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Old March 2nd, 2009, 02:02 PM   #181
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Opinion : Retrospective rezoning of QRE Plaza has set a dangerous precedent
22 February 2009
South China Morning Post

With the retrospective rezoning of QRE Plaza, in Wan Chai, from open space to commercial, the Hong Kong town planning process has crossed the Rubicon and ushered in a whole new era of over- development. Developers using this decision as a template can now build on green-zoned sites, and then apply for rezoning on any spurious claim.

In the case of QRE Plaza the developer's argument, supported by our ever supine Planning Department, was there was noise and air pollution from traffic, hence the site was not ideal for open space. Surely it is because of these very conditions that it is appropriate to have some empty spaces on busy streets in order to mitigate the canyon wall effect? If all our open spaces were subjected to similar criteria most would fail to be ideal locations.

District planning officer Brenda Au Kit-ying claims that the open space planned for Lee Tung Street will provide ample open space for the district. Anybody sitting in the concrete space planned for that development will be bombarded by the exhaust of the hundreds of cars driving in and out of the extensive parking facilities included in the plan.

No mention has been made of the abuse of the zoning plans and why the Planning, Buildings, Transport and other departments involved in the approval process for the QRE Plaza all disregarded the zoning status of the site.

The administration in its desire to support Hopewell Holdings has now opened a can of worms, the repercussions of which we can only imagine. It is obvious by the number of incursions into our country parks recently and the cutting of trees and other pre-development works undertaken that developers have been anticipating the outcome of the town planning decision on QRE. Now with the collusion of indigenous villagers, residents and taxpayers in other countries who return to Hong Kong only to keep their right of abode and to join in some traditional knees-up, developers will be busy digging out any old document that can be used as a basis for developing green sites.

Our government will be only too happy to back their claims. Outline zoning plans have been rendered redundant.

Candy Tam, Wan Chai
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Old March 31st, 2009, 03:53 PM   #182
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Opinion : Plaza rezoning merits closer examination
31 March 2009
South China Morning Post

The 1,907 individuals and organisations who objected to the retrospective rezoning of QRE Plaza in Wan Chai from open space to commercial were most surprised to receive a message from the Town Planning Board on March 19 justifying its decision to approve the rezoning.

The fact that the board felt there was a need to explain the reasons why the application site was not rezoned earlier indicates that there is something suspect about the proceedings.

The board says it is its established practice to rezone a site to reflect an approved use until the completion of the approved scheme in order to ensure that the development would be implemented in accordance with the approved scheme and the approval condition(s), if any, would be complied with. This explanation appears to be obtuse and to indicate that the site was only zoned open space in order to cap the height and introduce a pedestrian footbridge.

Are we therefore to accept that all sites zoned open space are merely temporary zonings to ensure that approval conditions are fulfilled?

Surely the function of the outlying zoning plan is to dictate the overall design plan for a district that controls density, height and provisions for at least the minimum open space per resident as required by law?

Moreover this waffle does not legitimise the fact that Hopewell Holdings was allowed to erect a 25-storey commercial building on a site zoned open space without a single government department involved in the approval process raising an objection.

When Legco winds up the Leung Chin-man inquiry involving possible favours to another developer, New World, it must immediately set up a panel to investigate the QRE affair.

The rezoning was very conveniently approved just days before the announcement that the developer had pulled out of the nearby Urban Renewal Authority Lee Tung ("Wedding Card") Street project. One of the reasons given for the rezoning was that there is sufficient open space in the area when the planned open space provision of not less than 3,000 square metres at that project is factored in. The Wedding Card Street project could now be 10 years down the line and can undergo radical changes.

So delay no more. An open and transparent town planning process is essential.

