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Old March 4th, 2015, 05:11 PM   #1841
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Site swaps plan for better schools
The Standard Excerpt
Wednesday, March 04, 2015


Cheung Sha Wan

The Vocational Training Council plans to swap some of its school sites to build new educational premises, its chairman said.

Clement Chen Cheng-jen said the council, which has about 30 schools under its umbrella, hopes to combine some smaller campuses, before exchanging older sites for new land to build modern premises.

The council's first target is 30,000 square meters of land opposite one of its schools, IVE (Haking Wong) in Cheung Sha Wan, which Chen said is too small and too crowded.

"We even can't hold a large-scale workshop because the size of all classrooms is fixed and we cannot demolish the walls to make them larger," Chen said. IVE stands on 10,000 sqm of land and has 3,000 students.

The 40-year-old building is unacceptable because it does not have movable walls.

Chen said the council is also looking for a Tung Chung site to build a school for aviation courses. Near Hong Kong International Airport, students could be interns there.

Meanwhile, the council's new premises for its International Culinary Institution in Pok Fu Lam will be delayed for several months because of construction difficulties and the delay in getting the appropriation from the Legislative Council.

It was originally scheduled to open in September 2017.
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Old March 5th, 2015, 07:04 PM   #1842
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Tai Po land values soar with SHKP tender win
5 March 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt





Land values in Tai Po have soared nearly 18 per cent within nine months as Sun Hung Kai Properties beat out 12 bidders to secure a residential site in the area at a price higher than market expectations.

SHKP won the tender for the site in Pak Shek Kok near Science Park for HK$3.48 billion, or HK$3,864 per square foot. The bid was almost 18 per cent higher than the record low of HK$3,300 per square foot Great Eagle paid for a nearby site in May last year.

The winning bid also exceeded the market’s estimated valuation of HK$2.7 billion to HK$2.9 billion.

“The winning bid is more expensive than the previous site sold in a nearby area with better sea views. It shows land values rebounding after hitting bottom,” said Vincent Cheung Kiu-cho, the national director of Greater China for the consultant Cushman & Wakefield.

Victor Lui Ting, deputy managing director at SHKP, said the developer would invest HK$8 billion, including the land cost, in the site. The 250,144 square feet site could yield a total gross floor area of 900,516 sq ft.
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Old March 6th, 2015, 08:32 AM   #1843
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Kwun Tong back alleys to hit front with artistry
Friday, March 06, 2015
The Standard Excerpt



Several dozen back alleys in Kwun Tong are to be spruced up, decorated with art work and renamed under a HK$1 million scheme to energize Kowloon East.

In all, 36 back alleys will be optimized as part of the Smart City project proposed by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, said Energizing Kowloon East Office chief Brenda Au Kit-ying.

Au said the 36 alleyways will be divided into 18 pairs, with each set named according to traditional industries such as Din Lo Lane (circuit lane), Da Ban Lane (shirt making lane) and Yu Suen Lane (yogurt making lane).

Au said the first six pairs will be completed this year and artists will be invited to paint or draw graffiti on the walls, once neon lights have been fixed.

The project will be completed in two to three years' time.

"Actually, the pedestrian zones in Kowloon East are narrow, especially in Kwun Tong. During peak hours vehicles and pedestrians compete for road space. We hope to revitalize and open up the back alleys to attract people and to relieve crowd pressure," Au said.
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Old March 7th, 2015, 06:48 PM   #1844
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New Hong Kong shopping centre could open near mainland China border by October
6 February 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt



A new shopping centre could open near the Lok Ma Chau border checkpoint by October in an attempt to relieve New Territories towns overrun by mainland shoppers, a lawmaker confirmed yesterday.

Wong Ting-kwong, who represents the import and export sector, revealed that he had struck a deal with a group of villagers to turn a 420,000 sq ft site - about a fifth the size of Victoria Park - into an outdoor shopping centre.

Hundreds of shipping containers will be used to rapidly turn the site on the junction of Castle Peak Road and San Tin Tsuen Road - used now for parking, car repair workshops and warehouses - into a shopping mecca in time for the "golden week" holiday starting on National Day, October 1.

The move comes amid anger in towns such as Sheung Shui and Tuen Mun, where so-called parallel traders, who buy goods in Hong Kong for resale on the mainland, put intense pressure on public transport and are accused of crowding out stores selling daily necessities.

"[The centre] is not just for business," Wong said. "I hope it can help to [alleviate the pressure on] Northern district and towns in New Territories West, such as Tuen Mun."

