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Old January 24th, 2008, 06:02 PM   #21
hkskyline
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Explore alternatives to demolition
21 January 2008
South China Morning Post

The saying, "What goes up must come down" does not usually come to mind about buildings, despite the scale of demolition and redevelopment in Hong Kong. Most people would wonder what is going up rather than what is coming down. Many may be surprised to learn that one out of every eight buildings pulled down in Hong Kong is less than 30 years old. "Young" buildings therefore account for a lot of Hong Kong's construction waste material, which remains a major source of waste dumped in the city's diminishing landfill sites. As we report today, this has prompted calls for measures to encourage renovation of existing buildings for new uses rather than demolition. Vancouver, for example, is considering tax incentives for renovation.

Incentives are worth pursuing, within the bounds of economic sense. But renovation must comply with building and safety rules designed for new high-rises, which are often not easy, cheap or even safe to apply to older ones. New construction, on the other hand, is justified by Hong Kong's high land values. From a purely economic point of view, a new building that meets market demand makes sense. From the community's point of view, new buildings may be more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.

Even the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Central is expected to be demolished to make way for a commercial development after it closes this month. Many would find the demolition of a sound building and upmarket hotel that opened less than 15 years ago surprising. It shows the role of property in the values of our society.

Comparable examples of renovation, rather than demolition that creates thousands of tonnes of waste, are harder to find. The Hunghom Peninsula development for the old home ownership scheme stands out. Under pressure of public opinion, the joint developers opted not to go ahead with demolition of new buildings to make way for a more upmarket project and to renovate instead.

Owners must be entitled to develop the economic potential of their property within planning rules. But as young buildings become more easily renovated to modern standards, that is an option worth encouraging.
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Old January 26th, 2008, 01:45 AM   #22
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well i DID like this building a lot when it was in Sim City 3000 Unlimited :-D

What about the Hutchison Whampoa eyesore next door? take THAT crap down already!
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Old January 28th, 2008, 05:44 PM   #23
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I was hoping they would tear down both and build something nice in their place. I doubt it'll be any taller than AIG though. Don't want it to block BoC or Cheung Kong even more.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 01:15 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
I was hoping they would tear down both and build something nice in their place. I doubt it'll be any taller than AIG though. Don't want it to block BoC or Cheung Kong even more.
I agree. Maybe even a second similar looking sister tower of AIG facing east?
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Old January 29th, 2008, 05:44 AM   #25
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I agree. Maybe even a second similar looking sister tower of AIG facing east?
Wouldn't be of a similar size, the Ritz itself is very small.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 06:21 PM   #26
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Culture of demolition under attack
Experts demand incentives to encourage renovation of buildings

21 January 2008
South China Morning Post

One out of every eight buildings demolished in the city is less than 30 years old, and some are even torn down right after completion.

The phenomenon contributes to the dumping of more than 4,000 tonnes of building waste a day, prompting calls for measures to encourage the renovation of existing buildings.

Demolition permits were issued for about 120 building sites from January to November last year, Buildings Department figures show. A title search of the demolished buildings found that at least 15 were less than 30 years old and a third of those were less than 10 years old, with the newest being four years old.

In 2006, at least 12 of the 136 buildings approved for demolition were less than 30 years old, including the Mitsukoshi department store in Causeway Bay. While most of the "young" demolished structures were of mixed use - commercial and residential - two were abandoned industrial buildings. Four were demolished in urban renewal projects.

A Buildings Department source said developers sometimes applied to demolish a new residential building to replace it with a more profitable commercial one.

The removal of the height limit for Kowloon City after Kai Tak airport closed in 1998 had also speeded up the demolition of "young" buildings to build taller ones, the source said.

Even five-star hotels are torn down to make way for stylish commercial buildings. The Ritz Carlton in Central, which opened in 1993 and will close by the end of this month, is expected to be demolished to make way for a commercial high-rise.

Under the same developer, Lai Sun Group, the 28-year-old Furama Hotel, famous for its revolving restaurant, was replaced by the AIG Tower in 2001.

Hong Kong Architecture Centre chairwoman Agnes Ng Ka-yin said high land values and inflexible building regulations had discouraged developers from renovating buildings.

When buildings are renovated, they must meet building standards and safety requirements. But Ms Ng said the stringent requirements were designed for new high-rises, and it was unwise and difficult to apply them to existing structures, especially industrial buildings.

"In Hong Kong, the construction costs are just one-eighth of the land value," she said. "If building rules are not favourable to renovation, why not tear it down and build a new one?" Exemptions should be given to industrial buildings being used for new uses, she said. A City University lecturer in construction science, Wong Wai-man, said most buildings less than 30 years old were structurally safe, and renovation would save 80 per cent of construction waste.

A senior associate of the architecture firm Aedas, David Clayton, said developers who opted for renovation could be given credits through the labelling scheme for green buildings. Tax incentives to promote renovation rather than demolition were being discussed in Vancouver, he said.

