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Old July 25th, 2005, 06:48 PM   #81
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Great Eagle disapproves of cultural hub tender
Peggy Sito and Sophie Taylor
20 May 2004
South China Morning Post

The developer says the process favours big players and limits competition. Great Eagle Holdings has become the latest developer to express its disappointment in the government's tendering method for the controversial West Kowloon cultural hub.

Deputy chairman and managing director Lo Ka-shui said granting the $24 billion project to a single developer would result in limited competition as there were only a few companies financially capable of bidding for the mega development.

Mr Lo, who is also vice-president of the Real Estate Developers Association, joins a chorus of other smaller property players who have said the form of tendering favoured big developers.

"We are not big enough to bid for the project alone. But it's not sensible to co-operate with partners to run a project for 30 years," he said after the firm's annual general meeting.

Designed by British architect Lord Norman Foster, the massive project, to be built on a 40-hectare reclaimed site near Kowloon station, is aimed at turning Hong Kong into Asia's cultural and artistic hub.

The winner will build and operate the project, with 29 per cent of the development set aside for cultural pursuits and the remaining space for residential, commercial and other uses, for 30 years.

"A majority of Real Estate Developers Association members disagree with the form of tendering," Mr Lo said.

But he did not oppose big developers bidding for the project. "If the government gives you hefty gains, why should you reject?" he said.

Henderson Land Development has expressed interest in submitting a sole bid for the project, while Sun Hung Kai Properties is in talks with Cheung Kong (Holdings) over a joint bid. However, no joint venture has been formed between the two firms yet.

Mr Lo said the firm would consider disposing of some assets to cut liabilities, now at $12 billion, in the wake of the imminent interest-rate rise in the United States.

"With total liabilities of $12 billion, a one percentage point rise in the interest rate would raise the company's finance costs by $120 million," he said.

"If the economy is good, then any rise in the interest rate will have little effect. Both [Hong Kong's and the US's] economies are growing. The important thing is for economic growth to rise faster than any rise in interest rates."

Mr Lo also argued against the government's idea of using property subsidies to finance other industries. "The government should not interfere in the economy {hellip} it only pulls down the entire economy."
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Old July 27th, 2005, 12:30 AM   #82
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this could be one of the greatest projects ever. not without the canopy though..
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Old July 27th, 2005, 10:05 PM   #83
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Tso rejects canopy safety concerns
Teddy Ng
31 May 2004
Hong Kong Standard

A proposal to build a massive canopy stretching 40 hectares over the West Kowloon Cultural District project will not be scrapped despite fears it could be a safety hazard.

Deputy Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands Thomas Tso said yesterday the structure will go ahead despite a warning by architects that it could collapse.

Chinese University architecture professor Bernard Lim pointed to the collapse last week of a section of Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport, which has a design similar to that of the West Kowloon mega project.

"It is difficult to ensure that the canopy will be safe. I think the government should scrap the idea,'' Lim said.

A survey of 40 district and legislative councillors conducted by the University of Hong Kong Centre for Cultural Policy Research revealed that more than half of them thought the canopy was unnecessary.

The Kowloon cultural project will house a theatre, an arts performance hall, four museums, arts development centres and open areas.

Tso proposes the canopy to cover at least 55 per cent of the project - covering 40 hectares of land.

Tso said the government has, so far, received only one proposal for the project with about three weeks to go before the deadline expires.

"The government will ensure that the canopy is safe. We will carefully study the proposal to make sure that the design is practical,'' he said.

Tso added that the government would grant the project to a single developer to ensure consistency in its design and concept.

But some legislators have been demanding that the government open the project to more than one developer. Tso said the government would choose to ditch the entire project rather than scrap the plan of a single developer. The ambitious HK$24-billion project is due to be finished by March 2010.
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Last edited by hkskyline; July 27th, 2005 at 10:11 PM.
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Old July 27th, 2005, 10:07 PM   #84
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^ Holy shit
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Old July 27th, 2005, 10:11 PM   #85
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@ hk - Could you show us some pics of the current homes for the HK Symphony, Art Museum, sports arenas and such, the events of which will be moved to the WKCD upon completion?