Wong expects tenants to move out by the end of May so work can begin to install containers. Half will be rented to retailers of Hong Kong brands, a third will sell "hot products" popular with mainlanders, such as milk powder, diapers, clothes and sportswear, and the rest will be for food and beverages.

The centre will cost hundreds of millions of dollars and accommodate 3,000 visitors per hour - up to 30,000 in the course of a busy day.

Lawmakers call for malls at SZ-HK border
2015-March-5
Shenzhen Daily Excerpt

ADVISERS and deputies attending the annual sessions of the NPC and CPPCC in Beijing have called for the establishment of more border shopping centers in Hong Kong to divert mainland shoppers and relieve pressure on Hong Kong’s downtown areas.

The vast undeveloped land along the border with Shenzhen provides proper conditions for establishing such facilities in Hong Kong, they said.

Liu Peiqiong, deputy chief of Hong Kong Economy Society and a deputy to the National People’s Congress, said the facilities could be built near checkpoints such as Lok Ma Chau and Shenzhen Bay Bridge.

“The shopping centers don’t need to be big and could sell items that are popular among mainland visitors,” said Liu.

The suggestion was echoed by lawyer Jian Songnian, a member of the CPPCC and secretary general with Federation of Hong Kong Guangdong Community Organizations, who believes the facilities could solve problems arising from parallel traders. The facilities will also provide more job opportunities for residents of the New Territories.

The Hong Kong government said earlier that an outlet will be built on a 10,000-square-meter land lot near the Lok Ma Chau Checkpoint in May. The outlet, with about 100 commercial tenants, will open this October to mainland visitors after road renovation projects are completed.
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Old March 8th, 2015, 05:50 PM   #1845
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Hang Lung banks on retail facelift
6 March 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Hang Lung Properties is counting on a HK$500 million makeover of its main retail properties in Mong Kok and Causeway Bay to boost its rental income by up to 60 per cent.

The developer said a decline in luxury spending by mainland tourists would have only a limited impact on its properties, which focus on so-called affordable luxury brands that have been less exposed to the mainland’s anti-corruption campaign.

In 2012, Hang Lung launched an eight-year asset enhancement plan under which its retail portfolio of more than five million sq ft will be renovated.

Norman Chan Ka-ngok, the company’s director for leasing and sales, said a HK$200 million facelift at Grand Plaza in Mong Kok would be completed this month.

The company’s Fashion Walk complex in Causeway Bay – comprising 90 street-level shops mainly on Paterson Street and in Hang Lung Centre – is being spruced up at a cost of HK$300 million. Work is due to end in the fourth quarter.

“We will see 50 to 60 per cent rental income growth in the two retail complexes from next year,” Chan said.

While he would not be drawn on the scale of the rent rises faced by tenants at the two properties, he said some tenants at Fashion Walk would be charged double what they had paid in previous leases when the agreements came up for renewal.

H&M will open a store of almost 50,000 sq ft – the Swedish fast-fashion retailer’s largest – in Hang Lung Centre in the fourth quarter.
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Old March 8th, 2015, 07:34 PM   #1846
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Cheung Sha Wan Redevelops
10/19

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Old March 9th, 2015, 07:28 PM   #1847
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Shanghai Commercial Bank, Central
3/9

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Old March 11th, 2015, 05:43 PM   #1848
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$700m fashion facelift one step closer
The Standard Excerpt
Wednesday, March 11, 2015



A revitalization project to reinvigorate the fashion industry is one step closer after the Town Planning Board approved a HK$700 million scheme by developer Nan Fung Group.

The non-profit project called The Mills to recognize the long-established Tsuen Wan spinning mill is expected to begin construction at the beginning of next year and be completed in the fourth quarter of 2017.

But that would depend on Lands Department approval of the company's request for a land premium waiver and a Buildings Department go-ahead for alteration and additional works.

Nan Fung Development chief financial officer Benson Chu Wai-ming told The Standard he hopes the Lands Department can charge a lower land premium or even waive the fee for changing the purpose of the land from industrial to mixed-use development.

"We are also open to cooperation with the government," he said.

Approval was granted by the Town Planning Board subject to the company supplying a revised traffic impact assessment, the design and provision of vehicle access, pedestrian access, car parking and loading/unloading facilities, water supply for fire safety and the submission and implementation of a landscape proposal.

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah mentioned the project in his budget speech last month, adding that "promoting collaboration between fashion design and the clothing industry to move them up the value ladder will enable them to generate greater economic benefits."