A spokesman for Swire Properties, which redeveloped two industrial buildings in Quarry Bay into the glittering One Island East, said new buildings could be more sustainable as they could be equipped with green features.

He said the company had experience in renovating residential buildings, adding that government policy encouraging environmentally friendly practices was welcome.

A spokeswoman for the Development Bureau said the Buildings Ordinance had no age limit for demolition. But to promote renovation, she said, statutory requirements for minor work would be simplified. Under the new system, minor work would not require approval from the Building Authority.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 07:49 AM   #27
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Partners to split Hong Kong Ritz into equal stakes
1 February 2008
The Wall Street Journal Asia

HONG KONG -- Lai Sun Development Co. said China Construction Bank Corp. plans to raise its stake in Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong in a deal that would make the two companies equal partners in the property.

China Construction Bank will pay Lai Sun HK$417.2 million (US$53.47 million) to raise its stake to 50% from 40%. Meanwhile, Lai Sun's stake will fall to 50% from 60%, the Hong Kong developer said in a statement. Lai Sun plans to redevelop the property as an office building.

Lai Sun said part of the property, which will have a total gross floor area of about 225,000 square feet, will house China Construction Bank's Hong Kong base.

The redevelopment is expected to be completed in 2011, it said.

China Construction Bank paid HK$1.37 billion for the 40% stake in the hotel property in November.
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Old February 20th, 2008, 04:50 AM   #28
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Hotel staff say tearful farewell
2 February 2008
South China Morning Post

Tears and champagne flowed as the doors to The Ritz-Carlton closed for the last time yesterday, ending more than 14 years in Hong Kong.

Staff, past and present, crowded into the lobby chanting the hotel's name in both English and Chinese as an emotional Mark Lettenbichler, the general manager, symbolically locked the doors at 6pm with a bicycle chain.

"This is my home," he said.

Mr Lettenbichler, who joined the hotel in 1998, could not contain his emotions as he was mobbed by staff and friends eager for a photograph, a hug or a chance to thank him.

The popular general manager will continue to work at the hotel until mid-March to take care of administrative matters before moving to The Ritz-Carlton offices in the Lippo Centre in Admiralty.

The hotel is being converted into an office tower by owner Lai Sun Development. However, The Ritz-Carlton will return to Hong Kong by 2011 when the ICC Tower in West Kowloon is completed.

On Thursday, The Ritz-Carlton had invited about 100 guests to spend the last night at the hotel, while many staff and former employees said their final farewells.

Chiharu Nakamura, a guest relations employee, was temporarily sent from the new Ritz-Carlton hotel in Tokyo to help with the closing. She said overseas staff had been recruited as some of the local employees had already left for new jobs.

"I've only been here for a month but I feel very sad and emotional," she said.

Benson Soo, who worked briefly at the hotel when it first opened in August 1993, made a point of returning to meet old friends like senior concierge Ken Lam and relive fond memories. Mr Soo now works as a concierge at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental.

A teary Rebecca Lee, who left the hotel a month ago, also returned and thanked Mr Lettenbichler.

"They say you can take a girl out of the Ritz but you can't take the Ritz out of a girl," Ms Lee said.
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Old February 21st, 2008, 03:13 AM   #29
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I am very curious of how they want to redevelop it... There were no pictures released yet, right?
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Old February 21st, 2008, 03:19 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by LeMoN-SK View Post
I am very curious of how they want to redevelop it... There were no pictures released yet, right?
I haven't seen a rendering yet. Will post when I see one, or other forumers might do this ahead of me.
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Old February 21st, 2008, 07:30 AM   #31
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Demolishing a 31-story building at age 15 will be absolutely depressing. When the Hennessey Centre died last year, it depressed us severely and it is unknown what will replace it. Are there any other skyscrapers that have been demolished young in Hong Kong?
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Old March 8th, 2008, 08:27 PM   #32
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3/7



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Old March 8th, 2008, 11:08 PM   #33
spicytimothy
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o my... that's a huge... ad
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Old March 10th, 2008, 08:33 AM   #34
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Never mind the Calvin Klein ad (it covers the hotel). The Ritz Carlton is under demolition right now. No one will be happy to see it go home to be with our Lord.
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Old March 10th, 2008, 08:35 PM   #35
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oh wow. that ck guy's got the biggest crotch ever!
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Old March 11th, 2008, 06:58 AM   #36
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oh wow. that ck guy's got the biggest crotch ever!
Yeah. It's about 3 storeys long.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 07:20 AM   #37
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I don't like the underwear, btw, the band is too thick.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 09:27 AM   #38
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waou this Djibril Honssou, the CK Boy is just WAOU!!!. They can keep the ad all the time they want!

BTW, he played in Blood Diamond..
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Old March 11th, 2008, 03:13 PM   #39
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I don't like the underwear, btw, the band is too thick.
Pardon me for pointing this out...but aren't we slightly off topic here!
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Old March 12th, 2008, 02:33 AM   #40
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You're damn right you're off topic. Some members had their attention focused on that calvin Klein ad covering the hotel and this thread is supposed to focus on the demolitiun.
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