Candy Tam, Wan Chai
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Old April 14th, 2009, 04:56 PM   #183
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合和二期道路工程 耗資四億明年動工
10 April 2009
星島日報

合和中心二期(前稱Mega Tower)的道路改善工程昨日正式刊憲,工程費高達四億元,當局會就工程展開為期兩個月的諮詢,預計可於明年動工,二○一四年完成,以紓緩現時交通已呈飽和的皇后大道東和堅尼地道交匯處。

合和發言人指,政府刊憲道路改善工程,標誌着合和二期進入另一階段,而合和亦樂意繼續與政府及地區溝通,更會按法定程序繼續推展合和二期工程項目,預計明年可展開道路改善工程。

紓緩皇后大道東交通

耗資四億元的合和二期道路改善工程,包括擴闊堅尼地道及皇后大道東現有行車道和行人路的部分路段、在船街日後的公眾休憩用地鋪設四點五米闊的行人通道、在皇后大道東與堅尼地道交界處興建有蓋行人天橋等。

按早前合和提出的交通影響評估報告指出,現時皇后大道東和堅尼地道交匯處的交通流量已經飽和,預計到二○一六年若沒有道路改善工程,該處屆時會嚴重擠塞;而在道路改善工程後,估計屆時上午繁忙時間每小時交通流量上限將可上升三成八。記者 周嘉莉
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Old May 11th, 2009, 07:00 PM   #184
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合和二期批建55層
24 April 2009
東方日報

【東方日報專訊】籌劃逾三十年的灣仔合和中心二期商業發展(前稱Mega Tower),發展商於去年底與政府達成共識後,近月終獲屋宇署批出新發展方案的建築圖則,將建一幢五十五層高酒店及商業物業,總樓面逾一百零九萬方呎。另受發展商減慢發展步伐影響,今年首季獲批動工的私宅僅二百九十九個,按年勁減九成四,並創有數據公布以來的季度新低。

恒地屯門建13幢屋

屋宇署上月批出二十八份圖則,以合和中心二期發展規模最大,項目於九四年已獲批建九十三層高摩天樓,後因反對聲音不絕而削減規模,剛批出的圖則與政府在去年底達成的共識相若,酒店樓面約六十萬七千三百方呎,寫字樓樓面約四十八萬七千方呎。

港島區亦有多個重建項目獲批圖則,包括銅鑼灣開平道新寧閣、灣仔軒尼詩道二十四至三十四號、半山堅道九十二至九十四號、灣仔街市重建、以及薄扶林道九十二A、九十二B及九十二C號項目;其中希慎(00014)的新寧閣准建一幢四十三層高寫字樓及酒店物業,樓面約二十萬七千方呎。

另恒地(00012)屯門藍地福亨村項目,獲批建十三幢三層高洋房。而期內共有十三個項目獲批施工同意書,涉及住宅樓面約八十一萬三千方呎,包括長實(00001)元朗洪水橋洋房發展。

住宅動工量創新低

利嘉閣周滿傑說,首季住宅動工量為屋宇署公布數據以來按季新低,料年內數字仍偏低。美聯劉嘉輝指出,首季私宅落成量僅近一千六百五十伙,按季跌逾七成。
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Old June 5th, 2009, 10:43 AM   #185
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Opinion : Another historic part of city will disappear
3 June 2009
South China Morning Post

I write to endorse the well-expressed opinions of Dare Koslow ("What will be the legacy of HK's development-blinded planners", May 29).

In Wan Chai, the secretary for transport has gazetted roadworks to support the [Hopewell Centre II], formerly known as the Mega Tower [before it was scaled down]. These include the extinguishing of a large section of historic Ship Street. It was one of the first streets to have been established on Hong Kong Island. Its long, wide granite staircase gives a direct right of way from the original shoreline up to Nam Koo Terrace (a grade one heritage building).

The neighbouring Hau Fung Lane will also vanish, thereby eliminating one of best the examples of treed granite retaining walls and granite staircases still in Hong Kong. These are unique to Hong Kong, so it is disappointing that our government views their demise as progress. There is no traffic justification for this vandalism.

It seems that the developer covets this public area for increasing its project and our government is ever willing to sacrifice heritage, open space and the environment to accommodate and to generate revenue. While this mentality pervades the upper reaches of government there is little chance that Hong Kong can retain its diverse and unique character and blandness beckons.

