The Development Bureau announced the tender for Site 3 of the New Central Harbourfront has been awarded to Pacific Gate Development Limited on a 50-year land grant, following a two-envelope open tender.
The Government adopted a two-envelope approach in the tender to take both design and premium into consideration. Equal weighting for premium and non-premium proposals was adopted in this two-envelope approach. The Tender Assessment Panel (TAP) assessed the tender proposals following the requirements stipulated in the tender document, and Pacific Gate Development Limited attained the highest marks for its premium and non-premium proposals, with the overall mark totaling 100 (the maximum mark would be given to the top performer in the respective assessment of the premium and non-premium proposals). The TAP, therefore, recommended to the Central Tender Board to accept this tender and the recommendation was approved. The premium proposal of the successful tender is HKD50,800,000,000.
The Government received a total of six tenders. Among the six, four did not conform with the requirement that a tender has to attain the passing mark for both the premium and non-premium proposals in the two-envelope approach. In other words, two are regarded as conforming tenders fulfilling both the premium and non-premium requirements, and the successful tender was given a higher total mark and hence awarded the tender. The Government will release the combined scores, the premium offer and the gist of the design proposal of the other conforming tender after the completion of transaction procedures.
A spokesperson for the Development Bureau said, “Our vision is for Site 3 to become a new landmark for Hong Kong, exemplary in terms of people-centric design and emphases on sustainable and urban design considerations as well as integration with the surroundings. The successful tenderer’s proposal is based on the idea of ‘a bridge’ and aims to curate a world-class iconic landmark in Hong Kong, enhance the connectivity between the hinterland and harbourfront in Central, and create a vast amount of green and public spaces. The development is expected to achieve good integration with the surrounding environment and vitalise the harbourfront area.”
The successful tenderer proposes to build three buildings to accentuate Hong Kong’s image as Asia’s World City. The block closest to the harbour will be multi-functional, whereas the other two will be office buildings. Adequate separation is proposed among the buildings as ventilation corridors and city windows, to ensure that the development will have sufficient natural ventilation and lighting.
The Public Open Space proposed will exceed the minimum of 25,000 square metres as required in the tender document. The Horizon Park, a platform at the roof level, will connect the three buildings. The public will be able to enjoy panoramic views of the Central cityscape and Victoria Harbour from there. The platform, to be greened as an urban forest, will provide a lawn, jogging routes and outdoor space for public use. The proposal also provides a pedestrian network to link up the existing routes in Central, connecting its hinterland with the harbourfront and the vicinity. There will be a pedestrian connection with Central MTR Station. The artist’s impressions of the proposal are in the Annex.
Site 3’s tender period ran from 18 December 2020 to 18 June 2021, longer than ordinary cash tenders, to allow sufficient time for the preparation of proposals. In line with the established stores and procurement procedures, the TAP was set up and chaired by the Permanent Secretary for Development (Planning and Lands) and comprised senior directorate officers from the Works Branch of the Development Bureau, the Planning Department, the Architectural Services Department and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. The Government appointed several experts from the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, planning, building surveying, urban design, creation of public realms and social development as independent Technical Advisors (TAs) for the tender. The TAs provided professional advice to the Government on the assessment criteria for the non-premium aspect of the tender and the non-premium proposals received.
The development of Site 3 has gone through years of preparation. Following two stages of extensive public engagement, the Urban Design Study for the New Central Harbourfront was completed in 2011. Subsequently, the Town Planning Board (TPB) approved the Planning Brief for the site in 2016, which provided important guidance for the development parameters and design guidelines for the site and the basis for this tender. After the completion of land sale procedures, the successful tenderer needs to prepare a master layout plan following its non-premium proposal for approval by the TPB. Following the Conditions of Sale, the completion of Site 3A and Site 3B is required by 31 December 2027 and 31 December 2032 respectively. — Construction+ Online