The government says it is inviting tenders for an iconic harbourfront site in Central which has an area of about 4.76 hectares.
The plot, referred by authorities as 'Site 3 of the New Central Harbourfront', is sandwiched between City Hall to the south, the Central Ferry Piers to the north, and IFC to the west.
Equivalent to around 38 Olympic-sized swimming pools, the plot can be developed into about 150,000 square metres (1.6 million square feet) of gross floor area.
Authorities say the site is designated for non-industrial purposes, and stringent building height restrictions will be in place.
The successful bidder will be required to provide at least 25,000 square metres of public open space, a landscaped deck spanning above Lung Wo Road and Yiu Sing Street, as well as a bridge to link up the harbourfront and the core business district in Central.
"Site 3 is a sizeable premier commercial site in the CBD in Central. Coupled with its prime harbourfront location, the integrated development will benefit Hong Kong both economically and socially. The Government hopes that this project can optimise development space by providing the maximum possible commercial floor space to address the city's strong demand for prime Grade A offices, while creating a world-class harbourfront with quality public open space and pedestrian-oriented connectivity." a Development Bureau spokesman said.
“Our vision is for Site 3 to become a new landmark for Hong Kong... In this connection, the Government has decided to adopt a two-envelope tender process whereby tenderers’ proposals will be evaluated on the bases of design merits and premium offers separately, and the proposal achieving the best combination of both will win.” the official added.
The tender exercise will last six months and close on June 18, 2021.
Analysts had earlier estimated the site to be worth around HK$40 billion.
But real estate experts expect developers to be conservative in their bidding, saying there’s been a drop in demand for office and retail space as the economy remains clouded with uncertainties.
“Besides, possession of the site will be in phases and development completion period is long. The tender process would take much time and developers would need to wait for five months for the result after the tender closed. Developers would take into account these additional risks and reflect them in their bid price”, Dorothy Chow, senior director of Valuation Advisory Services at JLL, said.
Meanwhile, the CEO of Designing Hong Kong, Paul Zimmerman, said he hopes the construction of an elevated deck in the area can help alleviate traffic congestion in Central.
“Can that deck really work … where basically you are on top of the deck and you can easily navigate between all these different modes of transport and underlying car parks as well… and we’ll remove all the traffic from the Landmark area, and the Queen’s Road and Des Voeux Road area,” he said.
Zimmerman, who's also a district councillor, told RTHK's Frances Sit that he hopes the future site can be developed in a way that makes it easy and convenient for people to enjoy the waterfront.
Last updated: 2020-12-18 HKT 17:00