Roger Emmerton, Wan Chai
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Old June 6th, 2009, 11:23 AM   #186
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灣仔居民遊行籲訂可持續發展規劃
11 May 2009
信報

發展局正就市區重建策略展開檢討,近三十名灣仔區居民昨天發起遊行,要求當局制定一套可持續發展的市區重建政策,包括由政府委託獨立顧問進行交通影響評估報告、推出重建項目前須向受影響及周邊社群逐戶發信諮詢、妥善處理建築廢料等。 保護堅尼地道小組、廈門街街坊關注組及肇輝台關注組昨日組織近三十名灣仔區居民,於區內遊行並召開居民大會。居民主要不滿當局草率通過利東街重建項目和合和二期項目,擔心將令區內交通不勝負荷,損害居民利益。政府上月就合和二期的道路改善工程刊憲並展開兩個月諮詢,保護堅尼地道小組發言人何婉屏呼籲居民在諮詢期內提交意見,阻止工程上馬。 出席居民大會的民主黨立法會議員甘乃威認為,近年一系列重建項目引起居民強烈不滿,主要由於事前缺乏全面的諮詢,令發展淪為項目規劃,而非社區規劃。 甘乃威以合和二期為例指出,發展商委託顧問公司進行交通影響評估報告,結果集中探討合和二期周邊的交通流量,而忽略對整個灣仔區的交通影響,損害居民利整,造成規劃失當。 他建議,日後應改為政府委託獨立顧問公司,由整個社區的角度出發,評估交通影響,並促請當局改變「先破壞、後重建」的發展方針,日後推出任何發展或重建項目前須向受影響及周邊社群逐戶發信諮詢■
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 07:02 PM   #187
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合和30年後灣仔再出手
16 June 2009

【明報專訊】曾經是本港「地產五虎將」的合和實業(0054),自1980年代之後專注投資基建及物業收租之後,在本港已有20、30年沒有投資過住宅物業。

為區內大地主

今次突然「重出江湖」,伙拍信置(0083)合組財團入標灣仔俗稱「喜帖街」的利東街重建項目,顯然是因為合和在區內眾多項目,包括大型項目合和中心二期,反應集團希望鞏固灣仔區的龐大物業版圖。

童年時在灣仔長大的合和實業主席胡應湘,對該區的感情濃厚,在區內發迹的他,在70年末期崛起,先後收購灣仔舊式樓宇進行重建,發展合和中心及胡忠大廈。此外,合和於灣仔的版圖,亦包括皇后大道東的商廈項目QRE Plaza以及服務式住宅Garden East,兩者於最近兩年開始營業,同屬單幢式物業,規模並不算大。

不過,去年旗下的大型酒店項目合和中心二期(Mega Tower),經過與城規會拉鋸近30年之後,終於落實興建一幢55層高酒店及商業物業,總樓面逾109萬方呎,並於2016年完工。

若利東街項目若投標成功,相信將令集團在灣仔區的版圖大幅擴大,合和灣仔最大業主的地位,將更加鞏固。
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Old June 24th, 2009, 11:34 AM   #188
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合和擴版圖 鞏固灣仔王國
24 June 2009
香港經濟日報

  灣仔乃合和發跡地,旗艦物業合和中心在80年落成後,多年來擴張版圖,令集團王國儼如「小灣仔」。

  胡應湘05年時曾說︰「我在灣仔區發達,合和中心又成了代表作,灣仔舊區重建我也有責任。」可見胡應湘對灣仔區有著難以言喻的濃厚感情,重建該區一直是他的心願。

  胡應湘自小一家13口居於灣仔,對該區充滿感情,他於30年前一手策劃興建合和中心,大廈於1980年落成,更以樓高66層成為當時全港最高的大廈;其後又在附近收地興建胡忠大廈,以紀念其父親,樓高38層的胡忠大廈於1991年落成。

  近年皇后大道東的銀座式商場QRE Plaza,以及服務式住宅Garden East先後落成,兩項目規模並不算大,僅屬單幢式物業。

  該集團近年在灣仔區的發展出現突破,拉鋸近30年之合和中心二期重建項目(前稱Mega Tower),與政府的磋商終在去年破冰,落實興建一幢55層高酒店及商業物業,總樓面逾109萬平方呎。現再下一城取得利東街重建發展權,集團進一步擴大灣仔區版圖,令其於區內的地位更加鞏固。
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Old February 8th, 2010, 03:03 PM   #189
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Hopewell to pour HK$12b into projects
5 February 2010
SCMP

Hopewell Holdings and its highway construction unit plan to invest nearly HK$12 billion in the next six years in Hong Kong and Guangdong to develop residential and commercial projects and build expressways.

By 2016, Hopewell will invest HK$9.2 billion to develop properties in Wan Chai, said Thomas Jefferson Wu, the managing director of Hopewell and its subsidiary, Hopewell Highway Infrastructure (HHI).