Thanks!
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Old July 27th, 2005, 10:28 PM   #86
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HK Academy for Performing Arts
Virtual Tour : http://www.hkapa.edu

Hong Kong Museum of Art @ the Cultural Centre
Source : http://www.gakei.com

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Old July 27th, 2005, 10:45 PM   #87
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This looks freaking amazing! is construction starting soon?
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Old July 28th, 2005, 04:09 AM   #88
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The project is still under discussion. The government has shortlisted several bids but there is opposition from the public over whether one property developer should build the whole complex. Construction is not expected to begin this year.
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Old July 28th, 2005, 02:28 PM   #89
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wish they'd implode the museum. Cannot believe HK allowed that monstrosity to be built right on the water. Not a single window. All it does is block everybody's view of that amazing skyline. I bet the Peninsula was PISSED when that thing went up.
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Old July 31st, 2005, 09:42 AM   #90
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great looking project
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Old August 8th, 2005, 06:21 AM   #91
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Review of arts district project demanded
Chloe Lai
2 June 2004
South China Morning Post

The local chapter of the International Association of Art Critics yesterday called for an in-depth review of the planned West Kowloon cultural district.

Hong Kong's cultural future would be "unnecessarily damaged" if the project was poorly executed, the critics said, warning the government against rushing the 40-hectare cultural district project.

In an open letter to the government, chairman Oscar Ho Hing-kay said: "When the government said Hong Kong will become a cultural hub, it never mentioned how we can achieve the goal and who will be our target audience. There is simply no in-depth cultural assessment.

"[Without a review], the cultural district will be a permanent version of the Harbour Fest,'' he said, referring to the controversial multi-million dollar entertainment extravaganza last year. "But by the time we have to face the fiasco, the officials advocating it will be retired."

The government hopes the West Kowloon project, which will include a 20-hectare roof designed by architect Norman Foster, will help turn Hong Kong into the region's cultural and artistic hub. The government announced last September that it would grant the cultural district's design, construction and management to one consortium for 30 years. Legislators, artists, art critics, architects and planners have criticised the government for turning the waterfront site into a developers' colony.

Under public pressure, the government delayed the closing date of the bidding for three months to June 19.

The art critics' group said the government should open up debate on the cultural district to art professionals, even if it meant delaying the project.

"The arts in West Kowloon will be for future generations," Mr Ho said. "We owe it to them to get it right."
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Old August 28th, 2005, 06:06 AM   #92
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Cultural district home call for historic mansion
Paris Lord
10 June 2004
Hong Kong Standard

One way of saving the historic King Yin Lei mansion would be to move it, brick by brick, to the planned West Kowloon cultural district, a businessman says.

If the developers want to knock it down, they "should pay to have it moved to a new site", Kasyan Bartlett, a photographer and managing director of Pacific Century Publishers, said. "You could built something quite nice around the mansion given its mixture of east and west."

The Stubbs Road property, which features a mix of mid-20th century Chinese and Western architectural styles, is almost certain to be destroyed as the owner has put it on the market. The property is expected to fetch around HK$400 million.

Tenders for the 68-year-old building closed on Monday. So far, four bids have been received, but details are not expected to be released until next week.

The Conservancy Association made a symbolic HK$6 million bid for the property.

The association has nominated the historic mansion for preservation under the Review of Built Heritage Conservation Policy.

Calling the HK$6 million bid a "waste of time" Bartlett said more creative thinking was needed, and hence he came up with the idea of moving the structure and rebuilding it for future generations to enjoy.

Bartlett's company distributes postcards that feature threatened properties, but he says that is not the root of his concern.

He says the city is rapidly losing its historical buildings to wrecking balls at a time when Macau and European cities were doing the complete opposite.

