The Tamar Basin reclamation has been earmarked as the site for the SAR Government's new headquarters - including offices for the chief executive and his executive council. The 2.56-hectare site was expected to be sold, but Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands Bowen Leung Po-wing denied the move had anything to do with the depressed property market. He said the existing Central Government Offices in Lower Albert Road and the Murray Building in Garden Road were too small and the Government had been studying the Tamar option for six months. The government offices will be built between the Prince of Wales Building - the People's Liberation Army's Hong Kong headquarters - and Citic Tower - the flagship building of mainland-backed Citic (Hong Kong) and Citic Pacific. However, the withdrawal of the site from sale is expected to cost billions in lost revenue. About half of the Tamar site had originally been scheduled for public auction in March for office development. Surveyors said it was a wise move to cancel the sale ahead of an anticipated oversupply of office space. They were pessimistic about the likely outcome if the sale went ahead, with buyers' confidence being buffeted by the regional financial turmoil and rising interest rates. At least $15 billion could be lost as a result of the Tamar site's withdrawal from sale, surveyors estimated. The site could provide up to four million square feet of office space. Mr Leung would not make an estimate on the potential loss but said it would not affect the Government's land revenues and would be offset by future sales of the sites occupied by the Central Government Offices and the Murray Building. The two sites, with a total area of 2.43 hectares, would be considered for rezoning for commercial use, he said. Mr Leung said the design of the new government headquarters had yet to be worked out, but would include offices for the chief executive and Exco. He said it was premature to put an estimate on the cost but expected the project would take four to five years to complete. It was unclear when work would begin, said Mr Leung, because two or three years would be needed to complete a study of the design and infrastructure.