Land and Development Advisory Committee holds meeting

At its meeting today (May 7), the Land and Development Advisory Committee was briefed by the Development Bureau on the major recommendations of the Planning and Urban Design Review for Developments at Kai Tak Runway Tip (KTRT) and the proposed two-envelope tender arrangement for disposal of Site 3 of the New Central Harbourfront (Site 3).

Members noted the planning objectives, design principles and key study recommendations for the developments at KTRT, including the existing and planned public open spaces (such as the Kai Tak Runway Park and Runway Waterfront Promenade) as well as the Tourism Node site included in the 2020-21 Land Sale Programme. The study envisaged that the KTRT developments should be taken forward under a planning and design framework which embodied various elements including connectivity, healthy city concept, harbourfront enhancement and aviation and water themes. Members were briefed on the Master Layout Plan and Landscape Master Plan drawn up for the area, as well as the implementation arrangements. Members generally supported the recommendations of the KTRT Study as a set of well thought-out designs for a prime urban location, and provided comments on various aspects, such as ways to attract people to KTRT, the connectivity to and within the area, the promotion of healthy city and kid-friendly concepts, and the future operation, management and maintenance of various public open spaces and recreational facilities in KTRT to ensure full implementation of the design concepts.

For Site 3, members were briefed on the two-envelope tender approach, i.e. evaluation of both design and price proposals. With a total area of 4.75 hectares, the design concept of Site 3 was formulated under the Urban Design Study for the New Central Harbourfront completed in 2011, following two stages of extensive public engagement. The planning brief for the site prescribes a commercial development in separate blocks mainly for office and retail, with a total gross floor area not exceeding 150 000 sq m, to be built alongside a spacious public open space of no less than 25 000 sq m to be opened round-the-clock. There will be a continuous landscaped deck spanning across the site in a north-south direction, allowing visitors to walk all the way from the hinterland of the Central Business District to the harbourfront. Given the prime harbourfront location of Site 3 in the heart of Central and its proposed mixed use development of such a scale benefitting Hong Kong economically and socially, the Government hoped to take full advantage of this opportunity to put developable space of the site into good use, by providing maximum possible commercial floor space to address the city's strong demand for prime Grade A offices, and at the same time responding to public aspiration for a world class harbourfront with quality public open space and pedestrian-oriented connectivity.

While noting that the two-envelope approach was rather unconventional for government land sale, members welcomed the adoption of this approach for Site 3 as a commendable and right step, which allows the Government to select a tender that best combined design quality and premium offer, signifying that the Government attaches as much value to design merits and social benefits as to fiscal return from land sale for this unique site. In particular, members agreed that the use of a two-envelope approach would allow both quality and price considerations to be taken into account, and the setting of a reserve price would ensure reasonable protection to public revenue. Specific suggestions put forth by members included how best to ensure transparency of the tender assessment criteria, the handling and control of any post-tender design changes while ensuring fairness of the evaluation process, and the formulation of suitable marking standards and arrangements to enable selection of a quality, innovative and operable scheme. 

Ends/Thursday, May 7, 2020
Issued at HKT 21:14