In a surprise move, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced a plan to knock down three major government buildings in Wan Chai for the expansion of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Lam made the proposal for the first time in her policy speech on Wednesday, which effectively scraps a plan that her predecessor Leung Chun-ying unveiled in January, which was to turn the Wan Chai Sports Ground into a new convention center.
“The priority is to build a new convention and exhibition venue of international standard in the proximity of HKCEC,” Lam said. “The new venue must be connected to and integrated with the existing HKCEC to maximize the benefits.”
The new plan would be to demolish the three government buildings next to the HKCEC in Wan Chai North and redevelop the site into a new wing that can be connected to and integrated with the existing HKCEC.
Lam said the project will add about 23,000 square meters of connected convention and exhibition facilities, based on initial estimates. She also suggested the building of hotel facilities and Grade A office space on top of the new venue.
Also, the government will continue with the development of a new convention center above the Exhibition Station of the Shatin to Central Link to provide the market with an additional 15,000 square meters of convention space.
Lam said her proposal is aimed at reinforcing and enhancing the status of Wan Chai North as a convention and exhibition hub in Asia.
Once the reprovisioning of the Wan Chai Sports Ground is satisfactorily resolved, the site may be earmarked for the further development of convention and exhibition facilities, she said.
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