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Old August 30th, 2005, 07:17 AM   #101
hkskyline
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Arts hub may get world's tallest fountain; Under one plan, water would shoot up to 50 storeys
Sandy Li and Chloe Lai
22 June 2004
South China Morning Post

Hong Kong will have a 150-metre tall fountain - the world's tallest - if the government awards the West Kowloon cultural district project to Henderson Land Development.

Colin Lam Ko-yin, vice-chairman of the group, said yesterday that water from the fountain will go up as high as a 50-storey building.

He also said the cultural hub will keep Lord Foster's gigantic canopy and include a big plaza suitable for hosting national ceremonies.

The design was drawn up by consultants from the United States, Australia and Japan.

Its architect is Cesar Pelli, the designer of the International Finance Centre and the Cheung Kong Center in Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur's Petronas Towers.

He has also designed the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Osaka, Japan, and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Arts in Madison, Wisconsin.

The group consulted more than 340 overseas and local arts and cultural organisations about their requirements for an auditorium. Residential, commercial and cultural facilitates will each occupy about one-third of the land.

But critics questioned the vision of the design, as well as the relationship between a giant fountain, a big plaza and the city's art and culture.

Henderson Land is the second bidder to reveal its design for the 40-hectare site on reclaimed land near Kowloon station. Mr Lam estimated the project would need an investment of between $20 billion and $30 billion.

Sunny Development - a consortium formed between Sino Land, Wharf (Holdings), Chinese Estates Holdings and K. Wah International - was the first bidder to unveil its plan for the cultural hub.

As the invitation for proposals on the cultural district project closed last Saturday, the government received five bids.

The other bidders are: Swire Properties, Dynamic Star International (a joint venture between Cheung Kong Holdings and Sun Hung Kai Properties) and an individual proponent, Lam Sze-tat.
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Old August 30th, 2005, 07:18 AM   #102
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Bidders in move to increase flats at cultural hub
Raymond Wang
22 June 2004
Hong Kong Standard

Two bidders for the controversial West Kowloon cultural hub project have proposed an increase in the number of flats on the site.

The Sunny Development consortium and Henderson Land Development want to increase their plot ratios at the proposed project, which involves an investment of up to HK$30 billion.

To maximise residential property potential and reduce investment risk at the 40-hectare site, Sunny Development, which includes Sino Land, Wharf (Holdings), Chinese Estates Holdings and K Wah International Holdings, has proposed a plot ratio of more than 3.3 times.

Henderson vice-chairman Colin Lam said yesterday it has proposed a plot ratio of about 2.5 times, comprising 1.7 for property development and 0.8 for the cultural aspect.

The plot ratio, which stands at 1.81 times, determines the number of flats and floor area of the cultural component at the site. But the government has said the ratio can be adjusted.

Under Henderson's proposal as the World City Cultural Park, the cultural, commercial and residential portions will each account for one-third.

Henderson chairman Lee Shau-kee said: "We have financial strength and so decided to submit a solo bid with investment costs as much as HK$30 billion."

He said investment costs will be spread over several years, with around HK$3 billion to HK$5 billion expected to be injected each year.

"As a company posting several billion dollars in net profit each year, the amount is acceptable."

Apart from Henderson, Swire Properties, and a company called Lam Sze-tat, have submitted sole tenders for the mega project.

Cheung Kong (Holdings) and Sun Hung Kai Properties have bid through a 50-50 joint venture, Dynamic Star International.

Separately, Henderson chief Lee played down the government's decision to raise its supply forecast of new flats in 2007 from 7,000 to 11,000. He said the mild increase was unlikely to have an effect on the property market.

Furthermore, Lee said plans by the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corp (KCRC) to release 13,600 new flats for sale in the New Territories by 2008 would also not dent the market because they would be rolled out in the next four years. New World Development chairman Cheng Yu-tung agreed it was right for the KCRC to relaunch projects following a tender suspension over the past two years, adding its decision will not have an undue influence on the homes market.

However, Real Estate Developers' Association president Stanley Ho admits he is worried by the KCRC move.

"The supply volume at present is acceptable but oversupply may dampen the market," he said.

Also yesterday, MTR Corp chairman Raymond Ch'ien said the launch of the Tseung Kwan O Area 86 project was still on, with the first batch of flats expected to be completed in 2007.
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Old September 1st, 2005, 05:22 AM   #103
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Cultural hub to lift property prices
Eli Lau
25 June 2004
Hong Kong Standard

The HK$24 billion cultural hub project is expected to lift property prices in Kowloon, according to Midland Realty (Holdings).

