The public will choose from three options put forward by local and international experts for developing the West Kowloon arts hub, the project's board decided after its first meeting yesterday. The development plan - involving 15 performance venues, museums, offices, and retail and dining facilities over the 40-hectare area - would be the top priority for the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority Board, said its chairman, Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen. The authority would invite proposals by open tender, he said, and then launch a multi-stage consultation exercise and propose three options to the public. The final blueprint would be one of these three, but it might also include some good features of the other two. It would become reality after gaining the Town Planning Board's approval. Designs for the arts venues, in particular the museum M+, the Xiqu Centre for Cantonese and other Chinese opera and a music chamber, which are all intended to be landmarks, will be selected from a process with competitive elements. Architect Vincent Ng Wing-shun agreed that the public should be presented with options to choose from and that international experts should be engaged. But he said the authority should give more chances to local architects to design more of the buildings that would not be landmark performance venues. Critic Ada Wong Ying-kay agreed, saying local architects would better understand people's needs. The authority would also need to think about whether there was a need to scale down development in view of the financial meltdown, she said. Mr Tang said the project, coming amid a global economic crisis, was timely and would provide jobs for the construction and arts industries. The authority would maintain maximum transparency, he said, but it could not fully open meetings and release documents when sensitive commercial information was involved. The authority will launch a global recruitment exercise for the post of chief executive officer, but in the meantime it would recruit an executive director to serve during the transition period. The CEO is expected to have a good understanding of Hong Kong and be aware of the importance of culture to the city. The government will lend a lawyer, an executive officer, a planner, an engineer and an architect to assist the authority before it recruits permanent staff next year. In forming the authority's structure, the board will invite tenders for a consultancy study, to be completed by the second quarter of next year, to look at local and overseas organisations' staff structures, manpower needs and salary levels. The management's salary details will be released in the future. Under the authority, six committees will plan matters relating to performing arts, museums, development, audits, staff remuneration and investment. These will be chaired by Allan Zeman, Victor Lo Chung-wing, Ronald Arculli, Paul Chan Mo-po, Sin Chung-kai and Tsang Tak-sing.