Chu said the company plans to refurbish the factory at Pak Tin Par Street, Tsuen Wan, to include an incubation center, a resource center and rental areas to be run on a non-profit basis. Organizations and individuals have signed a collaborative memorandum and committed to assist the project, said Nan Fung property development manager Harry Chai Kin-wai.

They include renowned designer William Tang Tat-chi, design and retail company Goods of Desire founder Douglas Young, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, the Hong Kong Design Institute of the Vocational Training Council and the Hong Kong Polytechnic Univ
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Old March 12th, 2015, 12:04 PM   #1849
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Go-ahead given to $70m peek underground
The Standard Excerpt
Thursday, March 12, 2015

A HK$70 million pilot study on developing underground space in Tsim Sha Tsui West, Causeway Bay, Happy Valley and Admiralty and Wan Chai will be put to the Finance Committee for approval.

This follows it being given the green light by the Legco public works subcommittee.

The long-delayed study will investigate usage of space underground up to five-stories deep for commercial and public use in congested urban areas.

At the subcommittee meeting, Civil Engineering and Development Department director Hon Chi-keung said the government would like to identify projects in the four areas.

"They are all located in the metro area, they are relatively densely populated and if you look at the traffic and people flow, it is quite busy ... that is why we would like to examine whether there is any underground space to see if there is better accessibility and connectivity for people and vehicles," Hon said yesterday.

"There is also a lot of infrastructure and there might be public open space available nearby, for example parks, so there is a better chance of developing underground space below those facilities."
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Old March 22nd, 2015, 06:15 PM   #1850
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Stanley's Boathouse in line for a launch as boutique hotel
The Standard
Thursday, July 03, 2014



The Boathouse, a landmark restaurant in Stanley, is set to be transformed into a 10-story seaview hotel by the Miramar Group.

A document from the Town Planning Board has revealed the firm applied to build a boutique hotel at the present location of the two-story Boathouse on the corner of 86 and 88 Stanley Main Street.

The site area is approximately 1,620 square feet with a plot ratio of 8.775 times at most. That could yield a gross floor area of about 14,200 square feet.

The Miramar Group's intention is to create a hotel with 28 guest rooms.

The group had secured 88 Stanley Main Street by late 2010 for HK$64 million.

But 86 Stanley Main Street is held by a private company owned by Ralph Shea, an independent non-executive director of listed company Power Assets.

The Town Planning Board had approved for the sites of 88 and 86 Stanley Main Street to be used for building a hotel in 2006 and 2010 respectively .

According to the 2010 plan, 86 Stanley Main Street was to be built as a mini hotel with six rooms. Four rooms would be ensuite and two would be for disabled people.

Should the project go through according to plan, it will be the Miramar's third hotel in Hong Kong.

Recently, Miramar renovated the Mira Hong Kong, its hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, which dates back more 50 years.

It also took over the operations of Mira Moon, a boutique hotel owned by affiliate Henderson Land in Wan Chai.

Planning on similar lines to the Boathouse, the owners of the sites at 103 to 107 Tam Kung Road in Ma Tau Wai have applied to build a boutique hotel there.
Boathouse set to be demolished
22 March 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Stanley’s iconic Boathouse restaurant is set to be torn down and replaced with a boutique hotel in the latest planning decision to spark anger and dismay among locals.

Constructed in 1951 and listed as a grade III historical site, the three-storey landmark building is a popular draw for both residents and tourists and is a recommended attraction in a number of guidebooks.

Despite objections from residents, the Town Planning Board earlier this month approved a plan by site-owner Miramar Hotel and Investment, a subsidiary of Henderson Land Development, to demolish the restaurant and build a 10-storey hotel.

“It is the weirdest thing I have ever heard that has happened in Stanley,” said Michael Bentley, a businessman working in the property market. “Stanley is unique in Hong Kong. Building a hotel would not add any benefit.

“But it is Hong Kong. You have to roll with the punches.”

Residents of the town on the territory’s southern shore say the proposed hotel would detract from the character and ambiance of the area.

In a formal objection to the proposal, resident Brenda Lee urged the government to consider the historical value of the building.

“I truly believe that the building of a hotel will destroy the unique community. The Boathouse has always been a unique tourist attraction and is loved by locals,” she said.

According to the Town Planning Board, Hong Kong’s historical grading system is only administrative in nature and provides no legal protection for sites, such as the Boathouse.

