development. To support the long-term economic development of Hong Kong, we will ensure the optimal use of the limited land on the Airport Island. The Airport Authority (AA) is now carrying out a study on the development strategies of the north commercial district of the airport. Relevant planning work is expected to be completed in late 2013. In mapping out the development strategies of the north commercial district, AA will take into account the planning of the three-runway system, so that the whole development can attain maximum economic benefits.

In long-term planning, the Planning Department will examine the further development opportunities in the New Territories North, including the areas along major transport routes near Lok Ma Chau and Man Kam To Control Points, and the development corridor along the connecting road leading to the new Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai boundary control point. We will also examine the opportunities for commercial development at these development corridors. The Government plans to appoint consultants in early 2014 for undertaking the relevant study. Besides, the Tung Chung New Town Extension Study, currently undergoing the public engagement process, has also recommended taking advantage of the transport infrastructure in North Lantau, especially Tung Chung, to provide land for commercial development.

Furthermore, under the long-term planning for the New Central Habourfront, we expect that over 130 000 square metres of new floor space will be provided for retail uses, of which about 100 000 square metres of new floor space for retail uses will be within Site 3. The said planning will also provide about 90 000 square metres of new floor space for office use. The planned development will gradually commence upon the completion of the relevant infrastructure works and relocation of existing facilities in Central and Wan Chai.

At the same time, we are also planning to commence a pilot study on "Underground Space Development in the Urban Areas" the soonest in end 2013 to further explore the potential of developing underground spaces in the urban areas of Hong Kong. Our main objectives include creating more urban areas for commercial or other developments; and enhancing connectivity of the urban areas through linking of existing and planned buildings and facilities with underground developments. The study will identify some representative areas for detailed assessments.

Furthermore, the Government announced in October 2009 a set of measures to facilitate the redevelopment and wholesale conversion of old industrial buildings. These measures came into effect on April 1, 2010, aiming at providing more floor space for suitable uses to meet Hong Kong's changing social and economic needs. Up to the end of May this year, the Lands Department approved 70 applications under the measures, and the projects concerned have a capacity to provide a total GFA of about 700 000 square metres of converted or new floor space for different non-industrial uses.

Meanwhile, the current government accommodation policy is to relocate, if feasible, government offices which are not location bound out of high-value areas (including core business districts), and as far as possible make use of government-owned properties to reprovision government offices accommodated in leased premises. This will not only provide long-term office accommodation for the departments concerned, but will also reduce rental expenditure. The properties so released will in turn help increase the supply of commercial office space, thereby facilitating the development of different types of economic activities.

Recent initiatives in this connection include the sale of government-owned properties covering a portion of the 3rd floor and the whole of the 4th, 5th and 6th floors of Citibank Tower, No. 3 Garden Road, Hong Kong (which was formerly used by the Legislative Council Secretariat as its office). The Government already signed the Sale and Purchase Agreement in May this year. Upon completion of the transaction, about 6 200 square metres of Grade A office space in Central will be available in the market for commercial uses.

Besides, similar initiatives of releasing office space by the Government in the next few years include:

(1) Relocation of the Trade and Industry Department (TID): The Government is now carrying out the construction works for the Trade and Industry Tower at the Kai Tak Development Area, which is expected to be completed by end 2014. Upon relocation of TID to the new tower, more than 18 000 square metres of floor area in the Trade and Industry Department Tower in Mong Kok will be released for commercial uses. Meanwhile, among the 33 000 square metres in net operating floor area of the new tower, about half will be used for reprovisioning of government offices accommodated in leased premises mostly in South East Kowloon;

(2) Relocation of the Department of Justice (DoJ) to the former Central Government Offices (CGO): Upon relocation of DoJ to the former CGO by stages starting from 2015, its existing offices in the Queensway Government Offices (QGO) and leased premises will gradually be vacated. Offices vacated in QGO will mainly be used for reprovisioning of other government offices currently accommodated in leased premises in Central and Admiralty;

(3) Reprovisioning of the three government office buildings at the Wan Chai waterfront: The Government is now actively planning for the reprovisioning of the three government office buildings at the Wan Chai waterfront and gradually moving the affected departments to the new government office buildings in non-core business districts. After the completion of the new government office buildings, we will arrange for the departments to move out of the three government office buildings at the Wan Chai waterfront by stages such that the vacated floor area can be released as soon as possible for renting out, thereby increasing the supply of Grade A office space in Wan Chai. After the completion of the entire relocation plan, we will consider putting the three government office buildings on sale at an appropriate time. It is expected that 175 000 square metres of floor area will then be made available for commercial uses; and

(4) Construction of the West Kowloon Government Offices (WKGO): The proposed WKGO will provide a total net operating floor area of 50 000 square metres, of which about 30 000 square metres will be used for reprovisioning some of the offices of the Buildings Department, Civil Engineering and Development Department and Transport Department which are currently accommodated in leased premises in Wan Chai, Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kok and Kwun Tong. It will also provide office space for reprovisioning other departments in the three government office buildings at the Wan Chai waterfront.

