Tseung Kwan O 'suitable' for government offices

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 29 February, 2008, 12:00am

A government site located at Tseung Kwan O's city centre could accommodate government offices relocated from the Wan Chai waterfront, a government source said yesterday. He said such a move would be convenient for the public and civil servants.

Planners and surveyors said moving government offices from the business centre was not the only solution to provide new sites for grade A office buildings. They urged the government to provide incentives for redeveloping old sites in central business districts.

The area designated for future government offices - named Area 67 - is on Po Yap Road, opposite the Park Central residential estate and the Tseung Kwan O MTR station.

The site is currently zoned as residential development but will be rezoned to government use under a new plan prepared by the Civil Engineering and Development Department. The changes will be incorporated into the current outline of the zoning plan, which is expected to be gazetted in the next two months, the source said.

Apart from the Tseung Kwan O site, it is also known that a site between San Po Kong and the future Kai Tak Station will be designated for the relocated government offices.

'Offices in Wan Chai might not be shifted to Kai Tak and Tseung Kwan O directly. They could be swapped with other government offices which are more suitable for working in remote areas,' the source said.

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah announced on Wednesday in the budget that three government towers in Wan Chai could be relocated to Kai Tak development area and Tseung Kwan O.

The move would free up space for more grade A office blocks to stimulate economic growth, he said, adding a feasibility study would be conducted on the proposal.

Offices to be relocated include those in Immigration Tower, Wan Chai Tower and Revenue Tower on Gloucester Road. Surveyors said the site could fetch about HK$20 billion for the government if it was auctioned.

Other government offices, such as those in the Harbour Building in Central, are also located in prime waterfront sites.

But Institute of Planners vice-president Chan Kim-on said moving all government offices from core business areas was not a wise decision. 'We should maximise the utilisation of old sites and minimise the disturbance to the public,' he said, adding incentives should be provided to encourage renewal of old commercial sites.

Institute of Surveyors chairman Yu Kam-hung also said it should be considered on a case-by-case basis.