The Miramar Group declined to comment on the hotel plan when reached by the Sunday Morning Post.

However, in an application for planning permission, the developers said “the stylish and modern façade of the proposed hotel development will enhance the cityscape of the area”.
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Old April 7th, 2015, 08:24 PM   #1851
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URA takes Tai Kok Tsui hotel plan to developers
2 April 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt



The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) has invited expressions of interest for the development of a hotel in the Tai Kok Tsui area of the city.

The 7,814-square-foot site at the junction of Anchor Street and Fuk Tsun Street will be redeveloped into a 23-storey hotel providing 200 rooms on top of a two-storey podium for commercial and back of house facilities, according to the URA. The site will yield a total gross floor area of 70,278 sq ft.

A URA spokeswoman said the site was originally designated for residential use but the authority obtained Town Planning Board approval to change the land use to a hotel.

The URA said the primary concept for the proposed use is to alleviate traffic noise impact from the West Kowloon Corridor on adjoining residential buildings and to meet market demand for three- and four-star hotels in the district, as well as to create jobs and enhance the local economy.

The URA, the former Land Development Corporation, “has been involved in commercial projects previously”, said Charles Chan, Savills’ managing director for valuation and professional services. For instance, he said, it had participated in the office-hotel development at Langham Place in Mong Kok and the office project, The Center, in Central.

Chan estimated the Tai Kok Tsui site could be worth HK$7,000 per square foot.
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Old April 8th, 2015, 07:57 PM   #1852
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Strong demand for new homes during holiday
The Standard Excerpt
Wednesday, April 08, 2015

The primary residential market is still hot with the sale of more than 1,000 units from two Tseung Kwan O projects in the past week, .



CK Hutchison (0001) will put a further 398 units at Hemera on sale this Saturday.

The new flats, either three- or four-bedroomed, have reportedly been five times oversubscribed already.

The developer offloaded 740 units last Saturday, cashing in HK$5.63 billion. It may stop launching more units in the near future, Cheung Kong Real Estate Investment director Francis Wong See-chung said. The project offers a total of 1,648 large-sized flats.

Twin Peaks, a K Wah International (0113) project in the same district, is also set to price more units this week, after selling nearly 300 since Wednesday. It has raised the price of 30 units by 2 percent.
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Old April 9th, 2015, 06:26 PM   #1853
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Happy Valley temple set for $100m facelift
The Standard Excerpt
Thursday, April 09, 2015







The 80-year-old Buddhist Tung Lin Kok Yuen temple in Happy Valley is to be renovated at a cost of about HK$100 million.

The temple's management plan is for renovation to be in phases over five to 10 years, and it will remain open throughout this period.

Work starts this month in line with a blueprint prepared by the Chinese University of Hong Kong's architecture faculty.

A spokesman for the temple said the HK$100 million will come mainly from its foundation fund, but there will also be fund-raising efforts.

Tung Lin Kok Yuen was the first temple to be built on Hong Kong Island and carries the name of the woman who was behind it. That was Clara Hotung Cheung Lin-kok (1875-1938), the wife of pioneering tycoon Robert Hotung. It was founded in 1935 on Shan Kwong Road with US$100,000 she received from her husband as a gift for their 50th wedding anniversary.

It also became the only seminary for Buddhist nuns in Hong Kong.

The renovation, which will be the first big refurbishment effort since the temple was built, includes retaining its 1930s' characteristics.
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Old April 10th, 2015, 05:50 PM   #1854
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Voices unite against Peak hotel plan
The Standard Excerpt
Thursday, April 09, 2015



District councillors and conservationists staged a rally outside the North Point government offices to protest against a proposed boutique hotel on Lugard Road, The Peak.

As protesters waved banners, Central and Western District councillor Joseph Chan Ho-lim submitted a jointly signed letter from 16 councillors to the Town Planning Board, opposing the controversial project.

The hotel was approved by the Town Planning Board in September 2013, but its plans have since been amended three times.

Last night was the deadline for the fifth public consultation for the proposed development, with the board to consider amendments on next Friday.

Chan, of the Liberal Party, said yesterday the width of Lugard Road a popular hiking and walking spot, is only 1.8 meters and electric vehicles transporting hotel guests would be about 1.4m wide, making the road even narrower for pedestrians.

He said thousands of people, including mothers with prams, use the road and the proposed 1,158 square meter hotel would increase congestion.

