KCRC and Wharf in talks on building an underground station in the bustling Tsim Sha Tsui street The dispute between the KCRC and Wharf (Holdings) over the building of a station on Canton Road along the proposed Kowloon Southern Link may be settled when a revised plan for the alignment is presented in the Legislative Council tomorrow. Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation said talks had restarted with Wharf, the biggest landlord on Canton Road, to explore an option to build a station on the street - a proposal the rail firm had shelved earlier. It involves building a station in the space occupied by the underground car park of the World Finance Centre, part of Wharf's Harbour City development. 'In [tomorrow's] Legco meeting, we will indicate how high the chance of building the station will be,' said KCRC spokeswoman Mabel Wan Mei-bo. KCRC will build the Kowloon Southern Link, a 3.8km passenger rail line linking the West Rail terminus at Nam Cheong station with the East Tsim Sha Tsui station being built under the Tsim Sha Tsui extension project. The rail line, to be completed by 2009, will provide a strategic link between the West and East Rail. The KCRC's original proposal - first submitted to the government in 2001 - was for the link to have two stations, one at West Kowloon and the other at Canton Road. However, the plan was amended to provide just one station at West Kowloon when the Kowloon Southern Link scheme was gazetted in March this year. The rail firm received 63 objections at the end of the gazettal period on May 25. Analysts said Wharf was worried that the cancellation of the station would hit shopping and tourist traffic on the street, and consequently hit the value of its assets. Wharf owns 8.3 million square feet of office, retail, serviced apartments and hotel space in the Harbour City development. Through the Canton Road Association, which mainly comprises Wharf and retailers at its properties, the developer early this month urged Miriam Lau Kin-yee, the chairman of the transport panel of Legco, to investigate the matter. It has also sought support from the Yau Tsim Mong District Council. The KCRC's decision was seen by market observers as a strategic move to force Wharf to lower the compensation amount incurred from the resumption of its land to build the station. KCRC chairman Michael Tien Puk-sun said earlier this month that Wharf had asked for land resumption compensation of more than $3 billion. This did not make the project commercially viable, taking into account the link's estimated capital costs of $8.3 billion. Instead of building a station, the KCRC proposed a subway to link the East Tsim Sha Tsui station with Canton Road. A spokeswoman at Wharf on Monday said: 'KCRC had asked us to calculate the costs if the two-tower World Finance Centre at Canton Road was pulled down to make the room for the station. We had indicated that the costs would be about $3 billion. But this is not our proposal.' Wharf made a counter-proposal to build three mini concourses in the car park. But the KCRC rejected the plan, citing insufficient space. Ms Wan said the two parties were discussing a new proposal that would again place the station in the car park area. 'This time, the space to be provided by Wharf will be bigger than the rejected three mini-concourse proposal,' she said. The area is said to be about 30,000 square feet. However, Ms Wan said it was too early to say if the proposal was commercially viable as the compensation cost had yet to be calculated. Henry Chan Man-yu, chairman of Yau Tsim Mong District Council, said Canton Road was a popular business, shopping and entertainment destination for locals and tourists. Without a station, Canton Road's status as a focal point in Kowloon would be seriously damaged, he said. Retailers were also concerned that the one station proposal would divert passenger flow to West Kowloon, where a mega cultural hub will be built starting 2007. Sun Hung Kai Properties is building a 480-metre office-hotel tower, named Union Square, at Kowloon Station. However, not all landlords on Canton Road were critical of the decision to cancel the station. Sino Land associate director Lawrence Chong, said: 'It will be a big bonus if there is a station at Canton Road.' However, the impact of not having a station would not be that bad, he said.