Sino Land wants to turn Old Tai O Police Station into boutique hotel An NGO set up by a developer is bidding for a revitalisation project to turn the Old Tai O Police Station into a boutique hotel. The police station is one of seven sites designated for the government's revitalisation scheme, announced in October last year. The government said the vacant public structures had 'limited commercial viability', but the grade 3 historic building in remote Tai O had drawn interest from developer Sino Land. One of the two shortlisted bidders, alongside the Hong Kong Young Women's Christian Association, is Hong Kong Heritage Conservation Foundation Limited. A search on the Companies Registry found that its sole director is Sino Land executive director Daryl Ng Win-kong. Set up in December last year, it was initially named Nice Brilliant Limited but changed its name in March. A Sino Group spokeswoman said Mr Ng had set up the NGO solely for charity, and it was administratively independent. 'Its proceeds will not go to shareholders but benefit the community,' she said. Mr Ng's NGO had not taken part in local conservation projects and had no other board members, but would form local partnerships if it won the bid, she said. In Singapore, Sino Group handled the Fullerton Heritage project, which turned a former post office into a five-star hotel. In a letter to Tai O residents, Mr Ng introduced his NGO and its boutique hotel plan, saying it was 'set up by Sino Group, a well-established real estate developer and a top dog in the hotel industry'. The hotel would organise activities for locals, he said. The revitalisation scheme for historic buildings seeks to encourage NGOs to run social enterprises and create jobs. Successful bidders can, at the most, apply for HK$5 million for initial costs, and occupy the building at a nominal rental. Although Mr Ng's NGO is an eligible applicant, its association with Sino Land has raised concerns that it runs counter to the scheme's intention to help NGOs. Antiquities Advisory Board member Ng Cho-nam said he was worried it would reduce the chances for less well-off NGOs to participate. 'The scheme is a precious opportunity,' he said. 'If the chance is given to one backed by a large developer, this would seem unfair and discourage other NGOs from taking part. The vetting committee should consider carefully, and encourage NGOs with a track record.' Another board member, Bernard Lim Wan-fung, agreed Mr Ng's NGO was eligible, but added that the vetting committee should look at its objectives and track record. Outgoing legislator Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung, a lecturer in applied social sciences at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, said it was inappropriate for businesses to compete with NGOs. 'Normally a charity is founded by people who have been in social service for some time,' he said. 'Without a track record, this one-man NGO would appear a company more for business interest.' Lawmaker Alan Leong Kah-kit said: 'The most important thing is whether the bidder can minimise alteration works and keep the building open to the public at an affordable price.' Bernard Chan, chairman of the scheme's vetting committee, said it would accept applications only from NGOs, and would ensure the winner would be non-profit making. He said Ma Wan's Fong Yuen Study Hall might be pulled from the revitalisation list because it was too small and remote to attract visitors, while Lui Seng Chun, a former Chinese medicine shop in Lai Chi Kok, could be 'challenging' for revitalisation.