Developer Crown Empire bought the 27 Lugard Road heritage site which contains a two-story colonial home for HK$384 million in 2012. Public pressure has already made the developer downsize from 17 rooms to12, with traffic on the road restricted at weekends and public holidays.
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Old April 12th, 2015, 05:32 PM   #1855
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Chinachem bides time in flat sales
The Standard Excerpt
Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Chinachem Group said there is no rush to sell properties but it expects to reap an average of HK$10 billion annually for the next several years.

The privately held developer has a rental portfolio of about 200 buildings, including residential, commercial and retail premises, generating HK$1.8 billion of rental income a year, said chief executive Sunny Yeung Kwong.

The firm is looking at rebuilding or revamping some of the buildings to improve rental growth, he said.

Chinachem has cashed in HK$1.7 billion in the first quarter, mainly by selling about 50 units of The Redhill Peninsula, a Tai Tam luxury project jointly developed by Chinachem, Sino Land (0083) and Dan Form Holdings (0271).


Source : gohome.com.hk

But its Kowloon Tong project Eden Gate, launched in November, has not made any transactions yet.

Yeung earlier transformed one of the units into an art gallery, displaying works of local artist Dominic Lam Man-Kit. Yeung owns some of the art himself.

Besides Eden Gate, the group will sell another batch of units from The Redhill Peninsula this quarter, and four luxury house projects in Kowloon Tong and Sai Kung.
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Old April 13th, 2015, 03:34 PM   #1856
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HK$1.4 m for woman driven off land
11 April 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Now




Judge rebukes ‘contemptuous’ village leader and property agent for bullying 85-year-old who had farmed the fields for over six decades

A rural leader and a property agent who dumped waste on an old woman’s farmland to drive her off were branded “contemptuous of the law” yesterday and ordered to pay her HK$1.41 million in compensation.

Hau Chi-keung, chairman of the Sheung Shui rural committee, and Man Chun-shing were taken to court by Lau Oi-kiu, 85, for evicting her from the land in Ho Sheung Heung, Sheung Shui, in 2009.

In a High Court judgment, Deputy Judge Paul Lam Ting-kwok said Hau and Man had adopted a “catch me if you can if you dare” approach as they continued their campaign even after government authorities had stepped in.

“[Hau and Man] behaved in an utmost high-handed and outrageous manner,” the judge wrote.

“Although they knew that Lau, an old lady, had been farming on the [land] for decades, they disregarded her rights and interests completely.

“It is most disturbing that they did not shy away or stop the wrongful acts even though various government authorities had intervened.”

Lau said she was not happy with the result.

“The one million dollars is not a big amount. I wanted to have the fields back to plant the things I want,” she said.

She returned to the fields to take a walk yesterday but met Hau along a narrow road. The pair began to quarrel and Hau called police after accusing Lau of pointing a finger in his face during their heated exchange.

Hau insisted he was the innocent party in the dumping saga.

“Who is the weak person? Who is the one who is being bullied? It’s obvious.”

He said all he had done was to help the government to identify the owners of the land and that he might appeal against the judgment.

The court was told Lau was not the registered owner of the land but had farmed there for over 60 years.

Hau and another man bought three pieces of land near Lau’s fields for HK$5 million in 2005.

Lau and her two sons claimed that Hau and Man asked them not to farm and began threatening them in March 2009. The threats continued even after they had made reports to various government departments, and the first waste was dumped on her land in May that year.

Large amounts of waste were dumped on her land from then on, Lau said.

Two months later, workers using dump trucks covered her land with soil. They said they were working under the instructions of village head “Keung Gor”.

Hau said he knew nothing about this incident or who built a pool and wall around Lau’s land.
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Old April 14th, 2015, 03:30 PM   #1857
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Hung Hom
By chiuchunlaw from dcfever :

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Old April 16th, 2015, 04:21 AM   #1858
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URA takes Tai Kok Tsui hotel plan to developers
2 April 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt



The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) has invited expressions of interest for the development of a hotel in the Tai Kok Tsui area of the city.

The 7,814-square-foot site at the junction of Anchor Street and Fuk Tsun Street will be redeveloped into a 23-storey hotel providing 200 rooms on top of a two-storey podium for commercial and back of house facilities, according to the URA. The site will yield a total gross floor area of 70,278 sq ft.

A URA spokeswoman said the site was originally designated for residential use but the authority obtained Town Planning Board approval to change the land use to a hotel.

The URA said the primary concept for the proposed use is to alleviate traffic noise impact from the West Kowloon Corridor on adjoining residential buildings and to meet market demand for three- and four-star hotels in the district, as well as to create jobs and enhance the local economy.

