Activists will try to save the historic Central Market from commercial redevelopment by asking town planners to change its land use designation so the building can house public arts facilities. They urged Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen to remove the site of the Bauhaus-style building from the land sale list in the policy address. The removal was urgent because in July a developer had tried but failed to trigger an auction of the site in Des Voeux Road Central, said Katty Law Ngar-ning, convenor of the Central and Western Concern Group, yesterday. As a condition of sale, the buyer would be required to 'display items of historical and architectural interest of the market for viewing'. 'Once the site is sold, the building will be razed because the developer is only required to display relevant photos or objects,' Law said. The site is subject to a development of a 160-metre tall commercial tower with a gross floor area of 670,543 sq ft and a public open space of 16,000 sq ft. Surveyors have calculated that the site is worth HK$6.7 billion. A spokesman for the Development Bureau said the government had no intention of removing the market from the land sale list. Law said she would file an application with the Town Planning Board to change the site's land use from commercial to government, institutional or community use, but hoped it would be used as a public art space. Law said another reason the government should suspend the sale plan was that, at the suggestion of her group and others, the Antiquities Advisory Board planned to consider this year proposed gradings for the market and other public heritage sites. Architects say the market is the last piece of 1930s Bauhaus architecture in the city after Wan Chai Market was partially demolished for a high-rise. Green Sense president Roy Tam Hoi-pong, who will join Law in filing the submission, said the site was the last low-rise zone in the dense Central area, and a high-rise development would worsen congestion and pollution. Vincent Au Yeung Wai-hon, whose family ran a shrimp stall in the market for 40 years until the building closed in 2003, lamented it being left to deteriorate. The building had excellent ventilation without air conditioning, he said.