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Old November 16th, 2007, 06:44 PM   #1
hkskyline
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HONG KONG | Taikoo Place Redevelopment | 221m | 51 fl | 191m | 46 fl | U/C

Swire seeks to upgrade Taikoo Place buildings
10 November 2007
South China Morning Post


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Swire Properties has submitted an application to redevelop three industrial buildings in Taikoo Place into two 29 to 59-storey grade A office buildings, creating two million square feet of floor space that will be the next largest new office supply in Hong Kong Island in the coming years.

The redevelopment plan not only requires approval from the Town Planning Board but also the approval of government, which is one of the owners of one of the buildings, Cornwall House.

Early this month, the developer submitted an application list to the Town Planning Board to redevelop Somerset House, Warwick House and Cornwall House, the only three industrial buildings in the Taikoo Place development in Quarry Bay.

The redevelopment project will be divided into two phases to give Swire Properties more time to manoeuvre, as it has been unsuccessful so far in its attempts to buy the eight floors in Cornwall House from the government that house the Government Logistics Department.

The first phase of the project will involve redeveloping Somerset House into a 29 to 47-storey grade A office tower with a total gross floor area of 953,281 square feet.

Cornwall House and Warwick House will be redeveloped in the second phase, in which the developer has proposed to build a 54 to 59-storey office building with a total gross floor area of more than 1.05 million square feet.

The Town Planning Board will discuss the application within the next two months.

A Swire Properties spokeswoman said the developer had not decided the development schedule.

Citic Ka Wah Bank is one of the major tenants in Somerset House and has leased 116,500 square feet in the building since the end of 2005. The spokeswoman of the bank was unavailable for comment yesterday.

South China Morning Post Publishers leases two office floors in the building. The lease was renewed last year.

The 70-storey One Island East at 18 Westlands Road is the latest development at Taikoo Place, and is scheduled for the completion in March next year. About 40 per cent of its lettable area has been leased out with rents ranging between HK$30 and HK$35 per square foot.
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Old November 16th, 2007, 06:57 PM   #2
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Old November 17th, 2007, 11:25 PM   #3
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Will the three office towers be demolished or given a height increase? I'm not sure about the redevelopment seeing that the buildings are so well-designed.
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Old November 18th, 2007, 03:44 AM   #4
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They'll be demolished I believe. The two buildings in question are old industrial buildings, but as they're maintained by Swire, they actually look new and half decent for an industrial building!
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Old December 20th, 2007, 04:56 AM   #5
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Planners reject Swire ideas for Taikoo Place
15 December 2007
South China Morning Post

Swire Properties' plan to redevelop three industrial buildings into two skyscrapers in Taikoo Place, Quarry Bay, was turned down by the Town Planning Board yesterday as the proposed heights for the buildings far exceed nearby developments.

The developer planned to redevelop Warwick House and Cornwall House into a single tower 270 metres above principal datum (or sea level), and Somerset House into a 246.6-metre tower - 54 per cent higher than developments in the area.

Nearby building heights range between 117 metres and 175 metres.

"It will definitely block the views of existing buildings," said a Town Planning Board spokesman.

He noted that PCCW Tower is 169 metres and Devon House is 117 metres, while Warwick House and Cornwall House rise 160 metres above sea level.

"Somerset House is closer to the waterfront, where buildings should be much lower," said the board's spokesman.

However, in 2004 Swire obtained permission to build the 300-metre grade A office development One Island East, within walking distance of the three industrial buildings.

The planning board spokesman said building height had not been a focus of public concern then.

"The board's decision has to reflect market concerns," he said.

A Swire spokeswoman said: "We regret the board's decision."

The developer had hoped the redevelopment plan would provide more open space for the Island East district, she said.

The plan would integrate three industrial buildings into two office blocks, so the buildings would occupy a smaller site, she said.

But she said there was no immediate decision on whether the company would lodge an appeal.

According to Swire's proposal, the first phase of the project would involve redeveloping Somerset House into a 29- to 47-storey grade A office tower with a total gross floor area of 953,281 sq ft.

Cornwall House and Warwick House would be redeveloped in the second phase into a 54- to 59-storey office building with a total gross floor area of more than 1.05 million sq ft.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 11:08 AM   #6
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Are they off their rocker?
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Old December 20th, 2007, 09:04 PM   #7
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good news!!.........and stunning buildings!
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Old December 21st, 2007, 05:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbuildings View Post
good news!!.........and stunning buildings!
Read the latest post by hkskyline.
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Old December 21st, 2007, 06:16 AM   #9
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Hong Kong? Worried about too tall? Huh? Please, please, don't turn HK into the NIMBY-USA.
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Old December 21st, 2007, 06:29 AM   #10
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Unlikely that ruling will spell the end of this project. It'll probably come back very soon with reduced height. Swire wants to develop the area into a new alternative commercial hub, so those industrial buildings are likely going to go for good.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 01:10 AM   #11
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Nimbyism in Hong Kong...now that's a first.

This is really a bad decision, because that district would have a lot of potential for future developments.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 06:05 AM   #12
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The part I don't get:

Quote:
Swire Properties' plan to redevelop three industrial buildings into two skyscrapers in Taikoo Place, Quarry Bay, was turned down by the Town Planning Board yesterday as the proposed heights for the buildings far exceed nearby developments.
But right now the OIE sticks out like a sore thumb! Two 200m+ buildings will help to balance it, or are they blind and do not see that OIE also "far exceeds nearby development heights"?

On the other hand, converting two of the towers to heights of 270 and 230 metres would mean that you achieve a nice balance of:

OIE: 300m
Two towers: 250-ish m
Others: 140-160m.

Bunch of ******* plonkers.