A survey by the agency found 90 per cent of those interviewed expected the controversial project to boost the property prices nearby, while 74 per cent said it would stimulate home sales in the district.

The survey was conducted last week, shortly after the government announced a total of five consortiums had submitted bids for the project.

About 61 per cent of respondents estimated that property projects within the cultural hub could be priced at HK$8,001 to HK$10,000 per sq ft.

"It indicates that people have high expectations of the mega development," Midland regional sales director Eric Cheung said.

Meanwhile, the agency reported a total of 8,137 property deals in Kowloon for the first-half of 2004, up 61 per cent compared with the same period last year.

The surge was despite a transaction slowdown since the second quarter due to a price correction in the market. "The transactions were mainly at Serenity Place and Tseung Kwan O Plaza," Cheung said.

Tseung Kwan O was designated a New Territories new town under government planning, but industry players generally considered the properties there as part of Kowloon supply due to its location. "The overwhelming response reflects that there is still adequate demand to take up new flats," Cheung said.

The number of backlog units in Kowloon has significantly dropped from a peak 12,500 last March to 4,609 last month, Midland said. Properties in West Kowloon were well received by homebuyers with the backlog falling by 74 per cent to 1,248.

For the secondary market, Midland has recorded 1,238 second-hand flat deals in West Kowloon for the first half this year, rising from 385 in the same period last year.

"The West Kowloon cultural project is expected to become a landmark in the district and boost property values around it," Cheung said. "I expect to see about a 10 to 15 per cent price rise for the full year in the Kowloon district."

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.

Under the selected design, by Norman Foster and partners, 39 per cent of the 695,000 square metres site will be designated for arts and culture, while 17 per cent will be developed into office space, 16 per cent for residential use, 21 per cent for retail and the rest for community use.
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Old September 1st, 2005, 01:34 PM   #104
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people in hk stop talking and start building something
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Old September 2nd, 2005, 03:22 AM   #105
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KCRC to consider option of station in Canton Road
Omission in plans for tourist area had perplexed retailers and councillors
Joseph Lo
25 June 2004
South China Morning Post

The KCRC and the government will re-examine the feasibility of building a station in Canton Road following outrage that plans for the proposed Kowloon Southern Link rail line overlook one of the city's busiest tourist and shopping areas.

The about-face by the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation also came after representatives of Wharf (Holdings) told members of Legco's transport panel yesterday that its latest proposal for the station would cost a fraction of the $3 billion price of the KCRC's original plan.

The property company's chief manager for external relations, Frankie Yick Chi-ming, told legislators and district councillors that the latest proposal would cost 15 to 20 per cent of the earlier estimate.

KCRC and Wharf have been at odds over the building of a station in Canton Road along the Kowloon Southern Link, a 3.8km passenger rail line linking the West Rail terminus at Nam Cheong station with the East Rail's Tsim Sha Tsui East station, now under construction.

The rail line, expected to cost about $8.3 billion, will be completed by 2009 if work starts next year.

Retailers in Canton Road and district councillors for the area had expected the KCRC to put a station on the busy street, a main commercial, tourism and entertainment point.

But when the scheme was gazetted in March, only the West Kowloon station was included.

Henry Chan Man-yu, chairman of the Yau Tsim Mong District Council, said he was perplexed by the omission, given the street's importance. "The more I listen, the more confused I am," Mr Chan said.

Legislator Abraham Razack said: "Government has to take a stronger stance {hellip} and force the KCRC to build the [Canton Road] station".

Wharf's new plan involves building a station in 50,000 sq ft of space now occupied by the underground car park of the World Finance Centre, part of Wharf's Harbour City development on Canton Road.

The new study, which will look at the economic benefits of the station and the technical feasibility of Wharf's plan, is set for completion by mid-September, when it will be presented to legislators.

The latest proposal stands in marked contrast to the KCRC's original request that Wharf demolish the office tower and replace it with a development that would include the Canton Road station in the design.

Mr Yick said the new cost-estimate was based on land costs and the likely impact of construction on its property holdings.

The KCRC's move to omit the station from the plan has been seen as a tactic to lower the line's development costs and push Wharf, Canton Road's largest landlord, to foot more of the bill for a station from which it stands to benefit.

