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Budget Speech

Room for Business Development

117.    The Land Sale Programme for the coming financial year will include seven sites for commercial/business use and one for "hotel only" use, providing a total floor area of about 230 000 square metres and some 1 100 hotel rooms.

118.    To accommodate more economic activities and create more job opportunities, we shall increase land supply for commercial use in different districts through seven measures –

(a) continuing with the measures to facilitate revitalisation of industrial buildings and expediting the rezoning of industrial sites, to make available more floor area for commercial and other uses. The Planning Department is expected to complete a new round of industrial land review within this year to explore converting some sites no longer required for industrial use into other uses including commercial. The Lands Department has approved lease modification or land exchange applications in the past two years that are capable of providing about 250 000 square metres of additional commercial floor area;
(b) expediting the conversion of suitable Government, Institution or Community (GIC) sites in core business districts for commercial use. The two multi-storey carparks at Murray Road in Central and Rumsey Street in Sheung Wan are estimated to provide Grade A office space of some 76 000 square metres. The Middle Road Multi-storey Car Park Building in Tsim Sha Tsui, the Trade and Industry Department Tower in Mong Kok and the former Mong Kok Market will be converted for commercial use, providing about 53 000 square metres of commercial floor area. Meanwhile, we are taking forward the plan to relocate the offices in the three government office buildings in Wan Chai. Some of the offices therein will be reprovisioned to the West Kowloon Government Offices, the construction of which is expected to commence next year. Planning is also under way for the construction of the replacement offices in Kai Tak, Tseung Kwan O and Cheung Sha Wan;
(c) completing the land use and traffic impact study of the government site at Caroline Hill Road as soon as possible for the provision of more commercial floor area in Causeway Bay;
(d) the planning of the new Central harbourfront as a whole is expected to provide an estimated commercial floor area of about 260 000 square metres for office, retail, hotel and exhibition, etc. uses;
(e) the Kai Tak Development, an important source of future commercial land in Hong Kong, will provide about 1.4 million square metres of commercial floor area, including hotel sites, in phases over the three years from 2016-17;
(f) implementing the relocation and integration of the existing government facilities in the two action areas of Kowloon East on Kwun Tong waterfront and in Kowloon Bay, and kicking start the advance works. This project will provide some 500 000 square metres of commercial floor area. Government will identify suitable government sites in those areas to be released in the next financial year, providing over 120 000 square metres of commercial floor area; and
(g) conducting public consultation and a pilot study this year on the development of urban underground space in four strategic districts, namely Causeway Bay, Happy Valley, Admiralty/Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui West.

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