Furthermore, the Government plans to convert suitable "Government, Institution or Community" (G/IC) sites in the existing core business districts, including the Murray Road Car Park in Central and the Rumsey Street Car Park in Sheung Wan, to commercial uses. Where possible, the Government will promptly release other suitable G/IC sites for commercial uses.

In conclusion, the Government will continue to monitor closely the demand and supply situation of commercial sites and facilities in Hong Kong, and proactively pursue appropriate land use planning, relevant urban design, district enhancement works, and convenient transport networks, with a view to meeting the market demand and continuing to strengthen Hong Kong's competitiveness.

Annex : http://gia.info.gov.hk/general/20130...280_113892.pdf
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Old July 21st, 2013, 01:07 PM   #1632
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Why don't you understand hkskyline ???? we want updates and photos of the developements and not articles about what is doing their government
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Old July 21st, 2013, 03:56 PM   #1633
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At least is he contributing to this thread. How about you posting some updates?

No need to be so rude! No one is forcing you to read all thos articles.
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Old July 21st, 2013, 05:26 PM   #1634
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Yeah let the people who are interested in the articels read them and if you aren't you can ignore them. I think they are pretty interesting
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Old July 21st, 2013, 05:35 PM   #1635
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I think those articles can be very interesting sometimes

Besides, there aren't any high-profile skyscrapers going up in HK at the moment. Most construction are housing blocks.
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Old July 21st, 2013, 06:03 PM   #1636
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I think some people still don't understand this is not a picture book. Projects can happen in word form. This ain't preschool.
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Old July 26th, 2013, 05:25 AM   #1637
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338-346 Queen's Road West, Sai Ying Pun
Hotel redevelopment consisting of 214 rooms
Height : 106m
# Floors : 29
Status : site preparation (crane installed)

7/20



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Old July 27th, 2013, 08:30 AM   #1638
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Drop in building amid weak outlook
The number of construction starts on new flats falls sharply in the first half of the year despite increase in the supply of land in recent years
27 July 2013
South China Morning Post



The number of construction starts on new flats in Hong Kong dropped 24.5 per cent year on year in the first half of this year, even though the government has increased the supply of land in recent years.

A tender for a residential site in Sha Tin's Kau To attracted 11 bidders yesterday, less than the 14 bids received by another Kau To site in March.

Property analysts said that reflected a slowdown in development owing to the poor outlook for the property market.

Transport and Housing Bureau data released yesterday showed construction work began on 6,600 new flats in the second quarter, compared with just 1,100 in the first quarter.

Work started on 10,200 new flats in the first half of last year.

"The government released new cooling measures such as double stamp duty in the first half," said Professor Eddie Hui Chi-man, from the department of building and real estate at Polytechnic University.

"The market was also clouded by the United States Federal Reserve's reduction plan in its monetary stimulus. It made developers slow down on construction.

"Developers' construction work will depend on the sales of new residential projects. As the sales of new homes are not active, developers will not speed up the development process.

"The units that have started construction will still be less than 20,000 this year and it will not improve until the end of 2014," added Hui.

Government figures show that there will be 70,000 flats available for sale, including flats from sites where construction has yet to start, in the next three to four years - the most in six years.

The 125,142 square foot site in Kau To attracted bids from developers including Cheung Kong (Holdings), Sino Land, a joint venture between Wing Tai Properties and Manhattan Group, Wheelock Properties, HKR International, K Wah International and a consortium of Wang On and Early Light International. Paliburg Holdings also teamed up with Regal Hotels International to join the bidding.

Surveyors estimated the site was likely to fetch bids ranging from HK$1.21 billion to HK$1.43 billion, or HK$9,000 to HK$10,600 per square foot.

Another residential site in Tuen Mun's So Kwun Wat received nine bids, with developers including K Wah, Sino Land, Cheung Kong, Wing Tai and the consortium of Paliburg and Regal Hotels joining the bidding.