The Canton Road Association, which mainly comprises Wharf and retailers in its properties, early this month urged the transport panel to investigate.
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Old September 2nd, 2005, 03:28 AM   #106
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Cruise terminal plans challenged
Carrie Chan
29 June 2004
South China Morning Post

Plans for a new cruise terminal were challenged yesterday by legislators who said the Tourism Commission was following the West Kowloon Cultural District model - allowing a developer to subsidise the project with property development.

The accusation came after the commission said it would invite proposals from developers in the second half of the year for a terminal to be completed by 2009, and that about 30 possible sites would be offered.

The project is aimed at easing pressure on existing berthing facilities, accommodating huge cruise vessels that cannot berth at Ocean Terminal, and to develop Hong Kong as a home port.

At a meeting of the Legislative Council's economic services panel yesterday, lawmakers expressed concern that a private developer would use property development to finance the cruise terminal's operation.

Howard Young of the Liberal Party, representing the tourism industry, asked why the terminal could not be a public facility which did not charge high port fees.

Tourism Commissioner Eva Cheng Yu-wah said that the public-private partnership model was favoured so that government resources could be used in other facilities.

"Private companies have new technology. They are able to build a terminal faster than we can," she said.
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Old September 2nd, 2005, 03:35 AM   #107
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Key role at cultural site
Keith Wallis
29 June 2004
Hong Kong Standard

Mott Connell has secured a key role in the development of the West Kowloon cultural district after being appointed technical consultant by the Territory Development Department.

The firm will advise the government on how the five bids submitted on Saturday address issues in five areas. These comprise wind engineering and microclimate underneath the canopy, design of the automated people mover system, building above the entrance to the Western Harbour Tunnel, building around ventilation and acoustics and stage engineering for the theatres complex.

Mott Connell's assessment will help the government rank the five bids from the most to the least favoured. Mott Connell will also advise during the negotiation phase with the preferred bidders.

The five bids were submitted by World City Culture Park, Sunny Development, Swire Properties, Dyamic Star International and Lam Sze-tat.

Mott Connell's contract will last until 2006. "The firm will advise on technical areas where the government lacks the in-house skills," one source said.

Construction on the West Kowloon site will begin in April 2007 and the core arts and cultural facilities will come into operation in phases from 2011.
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Old September 3rd, 2005, 06:50 PM   #108
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Neat to see all these projects develop. What was there before, farmland? And will it be accessible by the metro?
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Old September 3rd, 2005, 11:22 PM   #109
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The site was reclaimed in the 1990s as part of the new Hong Kong International Airport project. It's only across the street from the Kowloon MTR Station.
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Old September 4th, 2005, 05:39 AM   #110
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hkskyline, why are you posting news from summer of 2004???
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Old September 4th, 2005, 05:42 AM   #111
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I am reconstructing this thread since it was mysteriously deleted a few months ago. I'm gathering all the relevant news articles and photos that were lost and putting them back here in chronological order.
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Old September 4th, 2005, 03:51 PM   #112
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AMAZING
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Old September 4th, 2005, 10:11 PM   #113
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hkskyline good job!!
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Old September 7th, 2005, 03:19 AM   #114
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Swire shuns canopy in radical harbour proposal
Chloe Lai
8 July 2004
South China Morning Post

Swire Properties has submitted a radically different proposal for the West Kowloon waterfront, with the accent on greenery rather than a gigantic canopy.

The company has proposed to the government that the waterfront be covered by a 30-hectare "living green roof" comprising trees rather than a huge canopy constructed from glass, steel and concrete.

Instead of following the government's approach of siting all new arts and cultural facilitates in West Kowloon, Swire has proposed rejuvenating existing facilities in Tsim Sha Tsui and building new ones at the Tamar site.

It hired Frank Owen Gehry, the architect behind the renowned Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, to submit designs for a cultural complex at Tamar.

Gordon Ongley, Swire Properties director and general manager, admitted it was risky because the proposal demanded all bids include a 20-hectare canopy.

He said it was important to let people know there was more than one solution to West Kowloon, and urged the government to include all five submissions in the public consultation.

He said Swire had reservations over the government's idea that all cultural facilities be sited in West Kowloon.
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Old September 7th, 2005, 03:23 AM   #115
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World City Culture Park Limited
Source : http://gakei.com/wkc/wkc.htm







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Old September 7th, 2005, 03:24 AM   #116
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Gehry bid dare to Foster's hold
Sylvia Hui
9 July 2004
Hong Kong Standard

Swire Properties' radical proposals for the West Kowloon Cultural District might force the government to rethink its plans for the district, according to a Chinese University architecture professor.