Last edited by _00_deathscar; December 22nd, 2007 at 07:29 AM.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 09:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
A height increase and renovations for these four short buildings would have sufficed.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 10:04 AM   #14
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Here is what the original proposal would have looked like.



#1, OIE, is well under way and nearly complete [scheduled to OPEN in March 2008] of course.

#2 would be 270m.

#3 would be 247m.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 05:22 AM   #15
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More public room for Taikoo
Hong Kong Standard
Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A plan to redevelop Taikoo Place will see an extra 6,400 square meters of open public space, Swire Group director and general manager Guy Bradley said yesterday.

The major facelift for the commercial hub will cost Swire Properties HK$6 billion.

"The enhancements will lower building height, improve ventilation and create more open space without a major impact on traffic," Bradley said.

The plan calls for Cornwall House to be replaced with a privately-owned public plaza under a pedestrian bridge. Also planned are fountains, gardens, sculptures and seating.

Somerset House and Warwick House will give way to two terraced-height buildings occupying a smaller area to allow for a garden to the west of Warwick House.

The proposal will also allow for bigger pedestrian bridges over the public plaza, adjacent offices and residential towers.

Pending approval by the Town Planning Board, Swire hopes to begin construction by early 2013, but ownership issues over seven floors owned by the government in Cornwall House will have to be resolved.

Bradley said that the state-of-the-art grade A office space would fetch HK$40 per square foot.

Spot rents for the existing three industrial buildings in Taikoo Place are between HK$23 and HK$25 per square foot, according to Savills.

Public use of privatized public space became a hot topic with the disclosure that the Times Square piazza was in fact public space.

But overzealous security guards had previously policed the plaza and enforced strict no-sitting rules among other by-laws banning the distribution of pamphlets and eating or drinking. Signs that adorned the plaza's flowerbeds in the past with the message "no sitting" have been replaced with notices reading "love the plants."

Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said during a radio show yesterday that she had sent a letter to the owner, Wharf Holdings, requesting records on the past usage of the public space for commercial and exhibition purposes before deciding whether or not the company had violated its deed of dedication.

Secretary for Justice Wong Yan-lung told a special meeting of the Legislative Council's Finance Committee his department will also be studying whether there has been a breach of contract terms, but did not mention when the results would be made available.

In the Times Square deed of dedication, the government gave the developer extra space on condition the ground-floor piazza be designated as public space.

Separately, the Buildings Department revealed that, of 79 privatized public spaces in the territory, only Times Square was required to provide public usage of its piazza.
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Old April 30th, 2008, 03:55 AM   #16
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Traffic concerns over new tower in Taikoo Shing Residents fear more air pollution
21 April 2008
South China Morning Post

Residents and workers in Taikoo Shing are bracing for more traffic and increased pollution - from a new office tower in the area.

The 70-storey One Island East, which opened on April 1, will bring an average of 650 more vehicles an hour into the area when most of the tenants move in this summer, according to estimates by developer Swire Properties.

District councillors and residents fear that the traffic - three times more than before the Quarry Bay landmark was developed - will clog the narrow streets, causing more noise and dust.

The company's head of public affairs, Miranda Szeto, admitted the tower - already 87 per cent leased - would attract more cars and pedestrians to the area. But the impact would be much less than the figures suggested, she said.

"The extra traffic will be mostly private vehicles, not trucks or cargo vans as it used to be," she said, referring to traffic flow at the two industrial buildings that were demolished to make way for the tower. "And the extra cars will be diverted among various roads within the area {hellip} it's not like they will all jam into one street at a particular moment."

Westlands Road, which leads to the tower, has already been changed to more clearly direct drivers and allow smoother traffic flow.

But Eastern District councillor Andrew Chiu Ka-yin, a long-time resident in the area, and his neighbours were worried much of the increased traffic would come from the Island Eastern Corridor through Taikoo Wan Road, bringing more noise and dust.

"Swire said vehicles would be encouraged to drive to the corridor through Hoi Tai Street on the harbourfront, but drivers tend to pick the shortest route to their destinations, and that is Taikoo Wan Road."

Meanwhile, people who drive to work at Taikoo Place were worried that finding a parking space would become more difficult. As One Island East does not have its own car park, drivers would have to use the car parks under Taikoo Place.

But Ms Szeto said the number of parking spaces was adequate. Figures showed that of the 1,300 spaces available, only about 70 per cent were used.

The Transport Department said Swire had not provided figures on the traffic implications of the new office tower, but a government engineer said roads in the district should be able to cope for the next five years.

One Island East, however, is the first of a number of developments expected to add to the congestion in the next few years. The 350-room Cityplaza Hotel on Taikoo Shing Road is expected to open next year.

Swire is also seeking to redevelop three office blocks at Taikoo Place - Somerset, Cornwall and Warwick houses - into two skyscrapers.
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Old April 30th, 2008, 04:23 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post

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I don't know which buildings in this photo are Somerset House, Cornwall House, and Warwick House. I hope they demolish the white building in the middle because that looks boring.
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Old April 30th, 2008, 09:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim856796 View Post
I don't know which buildings in this photo are Somerset House, Cornwall House, and Warwick House. I hope they demolish the white building in the middle because that looks boring.
The white building you are talking about is Somerset House. Cornwall isn't shown in the photo and sits right behind Somerset. These are the two buildings will be torn down in the proposal here.

Warwick sits behind PCCW from this angle, don't think there is any plan to redevelop that building yet.
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Old May 1st, 2008, 03:58 AM   #19
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I also don't know the names of the greenish-blue, blue, and gold builsings. Can those buildings be demolished, too?
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Old May 1st, 2008, 06:43 AM   #20
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It's good to know that there will be re-developments to the area
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