Planners reject Swire Properties’ proposed enhancements to its Taikoo Place redevelopment

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 December, 2016, 9:41pm
UPDATED : Friday, 09 December, 2016, 11:17pm

Swire Properties’ proposed enhancements to its HK$15 billion Taikoo Place redevelopment in Quarry Bay was rejected by Hong Kong’s Town Planning Board (TPB) on Friday.

In its application to the TPB, the developer introduced changes to the original approved plan from 2011, which comprises two Grade-A office towers, One Taikoo Place and Two Taikoo Place, with a total gross floor area of two million square feet plus a 69,000 square foot open space.

Swire Properties said it was “disappointed by the TPB’s decision not to approve its application, given the overwhelming public support the proposal received - 1,384 supportive comments were made by stakeholders from different sectors during the public consultation process.”

The proposed changes included increasing the building height of Two Taikoo Place by 17 metres to 212 metres.

Swire had also planned to turn 115,000 square feet of pre-approved office space at Two Taikoo Place (and several other buildings) into an area for food and beverage, retail, wellness and recreational facilities and to accommodate an upgraded, permanent home for ArtisTree, a multi-functional arts space .

ArtisTree is currently located at Cornwall House, one of the three industrial buildings set to be redeveloped into the One and Two Taikoo Place office towers. The other two were Somerset House, and Warwick House.

“The TPB’s decision means that workers, residents and visitors in the area will not have a chance to benefit from the proposed enhancements, including an upgraded venue for ArtisTree and additional communal facilities such as F&B, retail, wellness and recreational amenities, which we believe will bring significant gains to the community,” said Swire.

The plan, if approved, would have almost doubled the non-office space component of the development to 6 per cent from 3.2 per cent of the 3.57 million sq ft Comprehensive Development Area (CDA) zone of Taikoo Place. The CDA zone also includes part of Dorset House and Lincoln House.

The proposed scheme had also included minor increases to the office floor-to-ceiling heights in order to meet the increasing demand for high quality, grade-A office accommodation in the interests of maintaining Hong Kong’s competitive position in the region, Swire said in a statement.

Although the enhancement scheme has been rejected, Swire said it remained committed to developing Taikoo Place, in line with the original approved scheme in 2011, as a world-class commercial hub.

“Our HK$15 billion investment is on schedule and moving forward full steam ahead. Of the new Grade-A office towers, One Taikoo Place is expected to be completed in 2018, followed by the second tower, Two Taikoo Place, in 2021,” the statement said.