About HK$4.2 billion will go towards its Lee Tung Street project and HK$5 billion to Hopewell Centre II.

The Lee Tung Street project is Hopewell's 50-50 joint venture with Sino Land. Residential and commercial properties are planned for the site, with a gross floor area of 835,000 square feet, scheduled to be completed in 2015. The initial plan for Hopewell Centre II is a conference hotel with 1,024 rooms, with a targeted completion date of 2016.

In Guangdong, Hopewell plans to invest at least one billion yuan (HK$1.14 billion) in the Liede commercial property project in Guangzhou, scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2015.

HHI, 70.27 per cent owned by Hopewell, will invest 1.38 billion yuan by 2012 in phases two and three of the Western Delta Route toll expressway in the Pearl River Delta. Phase 2 will connect the cities of Shunde and Zhongshan, while Phase 3 will connect Zhongshan with Zhuhai.

"Even after that (investing in the expressway), HHI will still have cash," said Wu, the son of Sir Gordon Wu Ying-sheung, the chairman of Hopewell and HHI. "Perhaps there are other transport opportunities in China we might consider investing in. Both companies have cash on hand and very strong balance sheets for future investment."

At the end of last year, Hopewell and HHI had a cash balance of HK$3.5 billion and HK$2.7 billion, respectively, as well as available bank credit facilities of HK$16.5 billion and HK$3.6 billion.

The global financial crisis affected Hong Kong's property rental market and manufacturing in Guangdong, which in turn reduced traffic on HHI's highways in Guangdong, Wu said. Although rental income in Hong Kong softened last year, it will probably strengthen this year, and truck traffic on Guangdong's highways recovered strongly in the second half of last year.

Hopewell's net profit jumped 171 per cent to HK$931 million for the six months to December, while earnings before income and tax (ebit) soared 97 per cent to HK$1.26 billion. The near-doubling of ebit was partly due to the fair-value gain of Hopewell's investment property under construction, Broadwood Twelve.
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Old February 12th, 2010, 02:22 PM   #190
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Opinion : Residents furious at government for allowing Wan Chai plunder
11 February 2010
South China Morning Post

It is obvious that Gordon Wu Ying-sheung ("Tycoon likens 'uprising' call to red guards", January 29) is suffering from a severe dose of sour grapes.

His comment that some "people just turn to the streets because they want to demand something, just like the red guards", is a thinly-veiled potshot at the good citizens of Wan Chai who have been taking to the streets to protest the unacceptable levels of collusion between our administration and tycoon property developers like Sir Gordon.

Three projects have been the focus of much attention within the local community, all of it negative:

The Hopewell Holdings mega tower [Hopewell Centre II] project;

The Urban Renewal Authority's involvement with Hopewell and Sino Land to redevelop Lee Tung Street, also known as Wedding Card Street; and

The destruction of historic Wan Chai Market by the URA and Chinese Estates.

On Sunday, January 24, we had to take to the streets again. This time it was to protest a plan to, among other measures, cut down most of the trees and remove the hillside buffer that provides a sound barrier in front of Ruttonjee Hospital as part of a road-widening scheme without which the increased traffic to be generated by the proposed mega tower will bring traffic on Queen's Road East to a standstill.

The Transport Department is intent on pushing through a deeply flawed traffic impact assessment to remove obstacles to the mega tower.

The anomalies are too numerous to describe through these columns.

Far from being post-1980s protesters, residents from all age groups and backgrounds have no other option than to give up their precious free time that should be spent with family and friends to take to the streets when reasonable objections through the proper channels have been ignored and distorted.

We take great exception to being described as "red guards".

As for the contributions the functional constituencies have made to the development of our city, we have to ask what direction would Hong Kong have taken without their pervasive influence?

Their main objective is to retain the status quo whereby a select few are guaranteed obscene returns while the majority is destined to work long hours for low pay to keep these people on the rich lists.

This is not the fair and equitable society that Hong Kong people now aspire to and we are prepared to fight for this goal.

