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Old January 29th, 2007, 06:31 PM   #61
hkskyline
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Yes, the new design looks far better than the original plan, but Hopewell's site is in a very crowded part of Wan Chai, and such a large-scale plan will cause a lot of problems if it is allowed to proceed. The problem isn't with redevelopment, but how to make it work in the community.
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Old March 21st, 2007, 06:58 PM   #62
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Kennedy Road Widening Scheme







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Old March 21st, 2007, 08:15 PM   #63
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silly question: but what exactly is the "hopewell Mega Tower"?
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Old May 31st, 2007, 08:16 PM   #64
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What's happened to this then?
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Old June 1st, 2007, 07:42 AM   #65
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The project is on hold as it has not gotten planning approval yet. The planning approval process is under way, and has been so for quite some time now. I don't expect any construction to start in the near future.
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Old November 19th, 2007, 03:43 AM   #66
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The original proposal looked like it had 2000 rooms and 88 floors. The new proposal shows that there are two wide towers that would require about 9000 rooms. But the rendering in the 1st post in this thread shows that the tower may have about 48-65 floors and look like a 4000-room hotel.

Is the Hopewell Mega Tower a good project or a bad one?
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Old November 21st, 2007, 05:19 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim856796 View Post
The original proposal looked like it had 2000 rooms and 88 floors. The new proposal shows that there are two wide towers that would require about 9000 rooms. But the rendering in the 1st post in this thread shows that the tower may have about 48-65 floors and look like a 4000-room hotel.

Is the Hopewell Mega Tower a good project or a bad one?
Wan Chai in general still has a huge stock of old buildings ripe for redevelopment, but this project was deemed too massive even before the conservation movement took hold, as the narrow roads in the area could not possibly take the additional traffic from such a huge project. Now it's going to get more difficult as the heritage movement grows and shuns attempts to destroy the existing urban fabric and the area's vibrant street markets.

This project may just be too big of a good thing and achieve a very bad outcome.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 02:43 PM   #68
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modernisation needs to continue, I hope they dont strike it down entirely.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 02:49 PM   #69
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Modernization cannot come at the expense of local culture and traffic congestion. We know the proposed plan is not going to work. It's up to the developer to change rather than for the community to accept change for the worse.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 03:44 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Modernization cannot come at the expense of local culture and traffic congestion. We know the proposed plan is not going to work. It's up to the developer to change rather than for the community to accept change for the worse.
That's what the Brits said about the Roman invasion.

Last edited by _00_deathscar; November 21st, 2007 at 07:40 PM.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 03:50 PM   #71
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In fact, the redevelopment of Hong Kong Island's older areas are coming under increasing scrutiny since the streets can no longer be expanded yet the low- and mid-rises are giving way to mega-developments. Today's reality will not let rampant uncontrolled redevelopment take place, and changing social values now put quality of life high on the agenda. Usually the government will keep a quiet stance until the protests break out, but in this project the planners came out the starting line right away with a veto ... way back before this social shift began.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 02:45 PM   #72
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Mega Tower design 'may be changed'
Developer rethinking plans for 93-storey Wan Chai hotel

21 April 2008
South China Morning Post

The design of the 93-storey Mega Tower Hotel that Hopewell Holdings wants to build in Wan Chai could be changed in response to public concerns, the government has revealed.

The Development Bureau said it understood that Hopewell would revise the design of the controversial project. But even if it pressed ahead with the huge tower, the government could use land lease conditions to minimise the development's adverse effects on the landscape.

The assurances came in response to public concerns about the development that resurfaced after the Lands Department revealed early this month that it had begun negotiations with Hopewell on a land swap needed for the Mega Tower project.

They also come amid criticism of loopholes in the urban planning system that allow development plans to remain valid 14 years after being approved.

A Hopewell spokeswoman said the company was having a "friendly discussion" with the government, and would heed public concerns.

"Our goal is to start the project as soon as possible," she said.

Hopewell has submitted at least seven plans to the Town Planning Board for the project since 1985. The latest plan - for two 58-storey hotels, proposed in 2005 - was rejected by the board, and an appeal against that decision was adjourned. The only approved plan, a 1994 one comprising a 93-storey hotel tower and two public open areas, is still valid.

Under the 1994 plan, the project will encompass a 10,313-square-metre site in Kennedy Road. Half of the site is government land, for which Hopewell must swap some of its own.

Opponents of the development have urged the government to scupper it by stopping the land exchange.

"The Lands Department should not facilitate the development through land exchange. That is the only way to stop the project, which will block views and air flows," said Sally Ho-Emmerton, of the Kennedy Road Protection Group.

She also said it was unfair of the government to cap building heights on southern areas of Kennedy Road while leaving the Mega Tower site uncapped.

The Development Bureau said the government must respect an approved plan and should not arbitrarily withhold or delay the land-exchange application.

However, the tower's design could be revised, a spokesman said.

"The government understands that the developer may introduce some late changes to the 1994 approved scheme to address public sentiment that has emerged in recent years," the spokesman said, adding that such revisions must go through town planning procedures.