The URA, the former Land Development Corporation, “has been involved in commercial projects previously”, said Charles Chan, Savills’ managing director for valuation and professional services. For instance, he said, it had participated in the office-hotel development at Langham Place in Mong Kok and the office project, The Center, in Central.

Chan estimated the Tai Kok Tsui site could be worth HK$7,000 per square foot.
URA hotel site draws strong interest
16 April 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Developers have brushed aside concerns over action to curb the flow of visitors from Shenzhen as they flagged their interest in a hotel site in Tai Kok Tsui.

The Urban Renewal Authority yesterday said 21 developers had submitted expressions of interest for its first hotel project.

The investment cost for the three-star hotel could reach HK$500 million, surveyors say.

“It is better than the market had expected,” Alvin Lam Tsz-pun, a director at Midland Surveyors, said of the number of developers that had lodged submissions.

“This is despite the outlook for the sector having been clouded by the news of the cutback in mainland tourists.”

Among the developers that had expressed interest are Sun Hung Kai Properties, Sino Land, Emperor International Holdings, Wheelock Properties, K&K Property, Asia Standard International Group, Regal Hotels International Holdings and Paliburg Holdings, New World Development, Dorsett Hospitality International, Magnificent Estates, Chuang’s Consortium International and Hip Shing Hong.

The 7,814 square foot site, at the junction of Anchor and Fuk Tsun streets, will be redeveloped into a 23-storey hotel providing 200 rooms above a two-level podium, according to the URA. The site will yield a gross floor area of 70,278 sq ft.

The authority at the start of the month invited expressions of interest in a project that had been viewed as tapping demand from mainland tourists. However, this week policy changes aimed at restricting the number of visitors from Shenzhen were announced amid community tensions over issues including parallel trading.
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Old April 18th, 2015, 06:12 AM   #1859
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Surprise plan approved to tear down Excelsior
18 April 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt











Four-star hotel The Excelsior may be torn down to make way for a commercial development after 42 years as a Causeway Bay landmark.

Excelsior Hotel (BVI), a wholly owned subsidiary of luxury hotel operator Mandarin Oriental International, has secured approval to build a 26-storey commercial building over the four-storey basement at 281 Gloucester Road, the Building Department’s February monthly digest released yesterday stated.

The plan would yield a total gross floor area of 684,005 square feet if Mandarin Oriental goes ahead with the redevelopment.

Alvin Lam Tsz-pun, a director at Midland Surveyors, said the proposed redevelopment would definitely enhance the commercial value of the site.

“The plan is a bit of a surprise to the market,” he said. “But the property is in a great location and commands an excellent sea view. Both hotel and commercial development will be sought after.”

With an estimated construction cost of at least HK$5,000 per square foot, he said the redevelopment project could involve an investment of HK$3.4 billion.

The approval comes in the wake of a decline in mainland tourists that has prompted more than 10,000 shops, restaurants and tourist attractions to launch a month-long campaign to revive the ailing tourism industry.

“Mainland China represents 15 per cent of room nights in 2014 – the second largest source of business,” Mandarin Oriental said in its 2014 results.

Due to the Occupy Central protests, revenue per available room at the 884-room Excelsior fell 4 per cent last year to US$180 (HK$1,404). The hotel’s average occupancy rate fell four percentage points to 85 per cent, according to Singapore-listed Mandarin Oriental International’s annual results announcement.
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Old April 18th, 2015, 08:11 PM   #1860
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High risk
18 April 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt



A team of bamboo scaffolders catch the eye of shoppers – and the ire of safety advocates – as they work without harnesses or safety gear above the crowded streets of Causeway Bay yesterday.

The men were seen moving deftly and completely unencumbered as they began to dismantle a display above cosmetics chain Bonjour’s store on Kai Chiu Road, near the Hysan Place mall.

Hong Kong is one of the few remaining developed cities still using bamboo in construction. Government regulations require workmen to wear safety belts and remain attached to a secure anchorage while on the skeleton frame.

However, the fluid nature of the job often makes such rules impractical, with scaffolders instead preferring to anchor themselves to the bamboo poles by using their legs as hooks. The construction industry uses more than five million bamboo rods, each six to seven metres long, every year. The material is lightweight and flexible, which allows scaffolds to be set up and taken down far quicker than steel rigs.

According to Labour Department regulations, scaffolders are compelled to use safety equipment at all times.
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