Government finalises plan for redeveloping West Wing of former Central Government Offices (with video)

At a press conference today (June 14), the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, reviewed the Government's heritage conservation work in the past five years and announced the final plan for redeveloping the West Wing of the former Central Government Offices (CGO). Under the plan, the Government will drop its earlier proposal to rezone part of the "Government, Institution or Community" ("G/IC") site to "Comprehensive Development Area" and will retain ownership of the West Wing site intended for office development, thereby preserving the integrity of the entire CGO site.

"This final plan, which provides for the preservation of the Main and East Wings for use by the Department of Justice and redevelopment of West Wing, has fully taken into account views expressed in the community on the future of the former CGO in the past two years. It is supported by a comprehensive historical and architectural appraisal done by the UK heritage conservation architect firm Purcell Miller Tritton. It has seized a unique opportunity to create a public open space (POS) in the upper part of Central, enhance the green neighbourhood and provide a new building to meet office and community needs," said Mrs Lam.

Under the final plan, the West Wing will be redeveloped on a much smaller footprint of 1 350 square metres at the upper, western end of the CGO site, providing 28 500 square metres gross floor area (GFA) of office and 11 800 square metres GFA for G/IC and ancillary usages.

A Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) mode will be adopted to partner with the private sector to redevelop the West Wing. The Government will retain ownership of the site and the successful bidder for the BOT contract to be selected through a public tender will fund, design, construct and operate the new building in exchange for receiving rental income in the course of the BOT agreement.

"In the BOT tender, we will adopt a two-envelope approach to ensure that the quality and technical aspects of the project, apart from public revenue, would be given due weight in the assessment. We will carefully prepare the BOT tender documents to include all relevant terms, including the need for the developer to hand over to Government the POS and about 4 700 square metres of GFA for G/IC use in the portion below the Lower Albert Road level upon completion," Mrs Lam said.

The new development will also provide much sought after space for NGOs involved in legal and financial affairs, thereby characterising the nature of this development, which the Administration has proposed will have the Securities and Futures Commission and the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited as anchor tenants.

The Government will launch an Expression of Interest exercise later this year to gauge market interest. The views and suggestions received from potential bidders will be taken into account in finalising the terms and conditions of the tender documents. It is expected that public tender for the BOT will take place in the first half of 2013.

Ends/Thursday, June 14, 2012
Issued at HKT 18:15


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