The Murray Building, one of the first major structures near the Central waterfront during British rule was moved piece by piece to Stanley and reassembled. It is now a popular tourist attraction.

Association chief executive Lister Cheung said she did not support Bartlett's relocation idea because it cuts off such buildings from their historical surroundings.

That was "ignorant" and "entrenched" thinking, Bartlett said, adding that it was folly to expect a developer to spare such buildings.

The Home Affairs Bureau said it was awaiting the advice of the Antiquities Advisory Board before deciding what action to take.

However, the board next meets in September, long after the tender results have been known.

A bureau spokeswoman said she was unsure if it would hold an emergency meeting to discuss the case.
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Old August 28th, 2005, 06:12 AM   #93
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Dynamic Star International Limited
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Old August 28th, 2005, 06:13 AM   #94
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Buzz around mega project
Raymond Wang
11 June 2004
Hong Kong Standard

All eyes are on the tender for the HK$24 billion West Kowloon cultural hub project, with major developers Cheung Kong (Holdings), Sun Hung Kai Properties and Henderson Land Development likely to be the front runners.

Developers have until next Saturday to submit their bids.

At least 11 individual companies or consortiums are understood to have expressed interest in tendering for the 40-hectare project.

Among them is Li Ka-shing's Cheung Kong, which is in talks with Sun Hung Kai for a possible joint-venture bid.

Henderson Land chairman Lee Shau-kee, whose company was one of the 11 to submit a "letter of intent'' for the project, said earlier the company might make a sole bid.

The project's chosen design, by award-winning architect Norman Foster, allocates 39 per cent of the development site to arts and cultural use, 17 per cent for commerce such as offices, and 16 per cent for hotels and residential accommodation.

The remaining 28 per cent has been designated for public space and utilities.

The government is known to favour a single developer or large consortium but small- and medium-sized developers have been seeking access to a slice of the huge project.

"Apart from next week's government land auction of a residential lot in Kowloon City, bidding focus among developers will be on the mega West Kowloon cultural project,'' Centaline Surveyors associate director James Cheung said.

He said smaller developers may join forces with other developers. Smaller companies have said the government has effectively barred them from bidding for the project with its insistence that only one firm should be allowed to develop the mega project.

With a war chest of HK$11 billion, Sino Land is looking for partners to bid for the project, sources said.

The government unveiled the West Kowloon development plan in September. It aims to transform the prime waterfront site into a world-class cultural zone.

The winning consortium will have the right to manage the area, twice the size of Tai Koo Shing, for 30 years.
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Old August 28th, 2005, 06:16 AM   #95
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Lawmakers urge land-policy review
Chloe Lai
17 June 2004
South China Morning Post

They fear the West Kowloon cultural project will turn into a property concern. Lawmakers last night urged the government to review its policy of using land to subsidise commercially operated infrastructure projects, such as the West Kowloon Cultural District.

The call came in a non-binding motion passed by a show of hands three days before bidding for the controversial project is due to close. Non-affiliated lawmaker Abraham Razack, who proposed the motion, compared the project to Cyberport - where a residential project was planned to support a hi-tech office development but has since been criticised for being mainly a property project.

"Even though the government denies it, the cultural district development is a property project," Mr Razack said.

Ip Kwok-him, of the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong, also urged the government to be cautious about development of the cultural district.

"Land is a precious resource. The DAB doesn't want to see the government selling land cheaply. It also doesn't want to see the cultural district turn into a property project," he said.

The massive project, with a giant canopy designed by Lord Norman Foster, will be built on 40 hectares of reclaimed land near Kowloon station.

Some 29 per cent of the 7.3 million sq ft site will be set aside for arts and culture, and the rest is set for commercial and residential development and government facilities. Officials say the project will turn Hong Kong into Asia's cultural hub.

The project will take a single-contract approach and the winner will design, build and operate the cultural district for 30 years - an approach that small developers say excludes them from competing.