Candy Tam, Wan Chai
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Old May 20th, 2010, 08:40 PM   #191
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LCQ10: Hopewell Centre II development
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Government Press Release

Following is a question by the Hon Audrey Eu Yuet-mee and a written reply by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau, (in the absence of Secretary for Development)in the Legislative Council today (May 5):

Question:

It has been learnt that the Hopewell Centre II development project (the development) in Wan Chai includes the provision of a pedestrian walkway along the flyover connecting Kennedy Road to the development and a tunnel, and the developer may deduct the costs of the works from the land premium payable. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) apart from connecting Kennedy Road to the hotel included in the development, what other places the aforesaid pedestrian walkway will connect;

(b) whether the pedestrian walkway is a private street;

(c) of the details of the public's right of access to the pedestrian walkway and tunnel (including their opening hours and restrictions on the right of access to that road section);

(d) whether it has assessed the amount of land premium to be foregone by the Government which is attributable to the pedestrian walkway and tunnel; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

(e) what approach the authorities will take to regulate the construction, use and management of the pedestrian walkway and tunnel?

Reply:

President,

The Hopewell Centre II development was approved by the Town Planning Board (TPB) in 1994 subject to conditions which include the widening of and improvement to Kennedy Road, including the provision of a new flyover and tunnel access to the hotel site as necessitated by the proposed development, and the design of pedestrian access to the proposed development, as proposed by the Applicant, to the satisfaction of the Director of Planning or the TPB. These works will help to cope with the generated right-turn traffic on Kennedy Road into and out of the existing Hopewell Centre and the future Hopewell Centre II, thereby alleviating the traffic impact of the proposed development on Kennedy Road and its vicinity. Besides, the pedestrian access along the flyover can enhance the safety of pedestrians crossing Kennedy Road and mitigate the traffic impact brought by the development.

My reply to various parts of the question is as follows:

(a) As mentioned above, the proposed flyover cum pedestrian access and tunnel access will connect the Hopewell Centre II to Kennedy Road.

(b) and (c) The flyover cum pedestrian access and the tunnel access are located on Government land and will be open for public use 24 hours a day. They are therefore not regarded as private roads.

(d) The Hopewell Centre II development has not yet reached the premium assessment stage. The land exchange arrangements will only be finalised by the Lands Department (Lands D) upon authorisation of the road improvement works (RIW) by the relevant authorities and the submission of detailed information by the developer.

According to the existing land exchange arrangements, applications for land exchange will be subject to payment of full market value premium by the developer. The land premium is the difference between the value of the land owned by the developer before and after the land exchange. In assessing the land value, the professional valuers of Lands D will normally deduct the "development costs" to be borne by the developer as well as a reasonable profit margin from the "estimated sale value" of the completed development. The "estimated sale value" after land exchange generally refers to the sale value of the completed development on the land. As regards the Hopewell Centre II development, in estimating its sale value, the professional valuers will also take into account that the development will benefit from the RIW which form part and parcel of the development. Since the development costs (including the costs of the RIW) are to be borne by the developer, the professional valuers will assess the costs of the RIW and include them in the "development costs" which will then be deducted from the "estimated sale value".

(e) The developer's responsibility of maintaining and managing the facilities and ensuring the public's access to them will be clearly stipulated in the conditions of land exchange. The relevant authorities will monitor to ensure that the use and operation of the proposed flyover cum pedestrian access and tunnel access (including management and maintenance) on Kennedy Road are in compliance with the conditions of land exchange.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 05:57 PM   #192
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LCQ15: Planning for open space and green belt in the community
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Government Press Release
http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/2...1003100181.htm

Following is a question by the Hon Kam Nai-wai and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, in the Legislative Council today (March 10):

Question:

It has been learnt that in recent years quite a number of members of the public are very concerned about the planning for open space and green belt in the community. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the respective total areas which have been zoned as open space and green belt under the Outline Zoning Plans at present, broken down by District Council district, and among them, the respective areas of land which have still not been developed according to such land use, as well as the development timetable for such areas of land; if there is no timetable, of the reasons for that;

(b) according to the standards stipulated in the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines, of the respective total shortfalls in the areas of open space and green belt in each District Council district at present; and

(c) of the total areas of private land which have been zoned as open space and green belt; whether the Government plans to recover such areas of land for development as open space and green belt; if so, of the timetables; if not, the reasons for that?