Swire's submission to the government, which was unveiled to the public on Wednesday, created shockwaves as the plans do not include the Norman Foster-designed canopy, and also extend the scale of the project to include Tsim Sha Tsui and Central.

Chinese University architecture professor Bernard Lim told MetroNews that by hiring acclaimed architect Frank Gehry, Swire is testing the government, which he believes favours "certain designers and developers".

Lim was referring to Foster, the designer of the HSBC building in Central and the airport at Chek Lap Kok, who is understood to be working with Sun Hung Kai Properties. Sun Hung Kai and Cheung Kong Holdings, which are bidding jointly under a Dynamic Star International umbrella, are the only developers of the five contenders who have not revealed their design yet.

The other bidders are Henderson Land, a consortium led by Sino Land and Wharf (Holdings), and an individual named Lam Sze-tat.

"An architect of Gehry's class doesn't agree to designing things easily, and the international media knows it. There is no choice for the government but to assess Swire's proposal properly, even if it does not include a canopy," Lim said.

Gehry's stunning Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, northern Spain, has turned the industrial town into a tourist haven, bringing in much needed revenue and also putting the Basque city on the world stage.

"Besides, the government did not clearly define what `canopy' meant [in the guidelines for submissions]," Lim said. The giant transparent roof, which would cover the equivalent of about 25 football pitches, is considered by many to be a huge financial burden.

"This is an innovative and welcomed alternative for the public, compared to the more complacent submissions by Henderson and Sino Land," Lim said. "It's much better than the government doing everything behind closed doors. I have to admire [Swire] for putting this challenge to the government to re-examine its limited vision of West Kowloon as well as its whole cultural policy."

Lim is also the chairman of the board of local affairs at the Hong Kong Institute of Architects. He had previously pointed out numerous problems with the cultural project and its canopy to MetroNews.

Legislator Tang Siu-tong, who chairs the Legislative Council's Panel on Planning, Lands and Works, said he does not know yet if the government will disclose its preliminary stance in next week's panel meeting.

But Tang said the fact that "certain high-level officials" including Chief Secretary Donald Tsang are fond of the canopy design must be considered.

A spokeswoman for housing, planning and lands said the government is in the process of reading through the massive amount of submitted material, and cannot provide any comments on individual proposals. The public will get to see the designs early next year, she said.
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Old September 7th, 2005, 05:54 AM   #117
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Oh man, they better not ditch the canopy. If anything, JUST BUILD THE CANOPY!!! No canopy means it's just another plain old "area" with buildings and stuff.

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Old September 8th, 2005, 06:39 AM   #118
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Stanley Ho favours multi-developer idea
Jimmy Cheung
11 July 2005
South China Morning Post

Tycoon Stanley Ho Hung-sun has weighed into the debate over the West Kowloon project, saying a multi-developer approach would net the government $150 billion more than a single developer would.

Mr Ho, chairman of the Real Estate Developers Association, yesterday criticised the proposal to award the cultural hub to a single developer.

"I have always opposed the single-developer approach. We think the Treasury would gain much less as a result," he said.

He believed the government could gain up to $200 billion by opening up the bid, compared with its own estimate of $50 billion to $60 billion.

"As long as the government allows more developers to participate, either through the application list or public auction, it can fetch at least over $100 billion, if not $200 billion.

"If the government can make more money, why not?"

The casino and property tycoon also said the Executive Council should include representatives from the property sector, as the industry was such an important part of the economy.

He dismissed fears that this would lead to collusion with businesses, saying such problems only existed in poor countries.

Speaking on a Commercial Radio programme yesterday, Alan Leong Kah-kit, chairman of a Legco committee on the West Kowloon project, hoped the government would establish a new steering authority to develop the project.

As his committee was still unable to gain access to crucial details on the project, such as financial arrangements and technical studies, Mr Leong would not rule out the possibility of invoking special Legco powers to obtain the relevant papers later this year.

But he said this would be a last resort. "We have entered an interactive stage. We hope there will be a positive response from the government," he said, referring to recommendations tabled last week.
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Old September 8th, 2005, 06:43 AM   #119
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Swire challenges blueprint with 'living green roof'
Peggy Sito
14 July 2004
South China Morning Post

A radical proposal from Swire Properties that dispenses with the idea of a giant glass canopy for the proposed West Kowloon Cultural District project may pose a challenge to the government, which had insisted on the canopy in the first place.