Artists and professionals have also expressed concern at the lack of consultation and say the project risks being turned into a "developers' colony".

Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands Michael Suen Ming-yeung insisted that the government would not subsidise the development of West Kowloon with land.

The winning developer would have to pay a land premium, so "the land is not a subsidy".

Mr Suen also quoted Article 7 of the Basic Law that says the city's land is state property - "The government of the Special Administrative Region is responsible for their management, use and development and for their lease or grant to individuals, legal persons or organisations for use or development".

Liberal Party chairman James Tien Pei-chun said that by granting a massive project to a single developer, the government was putting itself in a risky situation.

Democratic Party vice-chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan said that by subsiding development with land rather than public money, the government was bypassing the Legislative Council.
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Old August 28th, 2005, 06:17 AM   #96
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Old August 28th, 2005, 08:51 AM   #97
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Small developers unite to battle Goliaths for cultural hub
Chloe Lai and Quinton Chan
18 June 2004
South China Morning Post

Several smaller developers are believed to have joined forces to compete with large industry players to vie for the controversial West Kowloon Cultural District project.

Industry sources say the smaller developers - some of whom have been highly critical of the government's single-contract approach to the development of the arts hub - will team up to bid for the project when submissions close tomorrow.

"Even though we oppose the government's way of handling the project, we have to team up to bid for it, as the project itself is massively profitable," one source said. "We are somehow forced to go for it."

He said that once built, the value of the development would be at least $60 billion.

Only two developers have welcomed the single-contractor arrangement. Some small developers had decided not to join the race because they thought forming a long-term partnership would be risky, especially if the economy slumped, the source said.

"It is easy for us to just bid, build and sell, but forming a joint venture for 15 to 20 years is very difficult, especially when the economic cycle goes down," he said.

The probable bidders include Swire Pacific, Henderson Land Development, Wharf (Holdings) and Hongkong Land.

Cheung Kong (Holdings) and Sun Hung Kai Properties are believed to be either bidding individually or also forming a venture to compete with rivals.

Many industry players have called on the government to make the selection process fully transparent.

"All the bidding proposals, including their financial arrangements and business plans, should be open for public scrutiny," one source said.

"The canopy is going to be incredibly big and expensive. It will severely restrict development opportunities," he said. "If you put the canopy on Victoria Harbour, it would stretch from the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui to the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai."

Twenty-nine per cent of the site will be set aside for arts and cultural development, while the remainder will be used for commercial and residential developments and government facilities.

The developer awarded the construction rights will also manage the development for 30 years.
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Old August 28th, 2005, 08:55 AM   #98
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Crunch time on cultural project
Raymond Wang
19 June 2004
Hong Kong Standard

All eyes are on today's tender deadline for the HK$24 billion West Kowloon cultural hub project, with at least three consortiums prepared to hand in development proposals.

A powerful consortium of Hong Kong's two largest developers, Cheung Kong (Holdings) and Sun Hung Kai Properties, is the frontrunner due to its financial clout.

Henderson Land Development is among those believed to have handed in a proposal, after raising HK$8 billion through a share placement and bond issue last year that analysts believe is to be used for the project.

Chairman Lee Shau-kee had said the company might make a sole bid.

With its war chest recently boosted to HK$11 billion, Sino Land will make a joint-venture bid, sources said.

In October, at least 11 companies or consortiums expressed interest in tendering for the 40-hectare project. But New World Development, which was among those that lodged a "letter of intent" for the project, recently decided its interest was misplaced.

Managing director Henry Cheng said the cultural component of the mega project is not part of the developer's expertise and that the government should handle that side of it and let the developers handle the residential part.

Cheng's view was shared by Hang Lung Properties and Great Eagle Holdings, with both saying they are not keen to bid for the tender.

MTR Corporation, which also expressed interest in the project last year, said it will not submit a proposal.

