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Budget Speech


Increasing Commercial Land

105.    Apart from housing land, the Government is also committed to increasing the supply of commercial land to provide room for further development of different economic activities in Hong Kong.  Rentals of Grade A offices started to drop last year.  This had much to do with the external slowdown and uncertain outlook.  The 2013-14 Land Sale Programme will include nine sites for commercial/business use and one "hotel only" site, providing a total floor area of about 330 000 square metres and some 300 hotel rooms respectively.

106.    We shall expedite the development of the Kowloon East core business district.  Upon completion, it will be able to provide an office floor area of four million square metres.  In addition, we are considering speeding up the release of two clusters of government sites for commercial development in Kowloon East, including assessing the feasibility of relocating the government facilities there.  The two clusters of sites will provide a floor area of 500 000 square metres.  We shall also discuss with the AA ways to accelerate the development of the North Commercial District on Chek Lap Kok Airport Island.

107.    There is a huge demand for office space in the Central Business District (CBD) in Central.  We shall continue to relocate government departments from the CBD to release more office space to the market.  The relocation of the Independent Commission Against Corruption to North Point has freed a prime site at Murray Road.  Upon completion of the zoning procedures, the site can provide some 40 000 square metres of Grade A office space.  The completion of the new Trade and Industry Tower at the Kai Tak Development Area by end-2014 will release more than 18 000 square metres of floor area in the Trade and Industry Department Tower in Mong Kok for commercial use.

108.    The Department of Justice plans to relocate to the old Central Government Offices in 2015, vacating its offices in Queensway Government Offices for use by other government departments currently occupying commercial office premises in Central and Admiralty.  This will release office space in the districts to the market.  By then, the floor area of our leased office space in Central and Admiralty will reduce from the present level of over 2 700 square metres to less than 230 square metres.

109.    We are now proceeding with the relocation of departments in the three government office buildings at the Wan Chai waterfront.  This is a large-scale project, involving 29 departments and more than 10 000 staff.  Upon the relocation in phases of government departments to the new government office buildings in West Kowloon, Kai Tak and Tseung Kwan O, we shall rent out the floor space released to increase the supply of Grade A offices in Wan Chai. We shall put up the three government office buildings in Wan Chai for sale in due course, which is expected to provide a floor area of 175 000 square metres.



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