Reply:

President,

The Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines (HKPSG) suggests that a minimum of 20 hectares (ha) of open space (including 10 ha of local open space and 10 ha of district open space) should be provided for every 100,000 persons. Green belt areas are the existing natural environment and are not formed through development. The purpose of designating appropriate natural environment in built-up areas/urban fringe areas as green belt is to protect the environment from encroachment by urban development. The HKPSG has not suggested the area of green belt that should be provided in Hong Kong. However, it is worth mentioning that out of the 1,100 square kilometres of area of Hong Kong, 46% of the land are country parks and special areas which are under protection and for the enjoyment of the public.

The reply to the three parts of the question is as follows:

(a)&(c) Annex 1 lists out the total area zoned as open space on the Outline Zoning Plans by District Council district, and the area of private land thereof. The total area of land zoned as open space will be greater than the area suggested in accordance with the calculation under the HKPSG. The reason is that the former includes slope areas which may not be suitable for development, as well as open space required to be developed to cope with long-term population growth. The departments concerned will plan the timetable for implementing open space to cope with population growth in various districts, and will consider whether it is necessary to resume private land for such purpose.

In response to part (a) of the question on development timetable, taking the Central and Western District as an example (see Annex 2), the area of existing (developed) open space is 44 ha. The area of open space planned but awaiting development/currently under development is 13 ha, of which only 0.3 ha is private land. The relevant Government departments will implement open space on public land (including the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park under works) according to population growth and subject to the availability of public resources. The development timetable of the small area of open space on private land depends on the development of relevant private projects. The Government has no plan for the time being to develop this small area of open space through land resumption. Annex 1 also lists out the total area of green belt in various districts and the area of private land thereof.

(b) Annex 2 sets out information on open space that the HKPSG suggests to provide for various districts, as well as information on existing and planned open space. The figure on existing open space includes the "Open Space" on Outline Zoning Plans which have already been implemented according to the planned use, as asked about in part (a) of the question. As shown from the information, out of the 18 districts in the territory, currently only the Wan Chai and Central and Western Districts are short of open space which should have been provided. However, if we count in the open space to be built, the total area of open space of the two districts will exceed the area suggested under the HKPSG. In this regard, we have, based on the planned population of the Central and Western and Wan Chai Districts, planned and reserved sufficient land for open space in the two districts (including Central Reclamation Phase III, the waterfront open space in Wan Chai North, Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park Phase II and a park under the Hopewell Centre II Hotel Development project).
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 06:38 PM   #193
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Authorisation of road scheme in Wan Chai gazetted
Friday, July 30, 2010
Government Press Release

The Government published a notice in the Gazette today (July 30) on proposed road works at Kennedy Road, Queen's Road East and Ship Street in Wan Chai that aim to cope with the future Hopewell Centre II development at proposed Inland Lot No. 8715. The works were authorised by the Chief Executive in Council.

The works include:

i) widening and realignment of sections of the existing carriageways and footpaths at Kennedy Road and Queen's Road East;

ii) construction of an underpass, and a flyover with associated footpath, lift and staircases connecting Kennedy Road with the proposed lot;

iii) provision of a walkway of 4.5 metres in width within the future public open space at Ship Street, staircases leading to Kennedy Road, and associated road widening and improvement works;

iv) provision of a footpath along the northern boundary of the proposed lot;

v) construction of a covered footbridge with associated lifts and staircases at the junction of Queen's Road East and Kennedy Road;

vi) permanent or temporary closure of an existing vehicular ingress, and sections of the existing carriageways and footpaths; and

vii) ancillary works including landscaping, drainage, slope and utilities works.
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Old August 21st, 2012, 05:41 PM   #194
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Green light at last for Hopewell tower
The Standard
Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A hotel and commercial project by Hopewell Holdings (0054) that became a lightning rod for public criticism over height and traffic concerns, delaying its progress for nearly two decades, is to finally get off the ground.

The developer said last night the 55-story complex will be built on a site of about 105,917 square feet in Wan Chai, following a surrender and re-grant deal struck with the government. It agreed to pay a land premium of HK$3.7 billion.

Of the total gross floor area of 1.09 million sq ft, about 70 percent will be allocated for a hotel, about 27 percent for retail, and the rest for office use.

Work on the 210-meter tower is expected to begin before the end of the year and to be completed in 2018. It will be the first conference hotel in the city and offer 1,024 rooms.

"The land deal cleared uncertainties related to the project, which has long been delayed. This is positive for the developer's future earnings," said Kenny Tang Sing-hing, general manager of AMTD Financial Planning.