Sources said developers are asking for a plot ratio higher than the existing 1.81 times to maximise property development potential and reduce investment risk on the cultural component.

The project is expected to provide a profit margin of 15 per cent, analysts said.

The project's chosen design, by award-winning architect Norman Foster, allocates 39 per cent of the development site to arts and cultural use, 17 per cent for commerce such as offices, and 16 per cent for hotels and residential accommodation. The remaining 28 per cent has been designated for public space and utilities.

The government favours awarding the project to a single developer or large consortium, but small- and medium-sized developers want a slice of the mega project.

The West Kowloon development plan was unveiled in September. It aims to transform the prime waterfront site into a world-class cultural zone. The winning consortium will have the right to manage the area, twice the size of Tai Koo Shing, for 30 years.

Separately, Cheung Kong and Sun Hung Kai Properties' Kwok family are both shortlisted to bid in a new round of tenders on the King Yin Lei mansion on Stubbs Road.
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Old August 28th, 2005, 08:42 PM   #99
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Architects fight to win Kowloon project
Chloe Lai
21 June 2004
South China Morning Post

The West Kowloon cultural district project is not only a battleground for property developers, it is also a competition between the world's top architects and engineers.

Sunny Development, a consortium led by Sino Land, Wharf (Holdings), Chinese Estates Holdings and K. Wah International Holdings, has hired Lord Rogers as one of the project designers. Lord Rogers designed Britain's Millennium Dome.

The consortium, one of five bidders for the 40-hectare cultural district and the first to release details of its design, has also hired Anthony Hunt, structural designer of Britain's Eden Project, to design the giant canopy proposed by Lord Foster.

Architects Herzog & de Meuron, which designed London's Tate Modern gallery and is engaged on the Beijing Olympic Stadium, has been hired to design the performance venue and the museum of modern art.

The project will be based on Lord Foster's winning design, which features a giant canopy covering half the area. The winner will be announced next year.

The four other bidders were: World City Cultural Park (Henderson Land Development); Swire Properties; Dynamic Star International (a joint venture between Cheung Kong Holdings and Sun Hung Kai Properties); and individual bidder Lam Sze-tat. It is understood that Dynamic Star International has hired Norman Foster Partnership as its consultant.

Under Sunny Development's proposal, the waterfront area near Kowloon station would host cultural facilities including theatres, museums and libraries, covered by a huge roof-top park. Rather than the single canopy envisaged by Lord Foster, the park would be covered in more than 100 smaller canopies.

"The master plan has interwoven architecture and interior spaces with courtyards, lawns, woodland and roof gardens on top of all buildings," the firm said.
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Old August 30th, 2005, 07:14 AM   #100
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Five in bidding for cultural hub project
21 June 2004
Hong Kong Standard

Five companies or consortiums have submitted bids for the HK$24 billion cultural hub project in West Kowloon.

Henderson Land Development, Swire Properties and a company called "Lam Sze-tat" submitted sole tenders for the mega development.

Cheung Kong (Holdings) and Sun Hung Kai Properties bid through a 50/50 joint-venture.

Sunny Development, established by Wharf (Holdings), Sino Land, K Wah International Holdings and Chinese Estate Holdings also bid.

The 40-hectare waterfront site at the southern tip of the West Kowloon Reclamation will be developed into an integrated arts, cultural and entertainment district.

The proposals will be assessed by a committee chaired by the Permanent Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands and all proposals will be put on public display early next year.

The project's chosen design, by award-winning architect Norman Foster, allocates 39 per cent of the development site to arts and cultural use, 17 per cent for commerce such as offices, and 16 per cent for hotels and residential accommodation. The remaining 28 per cent has been designated for public space and utilities.

The government favours awarding the project to a single developer or large consortium although small developers have been lobbying the government to change the parameters so they might win a piece of the action.

Construction is expected to begin in April 2007 at the earliest, and the schedule calls for the core arts and cultural facilities to come into operation in phases from 2011 onwards.
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