Avenue of Stars reopens after years-long refurbishment

January 31, 2019 16:54
Tsim Sha Tsui's Avenue of Stars waterfront promenade bears a new look after extensive renovation work for more than three years. Photo: HKEJ

The Avenue of Stars (AoS), the famed celebrity-themed walkway along the Tsim Sha Tsui harbourfront, reopened to the public on Thursday after years-long refurbishment.

At a ceremony held a day prior to the opening, Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs Cherry Tse Ling Kit-ching said the revitalization has helped turn the AoS into a more functional, comfortable and convenient spot for local residents and overseas visitors, making it a world-class waterfront promenade.

Stretching 440 meters along the waterfront, the promenade had been fenced off since October 2015 for revitalization works.

With many environment-friendly elements added, the renovated AoS recently won a gold rating from SITES, an international evaluation institution.

Sitt Nam-hoi, an executive director of New World Development, which was responsible for the revamp, pointed out to the attendees that the handprints of movie stars and other popular entertainment celebrities, which used to be on the floor earlier, have been raised and mounted to railings on the shoreline.

QR code is attached to each of the existing 117 handprints for visitors to scan so that they can get to know more about their favorite stars through brief biography and film footage, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Five famous local actresses, all winners of Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actress -- Sandra Ng Kwan-yue, Carol "Dodo" Cheng Yu-ling, Cecilia Yip Tung and Teresa Mo Shun-kwan -- were invited to Wednesday's re-opening ceremony, during which they left their handprints on the spot.

NWD’s senior project director Jeff Tung Jing-kong revealed that the total cost of the facelift had exceeded HK$100 million.

The AoS is expected to see double-digit growth in visitor numbers, which stood at more than 10 million a year before renovation works began in October 2015, Tung said.

Responding to concerns that street performers may rush to the promenade area and disturb the peace in the area, Tung said a committee is planned to be set up to review applications from such performers.

The proposal is, however, still under discussion, he said, indicating that it could take at least six months before an announcement is made.

More staff would be sent for patrolling in the AoS area, Tung added.

NWD will be responsible for management of the AoS until 2024, under a contract signed between the company and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Tung said.

In a press release on Wednesday, the Transport Department announced that additional pick-up and drop-off points for coaches have been set up in the vicinity of Salisbury Road to tie in with the AoS’ re-opening.

The department issued a reminder that coaches should leave immediately after picking up or dropping off passengers, to ensure smooth traffic flow.

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Five local actresses (from left) Sandra Ng, Teresa Mo, Helena Law, Carol "Dodo" Cheng and Cecilia Yip attended Wednesday's re-opening ceremony and left their handprints on the spot. Photo: CNSA