The canopy, suggested by architect Sir Norman Foster, is a stipulated feature in the proposed cultural hub, which will occupy 40 hectares of reclaimed land on the West Kowloon waterfront.

Last week, Swire presented a proposal that offered an alternative plan, replacing the idea of a glass, steel and concrete canopy with the concept of a 30-hectare "living green roof ", with trees and foliage.

The government's intention of awarding the project to a single developer who would incorporate the glass canopy in the building plan has been criticised by smaller developers, who would like to see the project split so that a number of players could take part in creating the cultural hub.

The Swire proposal is seen by many as potentially awkward for the government.

If the government decided to grant Swire the contract, it would be as good as admitting that the initial canopy idea was not wise, said Pang Shiu-kee, head of SK Pang Surveyors.

And if the government accepted Swire's canopy-free proposal, it would have to explain why it was giving the $24 billion contract to one developer rather than splitting the project into several phases for a range of developers, analysts said.

Chief Secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen said the glass canopy was one of the main reasons the government had decided to entrust the project to a single consortium that would be responsible for maintaining the site for 30 years.

"If the government wants more than one developer, [our] plan is technically feasible," Gordon Ongley, Swire Properties director and general manager, said last week.

Swire Properties is a supporter of the Real Estate Developers' Association, which has asked that the project be divided into phases so that big and small developers can have a share in it.

Mr Pang of SK Pang Surveyors believed Swire Properties had a slim chance of winning the project. He said other developers who had submitted bids that included the required canopy would object if the Swire proposal was accepted.

Five bids were received before the June 19 deadline for submissions. Henderson Land Development said its proposal included the giant canopy.

A consortium formed by Sino Land, Wharf (Holdings), Chinese Estates Holdings and K. Wah International has proposed building a park covered by more than 100 small canopies.

A consortium formed by Sun Hung Kai Properties and Cheung Kong (Holdings) declined to discuss its proposal, and another bidder was unavailable for comment on its proposal.

Swire has requested that the government display all proposals for public consultation.

"Let the government make the decision based on the knowledge of what the community expresses," Mr Ongley said last week.

Environmental groups endorse having the proposals put up for public display.

"The government should be transparent, making sure that the winning proposal is in the best interests of the public," said Lister Cheung Lai-ping, chief executive of the Conservancy Association.

"Swire must have a strategy to play such a game. It is well planned," Ms Cheung said.
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Old September 8th, 2005, 06:44 AM   #120
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Promise broken on cultural hub tenders
Chloe Lai
15 July 2004
South China Morning Post

The steering committee headed by Chief Secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, which adopted the winning design for the West Kowloon cultural district will also choose the developer to build it, legislators were told yesterday.

The government had earlier promised that no politically appointed minister would be involved in the selection process.

Deputy Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands Thomas Tso Man-tai said the government would select the winning bid by the middle of next year and the project would start in April 2007.

He said the steering committee, set up in October 2002, would make the final decision on the winning bid. It would review the marks awarded to each bid by a selection committee set up to study the proposals.

Speaking to a Legislative Council planning, lands and works panel, Mr Tso said the public's opinions of the designs would be taken into account in selecting the winning proposal. Public consultation would continue even if only one proposal met the requirements.

He also said that apart from the design, the premiums developers were prepared to pay for the project would be displayed for public consultation.

Five developers are bidding for the project: Henderson Land Development; Swire Properties; a joint venture of Cheung Kong (Holdings) and Sun Hung Kai Properties; a joint venture of Wharf Holdings, Sino Land, Chinese Estates and Ka Wah; and individual bidder Lam Sze-tat.

The Cheung Kong-Sun Hung Kai joint venture has hired as its designer Lord Foster's company. The British architect won the design competition for the project.

The selection committee, headed by Permanent Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Leung Chin-man, was announced by Mr Tsang in October in an attempt to ease discontent over the project. It consists of senior civil servants with various areas of expertise, and Independent Commission Against Corruption officers. Announcing it, Mr Tsang said the selection process had to be fair and transparent and no government minister would be involved to prevent political interference.

The Frontier legislator Emily Lau Wai-hing said she foresaw "many troubles" with the procedure.
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