DISCOVERY Bay has come a long way since the first residents moved into the houses and flats on Lantau Island in 1979.
Located on the northeast coast of the island, the development was envisaged as a resort covering a gross area of about 70 million square feet.
The first stage of the development was carried out in three phases.
Phase I cost $1.5 billion, Phase II about $200 million.
The first two phases, comprising more than 1,400 homes, commercial, recreational and transport facilities, a golf club, a man-made beach and a private reservoir, were completed between June 1982 and November 1986.
Sales proceeds from these two phases amounted to more than $1 billion.
Phase III, developed in three sub-phases, involved building 172 low-rise flats, 882 high-rise units, and 143 sea-view houses totalling 1.17 million sq ft.
Phase IV, involving the construction of 1,288 homes, also has a mix of high-rise and low-rise buildings. The residences are mainly larger two and three-bedroom apartments.
The low-rise units and the garden houses follow the same architectural style.
The present plans for Discovery Bay end with the completion of Phase VII, construction of additional apartments and housing between the Commercial Centre and Peninsula Village, and of 28 chalet houses at the top of the ridge by the golf club.
According to Hong Kong Resorts International (HKR), which built and manages the Discovery Bay project, 94.8 per cent of projects completed by August 31 were for residential use, 3.2 per cent for commercial use and two per cent for recreational purposes.
By then, 4.44 million sq ft had been developed. There was a further 1.27 million sq ft of the development being built and 1.33 million sq ft planned.
The master plan provides for a gross building area of about 7.5 million sq ft, of which about 6.5 million sq ft have been approved for residential, commercial and hotel use.
Phase VII development is under way, with HKR expecting to develop about 530 homes, with a gross floor area of about 450,000 sq ft.
The developer plans to tackle other sites on Discovery Bay in the future. It has approached the Government with a proposal to increase the area of Discovery Bay by up to four million sq ft.
The proposal includes the development of a new ferry pier and commercial centre.