TST piazza to include 5-storey shopping mall
18 June 2009 CITY1 | CITY

South China Morning Post

A tenth of the multi-purpose piazza proposed for the site of the bus terminus in Tsim Sha Tsui will be turned into a shopping mall, with buildings up to five storeys high occupying 1,000 square metres.

A Commerce and Economic Development Bureau spokesman said the site could be used for commercial purposes, depending on public opinion. But the government said the proposal would not be finalised until early next year.

According to a bureau paper submitted to the Legislative Council, buildings up to 15 metres high will occupy not more than 10 per cent of the proposed piazza. It had been touted as an open, multi-purpose space.

Greg Wong Chak-yan, a member of the government's Harbourfront Enhancement Committee, said the site could generate up to HK$1 million a month in revenue for the government. But he was concerned the government might bear risks if management of the piazza was contracted out to the private sector.

Paul Zimmerman, a founding member of Designing Hong Kong, said it would be a good idea to provide refreshment services for tourists, but the site did not need shops.

After a round of consultation launched in October it was generally agreed the proposed Tsim Sha Tsui piazza, near the Avenue of Stars, Cultural Centre and major shopping malls, should have seating, a green environment with shade, a cafe and a fountain.

Under the government's latest proposal, the existing Star Ferry Pier, the clock tower and the five flag poles will not be affected and there will be landscaping with trees, greenery, lawn areas and seating. It will also provide open space for public activities like concerts, art exhibitions or outdoor carnivals such as the New Year countdown.

The design of the piazza will be decided by an open design competition that will start early next year, at the earliest.

The government will also ask for suitable arrangements to be made for locals and visitors to take buses or taxis to and from the ferry pier to the future public transport interchange.

The Transport Department plans to build a new turnaround at Salisbury Road outside the Cultural Centre, with eight bus stops and a taxi stand, to maintain smooth traffic flow in the area. The construction of the new turnaround will start next year and end in 2010.

The Legislative Council's economic development panel will discuss the piazza plans on Monday.

By Scarlett Chiang and Peter So

(上次更新: 2009-11-17)

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