Revised proposal for preservation of Jessville

The Chief Executive in Council has approved the upholding of an earlier decision to partially lift the Pokfulam Moratorium to facilitate the revised preservation-cum-development proposal for the preservation of the historic building at 128 Pokfulam Road, commonly known as Jessville.

A spokesman for the Development Bureau said today (April 5), "The Government always seeks to strike a proper balance between preservation of historic buildings and respect for private property rights. The preservation-cum-development proposal for Jessville is such an example."

Following discussions between the owners and relevant government departments co-ordinated by the Commissioner for Heritage's Office of the Development Bureau, the owners proposed to preserve Jessville under a preservation-cum-development proposal. The Chief Executive in Council approved the partial lifting of the Pokfulam Moratorium to facilitate the preservation-cum-development proposal (the original proposal) in 2009. The owners recently proposed reducing the scale of development to ensure the financial viability of the project.

Under the revised proposal, the owners will build on the site a single new residential tower while preserving Jessville and converting it into four residential units. To enhance possible public enjoyment of the historic building, the owners will set up a public viewing podium for the public to appreciate Jessville. However, the owners would not entertain, for privacy and security reasons, public visits to the historic building which will be used as private residential units.

"Access to historic buildings is affected by many factors including the use of the buildings concerned," the spokesman said.

The Jessville site is subject to the Pokfulam Moratorium, whereby, out of traffic concerns, administrative restrictions are imposed on developments requiring lease modification. The traffic impact of the original proposal on Pokfulam Road and the nearby junctions was considered insignificant. The traffic impact of the revised proposal will be further reduced because of the reduced development scale.

Constructed around 1931, Jessville is a private residence built in the Italian Renaissance architectural style with Art Deco variations. It has been confirmed as a Grade 3 historic building by the Antiquities Advisory Board.

Ends/Friday, April 5, 2013
Issued at HKT 16:00