Following is a question by the Hon Leung Kwok-hung and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, in the Legislative Council today (May 28):
PMQ is a revitalisation project implemented at the former Police Married Quarters on Hollywood Road. Recently, it has been reported by the media and pointed out by some tenants of PMQ that as renovation works are still in progress in quite a number of units at PMQ, there are almost no visitors due to the poor environment, resulting in unsatisfactory business for the tenants. These tenants have also pointed out that the Musketeers Education and Culture Charitable Foundation Limited, which has been selected to conserve this heritage site, and the PMQ Management Company Limited (the management company), which is responsible for the daily management of PMQ, have all along failed to listen to the opinions of the tenants and rectify the mismanagement of PMQ. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the respective numbers of units, among the 130 studio units and eight commercial units at PMQ, the tenants of which have opened for business for one month or more and not yet opened for business as at the 24th of this month; whether it has assessed if the number of tenants which have opened for business is so small that it can hardly attract a substantial visitor flow, resulting in unsatisfactory business performance for those tenants which have opened for business; if it has assessed, of the outcome; if not, the reasons for that; whether it has assessed when PMQ will meet the target of having 80% of its units opened for business;
(2) whether it knows if the management company has put in place measures to urge those tenants of the units in which renovation works have been carried out for a long time but are still uncompleted to open for business as soon as possible, so as to boost the visitor flow of PMQ;
(3) whether, notwithstanding that the management company has, in view of the actual circumstances, decided not to start collecting rents from the studio units until this month, the authorities will request the management company to defer the collection of rents until July this year or 80% or more of the units have opened for business and the ancillary facilities at the site have been improved further, so as to support and nurture local budding creative enterprises and achieve the original objectives of the revitalisation project; if they will not, of the reasons for that;
(4) whether it knows if the two sole restaurant units provided with seating in PMQ have opened for business as at 24th of this month; if they have opened for business, of their daily business hours; if not, the reasons for that, as well as when they will open for business and the types of food and beverage services they will provide; and
(5) given that the management company has advised that PMQ is still under partial operation stage and vending machines are yet to be provided, whether the Government has found out from the management company if vending machines will be provided on each floor of PMQ in future for the convenience of visitors and staff members; if vending machines will be provided, of the number and the goods to be sold; if not, the reasons for that?
As regards the questions raised by Hon Leung Kwok-hung, the replies are as follows:
(1) and (2) PMQ Management Company Limited (PMQ Ltd) advised that about 80 tenants have commenced operation. Other tenants who had signed the leases had also set dates for commencing operation progressively. As at May 18, 2014, the number of visitors is over 230,000. Quite a number of tenants reflected that the visitor flow and sales performance after commencement of operation are satisfactory. As the dates of lease commencement, dates of taking over of studio units by tenants, fitting-out period and start-up time are different for individual studio units, individual studio unit will commence operation at different times. This is in line with the common practice in the market.
(3) For the emerging designers without business experience, PMQ Ltd would provide guidance and help them enhance their business skills. PMQ Ltd would organise various talks and seminars for tenants regularly, so as to provide them with more exchange and sharing opportunities with professionals in different fields. PMQ Ltd would also provide them with training and consultancy services, as well as support such as networking with manufacturers and overseas buyers. Besides, PMQ Ltd advised that about 80 tenants have commenced operation. Other tenants who had signed the leases had also set dates for commencing operation progressively.
(4) PMQ Ltd advised that the "PMQ" has two sole restaurant units with provision of seating, some takeaway shops and also several concept stores with eatery facilities. Overall, the project has provided different food and beverage options. Three restaurants in the "PMQ" have commenced operation. Other restaurant units will progressively commence operation. The restaurant units may operate during the opening hours of "PMQ" from 7am to 11pm, and their basic operating hours are from 11am to 8pm.
(5) PMQ Ltd advised that the "PMQ" is still under partial operation stage, and vending machines are yet to be provided. However, PMQ Ltd will conduct regular reviews and enhance the project facilities.
Ends/Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Issued at HKT 14:30