THE territory's lifeless industrial property market is set for a major revamp with the proposed introduction of 'business parks' to help rejuvenate the sector. The new concept, yet to be adopted by the Government, is part of an overall proposal for widening land-use categories in new industrial areas. It is the result of extensive research undertaken by the Planning Department, following the introduction of industrial-office composite building categories in late 1989, aimed at addressing changing demands. If the review's proposals are used, it will bring in a set of new standards and guidelines which provide for the incorporation of business or commercial premises to be developed in the new industrial areas. Senior town planner Christine Tse said due to significant changes to Hong Kong's manufacturing base in recent years, existing standards and guidelines were no longer sufficient to cover administration, management, sales and distribution sectors. 'As the introduction of a business park concept has been discussed by the local business community for a long time, we tried to study if the concept is applicable in Hong Kong.' The study was launched in June last year and has reached its final stage. It aims to incorporate more business elements into the existing definition of what constitutes 'industrial use' for the purpose of an outline zoning plan. It has suggested new land use types - including business estates and centres - to accommodate industries which have a need for flexible business premises. Surveyors said a business estate would be similar to a business park - a concept well known in the United States, Britain, Singapore and Malaysia. It was aimed at providing a prestigious environment, usually a large-scale green field, for high-tech production development, they said. But Paul Anderson, director of Colliers Jardine's industrial agency, said the scarcity of land in Hong Kong made it difficult to offer sufficient land for business estate development. If the Government wanted to launch the concept in Hong Kong, it should set up corporations like the Hong Kong Industrial Estate Corp to provide developers with sites at discount prices, Mr Anderson said. He said business parks were aimed at attracting multi-national industrial conglomerates but it was too late for Hong Kong to introduce the concept because many overseas firms had already established their operations in Singapore and Malaysia. According to the study, conducted by Townland Consultants, business parks would include a mix of low-rise buildings for industry-related office use, research and development, distribution, trading, light-manufacturing and assembly. Centres which are proposed for selected locations in existing industrial areas would primarily be for industrial renewal. The study proposed the percentage of office space allocated to industrial buildings be raised to 50 per cent from 30 per cent. Some surveyors said this would further dampen demand for industrial-office buildings because users would choose to move into purely industrial buildings at lower costs.