A Planning Department source said more stringent height and plot ratio restrictions would be added to the Wan Chai Outline Zoning Plan, but they would not apply to the approved project.

"We understand the public is worried about the project, but nothing can be done to stop an approved plan," the source said.

The bureau did not reveal any new design details for the Mega Tower but said a grade one historic building on Nam Koo Terrace would be refurbished by the developer.

If the 1994 plan went ahead, Hopewell would be asked to submit a landscape proposal as a lease condition to ensure adverse effects on the area were minimised, it said.

The Transport Department estimates the Mega Tower willincrease traffic on Kennedy Road by 25 per cent and on Queen's Road by 8 per cent.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 06:25 PM   #73
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I love the symmetry. There's just something about that. I'm a little concerned about the height, tho. In Hong Kong this can be too tiny to stand out. If they added some floors, it would be better. The light highrise on the left hand side has about 25 floors. I know the scale isn't right in that pic, but this could have more floors than most of us think. If the scale was all right, this would be quite a huge complex. It's interesting how the highrises are situated on top of the lower buliding.
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Old April 24th, 2008, 06:23 AM   #74
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well reading what hkskyline posted, sounds like the twin towers were shot down already, and they are back to the 1994 93-storey plan again. Hopefully it stays as tall!
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Old April 24th, 2008, 11:22 AM   #75
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This is great!
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Old April 24th, 2008, 04:52 PM   #76
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93 storeys would be great
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Old April 24th, 2008, 07:37 PM   #77
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The 93-story building won't come back either for sure. There is a height restriction along northern Hong Kong Island as well. Given the building will sit on a slope, too, the final building probably won't be more than 60 stories to meet the maximum height requirement, and will only generate some acceptable amount of new traffic on Kennedy Road and Queen's Road East.
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Old April 25th, 2008, 09:06 AM   #78
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Normally I would say Hopewell can make an argument that their plans were approved back in 94, prior to the height restrictions...

of coz nowadays that's outta the qx.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 04:44 AM   #79
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Close the books on outdated building plans
22 April 2008
South China Morning Post

Hong Kong has more skyscrapers and high-rise buildings than any other city in the world. Of the almost 7,700 high-rises, 225 are at least 150 metres tall. In such circumstances, plans by Hopewell Holdings to construct the city's biggest hotel should barely raise an eyebrow.

That would certainly have been the case had work on the project in Wan Chai started after plans were approved by authorities in 1994. At the time, the skyscraper building boom was in full swing and there was little objection to the 93-storey edifice known as Mega Tower. But Hong Kong has since grown and evolved, and the community now values quality of life, aesthetics and the environment a lot more than it used to.

It is therefore surprising to learn that although Hopewell's building has never got off the ground, the 14-year-old approval is still valid. Because of a loophole in the regulations, the firm has only had to regularly submit revised plans to the Town Planning Board to keep it alive. Attempts to dramatically revamp the design have been rejected, the latest in 2005 when proposals for two 58-storey towers were rejected by the board amid strong public opposition.

Nearby residents have the same objections to a 93-storey hotel in their midst. They worry the building will increase traffic, obscure views, cut airflows and reduce the amount of greenery in the area. The Transport Department estimates that Mega Tower will increase traffic on narrow, winding, Kennedy Road by 25 per cent and on the often congested Queen's Road East by 8 per cent. That naturally means more noise and exhaust fumes and dust.

Circumstances have changed markedly in the 14 years since the proposal was approved. Construction projects that once got the green light with little or no public consultation are now closely scrutinised by the community. Development is no longer merely about putting up new buildings; it is also grounded in ensuring that there is an improvement in living standards and that a clean and green environment is maintained. We don't want a concrete jungle; we want a healthy place in which to live and raise our children.

This is being increasingly understood by the government - which is why the loophole that allows outdated projects to stay on the books must be closed. Society's values are constantly changing. What applied a decade ago is generally no longer acceptable.

The Buildings Department ensures the structural soundness of projects, a matter firmly dictated by laws and guidelines. But whether a building of a particular size should be constructed in a certain part of the city depends on numerous ever-changing factors, among them population density, road capacity and social demands. That the government is bound by law to abide by a decision taken in 1994 seems absurd in such circumstances.

Building applications should have deadlines. There has to be a reasonable time frame in which work has to start and finish. All government departments involved should properly co-ordinate efforts. But there has to be a degree of flexibility for developers as well, so that changing market conditions can be dealt with.

Legally, Hopewell could go ahead with its plan. The firm has tried to revise it, but successive rejections indicate it has not gone far enough in meeting community and government expectations. With those interests in mind, it would be wise to again rethink its proposal.

Authorities, too, have revising to do. It is in everyone's interests for an approved project to proceed smoothly. Setting a time frame would take the uncertainty out of Hong Kong's development.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 04:52 AM   #80
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So technically, Hopewell can go ahead and build that 93-story eyesore if they are sick of more revisions.
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