Date
16 August 2017
Hopewell Centre II will involve less green initiatives under a proposed change in design and usage plans. Photo: HKEJ
Hopewell Centre II will involve less green initiatives under a proposed change in design and usage plans. Photo: HKEJ

Hopewell faces flak over new plans for upcoming project

Hopewell Holdings Ltd. (00054.HK) plans to alter the usage of its upcoming Hopewell Centre II commercial building in Wanchai by adding more hotel and retail facilities and reducing the planned office space.

The company intends to go back to original designs, which will offer less scope for environmental protection efforts and green cover.

The plans prompted Civic Party lawmaker Tanya Chan to accuse Hopewell of not abiding by its earlier promise. Authorities should take a closer look at the matter, she said.

Hopewell reached an agreement with the government in mid-2012 to pay a land premium of HK$3.73 billion (US$479 million) to build Hopewell Centre II. It is now working on the foundation.

In June, the group applied to the Town Planning Board to amend the usage terms. Under the new plan, Hopewell will add more hotel facilities, retail shops and a 50,000-square-foot conference hall by eliminating 35,000 square feet of office space, Ming Pao Daily reported Wednesday.

The company decided to upgrade the project, including reorganizing the facilities, to utilize the space better and reduce land reclamation, a Hopewell spokesperson was quoted as saying.

Hopewell received the land in October 2012, three years after a conference hotel proposal was approved in 2009, the spokesperson added.

A planned footbridge will be removed as conference participants are expected to stay at the hotel in Hopewell Centre II. Meanwhile, the tree removal and compensation plans have been approved by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and other related departments, the company said.

As for the design of the building, it would involve two wings with a width of 78 meters, rather than a Y-type building with 72 meters width. The company will only plant 348 trees instead of 650 as promised in 2009.

The Planning Department said that if the Town Planning Board approves for the changes, the owner will have to apply to the Lands Department for contract amendment.

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