Members of the government’s Town Planning Board have raised fears a proposed tourism hub at the tip of the former Kai Tak airport runway will become “just another property project” and encounter similar struggles to those seen by the controversial West Kowloon Cultural District. The plan to build a 5.93-hectare “tourism node” was brought to the board for discussion today, more than two weeks after the Development Bureau’s Energising Kowloon East office invited prospective operators to submit non-committal business plans for the project. The government has asked developers to submit plans that will fulfil social needs and be profitable. It is expected to put the site up for sale by tender next year. READ MORE: Future Hong Kong vision: Kai Tak tourist hub moves closer to reality Themed a “healthy city”, the project is part of the government’s “Kai Tak Fantasy” plan to develop the former airport site. The office has specified the site should provide greening, recreational and “edutainment” facilities while also featuring hotels, shops and facilities to be run by a developer or a consortium at its own cost. At the meeting, many members said they felt confused about the purpose of the plan. Among them was Professor Ho Puay-peng, who said he found the government’s proposal lacked a focus. “Are you encouraging people to jog there? Or are you building it as an attraction for tourists? … In the end it may end up a property project with hotels and a big shopping mall,” Ho said. His colleague Stanley Wong Yuen-fai voiced doubts about the attractiveness of the proposed hub. “When the government built the Kai Tak cruise terminal, it was very ambitious and it said it would bring in a lot of visitors … But the projects now seem to have been over-optimistic. Is there any data to support this development plan? Prospective operators will consider how many people will visit there,” Wong said. Brenda Au Kit-ying, head of the office, said the number of people using the cruise terminal had been increasing and the government would improve transport connections in the area for tourists and locals looking to commute there. “We don’t want it to be purely a property project. When selecting from the bids, we won’t just look at the bidding prices but will consider the proposed designs and uses of the site,” Au said. “We hope it will become an iconic development.” Two board members, Julia Lau Man-kwan and Dr Wilton Fok Wai-tung, said the project risked becoming "a repeat of West Kowloon" because, as with the long-delayed arts hub, the government was striving to combine commercial viability and a social mission. Au initially said there was no provision for any part of the site to be split off for sale to a smaller company after it was sold to a developer. But after Lau warned that smaller companies could be deterred from bidding, Au softened her tone and said the government could reconsider if operators found they couldn't make viable bids for the full site. First mentioned in the 2013 policy address, Kai Tak Fantasy will also include the adjacent typhoon shelter and part of the Kwun Tong waterfront.