The valuations for the site range between HK$478 million and HK$740 million, or HK$3,000 and HK$4,643 per square foot. The 125,142 sq ft site located at Tuen Mun Road could yield a total gross floor area of 159,372 sq ft.
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Old July 31st, 2013, 05:10 AM   #1639
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MTR in line to cut Fo Tan fallout
The Standard
10 July 2013







The MTR aims to minimize inconvenience to passengers during refurbishment work that starts tomorrow at Fo Tan station.

The HK$110 million improvement project, to be completed in 2015, will enclose the open space now separating the two concourses to create one enlarged paid area.

"To minimize the inconvenience to passengers, three tracks at the station will be closed one at a time during the summer break from July 11 to the end of September,'' said MTR Corp project manager for operations projects Jason Wong Chi-chung.

During the morning peak period, three special trains that usually start from Fo Tan will do so at Sha Tin station to carry passengers forward to Hung Hom or Mong Kok East, Wong said yesterday.

With schools out and no horse races scheduled, demand for train services is less than usual at this time of the year and fewer passengers will be affected.

Construction work will be carried out in non-rush hours to minimize noise nuisance.
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Old August 5th, 2013, 05:15 AM   #1640
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New World may run four more hotels
The group hopes to take advantage of the increasing number of tourists visiting the city
5 August 2013
South China Morning Post

New World Development's hotel management arm, Rosewood Hotel Group, is in talks to run four more hotels under its Pentahotel brand in Hong Kong and Macau.

Sonia Cheng, chief executive of Rosewood Hotel and daughter of New World Group chairman Henry Cheng Kar-shun, said Pentahotel, a brand that caters to younger travellers, would expand in cities in Asia and the mainland over the next five years.

The group will open its first Hong Kong hotel property, the HK$900 million New-York-loft-style Pentahotel, in San Po Kong today, in a bid to capitalise on the government's plan to transform Kowloon East into the city's second business district. Cheng said Hong Kong could support four Pentahotels because it was a 'gateway city'.

"We are exploring opportunities in Tsim Sha Tsui, Jordan, Central, Sheung Wan and the Western districts. We hope to have two hotels in Kowloon and two on Hong Kong Island. Macau is our next target as it is becoming a favourite holiday destination."

The 32-year-old Cheng is the granddaughter of property tycoon Cheng Yu-tung, who stepped down as chairman of New World Development in August last year.

Rosewood Hotel, formerly known as New World Hospitality, owns 40 hotels under three brands in 14 countries. It operates 16 hotels in Europe and Asia under its Pentahotel brand, with a target to expand to 80 globally by 2020.

The company has opened Pentahotels in Shanghai and Beijing. It will open one in Guiyang with 197 rooms next year and another in Shenyang with 390 rooms in 2015.

Cheng said the firm's expansion plans would not be affected by the postponement of the proposed US$800 million listing of NW Hotel Investments by its parent company.

Rosewood will focus on hotel management, which was not a capital-intensive business, she said. Tourist arrivals in Hong Kong hit a record last year, with the number of visitors increasing 16 per cent to 48.6 million. Some 70 per cent of them were from the mainland, and almost half of all visitors stayed overnight.

The growth continued this year, with 21.16 million visitors arriving in the city in the first five months of the year, up 13.2 per cent from last year, according to figures released by Hong Kong Tourism Board.

By comparison there are just 72,000 hotel rooms available at present, and the number of rooms is projected to grow 6 per cent to 76,600 by 2017, according to Tourism Board statistics.

Taking into account the 39 hotels whose completion dates are yet to be announced, the number of rooms available in the city will rise to almost 84,000.

"The transformation of East Kowloon into a central business district will certainly create strong demand for hotels as a growing number of multinational firms set up offices there," said Colliers International executive director Simon Lo Wing-fai.

"The increase in wealth on the mainland has led to mainland tourists developing new tastes. Ten years ago they did not mind staying in guest houses, as they preferred to save every dollar they could for shopping. But now young mainland professionals are more demanding when it comes to hotel accommodation," he said.

Andy So, general manager of Pentahotel Hong Kong, said the hotel would cater to both business and leisure travellers.

"A growing number of multinational corporates have moved to Kowloon East, and so we have got two clients who want to stay in our hotel for one year. They work in construction firms in Kwun Tong and Kowloon Bay," he said.

The hotel expects 70 per cent of its customers will be mainland tourists, he said, adding that the rest will be from Taiwan, Korea, and United States and Europe.

Taking into account Pentahotel, he said the total number of rooms in the area would increase to about 2,700.
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