Project investment, including the land premium, is expected to come in at HK$9 billion, which will be financed through existing resources or loans.

Known earlier as the "Mega Tower," the development was scaled down to 55 stories from the original 93 floors.

Planning approval was first obtained in 1994. Hopewell completed buying out private portions of the plot in 2004, but it faced objections from the Town Planning Board over height and traffic-related issues. The developer agreed to split the tower into two smaller ones, but residents continued to object.

In late 2008, Hopewell managing director Thomas Jefferson Wu, son of founder Gordon Wu Ying- sheung, reached a deal with the government to trim the floor area by 31 percent to its current size.
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Old November 11th, 2013, 07:27 AM   #195
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Wu looks to final big job
The Standard
Friday, November 08, 2013

Big builder and big thinker Gordon Wu Ying-sheung, the 76-year-old chairman of Hopewell Holdings (0054), says he will retire after completing a major project.

The project is the Hopewell Centre II, to be finished by 2018.

Speaking yesterday, Wu said most of his focus will be on this Wan Chai hotel after consent from the Building Authority.

The Urban Renewal Authority- linked project will see a conference hotel with 1,024 rooms.

"I really want to retire," Wu revealed, adding that projects including The Avenue - also in Wan Chai and a joint effort with Sino Land (0083) and the URA for homes - will be handed to son Thomas Jefferson Wu Man-sun, now Hopewell managing director.

Gordon Wu also said plans to list Hopewell Hong Kong Properties stay shelved after the move was halted earlier this year.

And he claimed the business environment here is worsening amid restrictions on developers and some homebuyers.

Home prices fell for the first time in September - by 0.32 percent from August - after rising for a consecutive four months.

The most marked falls were for luxury flats with areas from 1,075 square feet to 1,722.

Still, Wheelock (0020) and New World Development (0017) have now generated over HK$6.29 billion from The Austin in Tsim Sha Tsui after offloading the latest batch of 88 flats yesterday with up to 16.5 percent price cuts.

Meanwhile, Hang Lung Properties (0101) raised prices by 2.5 percent for 60 flats up for sale next Wednesday at The Long Beach in Tai Kok Tsui.

In the commercial market, sources said Wheelock sold the east tower of One Bay East in Kwun Tong for HK$5.2 billion. Manulife Financial (0945) paid HK$4.5 billion for the west tower.
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Old November 11th, 2013, 07:59 AM   #196
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is there any Update for this important project wich shloud be U/C ?

edit : I've found something :

Quote:
Originally Posted by _Hawk_ View Post
by gelio





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Old November 12th, 2013, 03:53 AM   #197
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Anyone got site photos? I haven't been to the site for a while now, and was not aware the shovels are in the ground.
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Old February 27th, 2015, 01:20 PM   #198
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Hopewell seeks to delay scrutiny of hotel project again
27 February 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Hopewell Holdings is due back at the Town Planning Board today to make its case for the so-called minor additions and amendments to its hotel project in Wan Chai. Astonishingly the company has asked the TPB for a deferral.

This project has a very long history but suffice to say that in 2008 Hopewell agreed to reduce the size of the 93-storey hotel it proposed to 55 storeys in exchange for a land swap, and to change the design of the hotel. However, to the dismay of local residents, in August last year Hopewell submitted plans to the TPB that sought to reintroduce elements withdrawn in the 2008 agreement.

Hopewell says it wants to build a hotel with exhibition and convention facilities while objectors say it is building a convention and exhibition centre with a hotel attached. They also note that an exhibition and convention centre is not permitted under the zoning.

The objectors are also disturbed by an ominous silence from three government departments in response to their requests for information.
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Old June 18th, 2016, 12:26 AM   #199
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About this Wanchai Mega Tower Hotel, I don't know how a supertall building had been proposed for a site like this, especially if it's a hotel that is planned to be the largest in Hong Kong by number of rooms, even if such a hotel would just be a skyscraper or highrise.

Also, I'm not sure if the name "Mega Tower" would be given to any building that isn't a supertall.
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Old June 18th, 2016, 02:38 AM   #200
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim856796 View Post
I'm not sure if the name "Mega Tower" would be given to any building that isn't a supertall.
How about Far Eastern Mega Tower in Taipei?
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