... Green Light to sell Government Hill to developers.
CENTRAL HARBOUR FRONT, GOVERNMENT HILL and TAMAR
RELATING TO RELOCATION OF
TO TAMAR SITE
happens if the offices move
and what happens to the CGO site afterwards
the director of Administraion, Friday May 19th 2006
here for .pdf file
Officials suggested last summer that selling [Government
hill] would cover Tamar's development cost."
Hill is certain to be on the auction block if moving
CGO to Tamar is approved" - John Bowden, Chairman
image to zoom)
this be the new face of Central?
China Moning Post
May 20, 2006
warn of the impact if prime government site is exploited to
70-storey towers providing 5.4 million sq ft of office space
could be built on a podium at the site of the Central Government
Offices if the land goes into private hands and is developed
to its full potential, harbour activists warn.
chairman of Save Our Shorelines, said the city would either
have a three-tower development on Lower Albert Road that would
be taller than The Peak, or four 50-storey towers which would
create a wall effect, altering air flow and blocking the views
of Mid-Levels residents.
the group's estimate as conservative, since developers could
easily boost density by increasing the plot ratio.
[Central Government Offices] site is currently covered to
less than 10 per cent of its potential," Mr Bowden said,
adding that the site had no height restriction, while ridge-line
protection was non-binding. Ridge-line protection refers to
the recommendation that views to the ridges and peaks be partly
have so far refused to discuss the future of the site if the
government moves its headquarters to Tamar. However, officials
suggested last summer that selling the site would cover Tamar's
group believed a podium would likely be built in any office
tower development because it would create retail rental space.
to a government-commissioned report on the development potential
of the offices' West Wing, released two months ago, there
was retail potential if the site was used for commercial purposes.
report also said it was possible for developers to increase
the site's density and plot ratio.
is traditional for developers to seek to maximise the gross
floor area and the plot ratio through the dedication of ground
floor areas to public use and as a result, secure an increase
in the gross floor area equivalent to five times the amount
dedicated," the report said.
would anticipate that much of the podium deck at the Lower
Albert Road level will be dedicated to public use, and indeed,
on the basis of some very preliminary calculations, it may
be possible to achieve an increase in the plot ratio/gross
floor area to the maximum permitted, namely 18:1."
said that relocating the government headquarters to Tamar
"holds the potential for further damage to the environment
if the land is sold for commercial redevelopment".
warned of increased traffic congestion and an impact on air
quality if the site was built to the maximum potential.
to a ten-year old Government study, the existing CGO buildings
are grossly under-utilized, and it is now clear that following
the relocation of government premises to the Tamar site they
could be developed in future into three seventy-storey towers
that would impact the Central skyline blocking the Peak forever.
This is illustrated in a report issued on 19th May by the
community group Save Our Shorelines, which questions the government’s
separation of Tamar Development plans from redevelopment plans
at the Central Government Office mid-level sites when the
various bureaus move.
John Bowden says: “Assuming standard commercial development
plot ratios in Hong Kong, the site would be of enormous financial
value. However, if the site is fully developed there will
be huge environmental impacts. If height restrictions are
imposed then the values drop, and the landsale will not bring
the community any real benefit at all. It’s a lose-lose
situation”. The group suggests that the existing CGO
and Murray Road offices should be retained and retrofitted
at far less cost - and with less waste - than the proposed
new 30 and 40-storey offices at Tamar. All the required facilities
could be accommodated there and additional space could be
provided for Legco offices by redeveloping the Murray Road
Car Park, site of the current ICAC offices.
Raymond – office specialist and author of the book ‘Tomorrow’s
Office’, an in-depth study of the commercial workplace,
commenting on the administrations’ reluctance to retain
and improve the existing Central Government Offices says:
“With wireless networking, and comprehensive workplace
planning, the existing space can certainly be retrofitted
to the highest standards to meet current and future needs.
Disruption can be minimised by careful phasing, and huge cost
savings are possible. This is what responsible governments
and corporations are doing all over the world”.
report also refers to community concerns that the strong feng
shui associated with the current CGO site would not be replicated
at Tamar and might lead to fears that benefits currently enjoyed
at the CGO sites would be lost to the Government in the future.
proposals recently presented to the Legco Subcommittee on
Planning and Works that show the Tamar site developed as low
level, small plot sizes reminiscent of Shanghais’ Xin
Tian Di. Bowden added “ we believe that the right solution
is for Government to remain in its existing historic centre,
to re-fit at lower cost and add space there to improve the
way they work and to retain the shoreline sites for low level
commercial development that will have a long term value for
from SOS met on Friday with the Director of Administration
to present the report and to ask why the CGO retention and
improvement option had been dismnissed without a comprehensive
study of the financial benefits being completed.
SOS says "save
Tamar and Government Hill - use the Murray Road Carpark site
for more space"
that the existing CGO and Murray Road offices should be retained
and retrofitted at far less cost - and with less waste - than
the proposed new 30 and 40-storey offices at Tamar. All the
required facilities could be accommodated there and additional
space could be provided for Legco offices by redeveloping
the Murray Road Car Park, site of the current ICAC offices.