more malls n offices for the harbour front

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    email newsletter from Christine Loh; while about the heart of the city, also re what could be a great outdoors area in Hong Kong. And, indicates mindset of the administration – which seems to view progress as concrete, concrete and more concrete.
    (Adding buildings much as Easter Islanders used to put up statues? – till they’d trashed their environment so much that reduced to just scratching a living.)

    Over 9 million sq ft of additional floor space
    … do you want it and do you have a choice?

    Dear Subscriber and Friend

    We now have it from the horse’s mouth!

    The government has formally admitted on 3 September it is planning for an additional 9.244 million sq ft (859,261 sq m) of floor space in the short distance from IFC2 to just beyond Tamar.

    This means the Central harbour-front will become much denser. This new density requires new highways at the Central where the reclamation is now taking place and will generate an additional 7,593 vehicle trips per hour.

    Are these plans good for Hong Kong? It is time to push for significant down-zoning.

    A. Central – what goes where?

    1. Tamar: A giant government office will have 3.69 million sq ft of floor space (342,975 sq m) of which 322,000 sq ft (30,000 sq m) will be parking space to accommodate 800 cars.

    2. LegCo: A new legislative council building is planned for a space closer to the waterfront near Tamar with 1.57 million sq ft (146,087 sq m) of which 118,000 sq ft (11,000 sq m) will be for parking.

    3. In front of Jardine House: The Post Office will give way to a 2 million sq ft (190,875 sq m) comprehensive development area (CDA1) with retail, office space and car parks for 850 spaces that stretches to the waterfront end of IFC Two.

    4. New shopping mall: For ever more shopping in Central, the site (CDA2) being reclaimed in front of City Hall is planned for a 440,000 sq ft (40,879 sq m) for retail usage.

    5. Near ferries: There is one more site on already reclaimed land just at the back of the outlying ferry piers (CDA3) and in front of the IFC complex that will house another 819,600 sq ft (76,150 sq m) of offices with 175,000 sq ft (16,315 sq m) of shopping space.

    6. Others: There are other small sites with a total floor area of 286,900 sq ft (26,660 sq m), plus the Red Cross’s site (19,320 sq m) appears set for re-development.

    B. For comparions … how much density?

    1. IFC Complex: This has two office towers, shopping malls, a hotel and service apartments. It has a total floor space of 4.47 million sq ft (415,900 sq m). The Tamar site is planned for 3.69 m sq ft.

    2. IFC Offices: The office towers have a total office space 2.73 million sq ft (254,190 sq m) housing an estimated 15,000 people working in them at full occupation. Tamar is planned for many more bureaucrats.

    3. LegCo vs. IFC One: IFC One 783,000 sq ft of office space (72,800 sq m). Our 60 legislators will have a lot more space with 1.57 million sq ft! More amazingly, the government is giving lawmakers about 300 parking spaces!

    4. Body count: The IFC towers are expected to house 15,000 warm bodies at full capacity. IFC One houses approximately 5,000 today according to the IFC management. An intriguing question: How many warm bodies will Tamar and LegCo house?

    5. CDA1 – more shops than Pacific Place: The office space here is for 589,100 sq ft (54,733 sq m), which is a little less than Pacific Place Three. The largest part of this CDA is reserved for shops with 1.14 million sq ft (106,303 sq m). Pacific Place mall has 709,900 sq ft (65,961 sq m).

    6. CDA2 – more shops still for Central: With 440,000 sq ft next to CDA1’s 709,900 sq ft, this will be a gigantic shopping area.

    7. CDA3 – The office part will be bigger than IFC One, and therefore can house more than 5,000 people.

    C. Central Wanchai Bypass and Highway P2

    1. Extra traffic: These developments would generate an additional 7,593 vehicle trips per hour.

    2. Accommodation: New roads and highway networks are being created.

    3. New highways: There will be a 4-6 lane highway (P2) on top of the reclamation in front of Star Ferry and City Hall, and a submerged 6-lane Central-Wanchai Bypass below ground.

    D. Observations … good for Hong Kong?

    1. Wanchai and CGO – Don’t forget the HK Convention and Exhibition Centre is also being greatly expanded. Thus, from IFC to HKCEC there will in fact be well over 10 million sq ft of new space generating heavy density and traffic needs. If government offices moved to Tamar, the Lower Albert Road and Murray House sites will be for sale and it will likely be zoned at a much higher density generating even more density and traffic for Central.

    2. Harbourfront mess – Reclamation in Central is already an eyesore. Government plans indicate more reclamation in Wanchai-Causeway Bay in future and with all the development on top, the harbourfront as a whole will be a mess for many years to come. The scale of the mess will be substantial.

    3. Necessary? – Do we really need all the new commercial space and shopping malls at the harbour-front? If we reduced the density, we will not need all the new road networks e.g. the large P2. Central will be much prettier.

    Civic Exchange – HK’s independent think tank


    The pollution in HK is now so high that the lawmakers can’t see what they are doing. Maybe that’s the reason they want to have a better view at the waterfront. They will get disappointed when they discover it didn’t become better.
    Malls, malls and malls everywhere. Shops without customers and more pollution to cool down those millions of sq.feet. Only those stories with restaurants and coffe-shops seem to survive.
    It’s a big shame to claim more and more land from the harbour.
    Claiming more and more from the harbour and build more new tall buildings, will make the environment more badly in Central. It seems money is still more important than people.
    Lawmakers!!!! Try to show you are lawmakers and think one more time if it’s really necessary to destroy the environment. Remember!!! Keep HK clean.

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