November 17, 2005

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Do you ever see two articles in a newspaper on the same day and wish they combined them together? I did, today, in the Hong Kong Standard. But then again, that's the function of columnists and fulminating bloggers like ourselves. One was about how Hong Kong office rents went up 75% in the third quarter of 2005 from a year ago and 17% from just three months ago! Shocking stuff. Central has become one of the most expensive places to work in the world. Respect your cubicle! It's only going to get smaller.

But then came the bombshell about how Sir Donald 'Bow-Tie' Tsang's new office digs right on the harborfront in Central (prime office space in case I need to spell it out) will be 'alright' because the harbor views of buildings behind the new Government HQ will not have their views overly blocked by a 130 to 160 meter tall building (30% more than the height of the CITIC Tower) than will minimize efficiency, maximize exclusivity for our leadership and apparently not drain the public's purse at all.

HA! Believe me, if Tsang's administration takes a turn for the worse, Tamar-gate will become a big issue. Doesn't the Donald realize that that the Tamar site is poisonously bad luck for government civil servants? The Harbourfest was held there for goodness' sake!

posted by HK Dave on 11.17.05 at 08:59 AM in the Hong Kong category.


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Why, what was wrong with harbour fest? It was good to see people out and about and enjoying music after the awful months of SARS.
Besides; we had Prince, Rolling stones and other great artists in town....bring it on i say!
And for the building, who cares? do u think the price in rent comes down if instead of governement building they stick another "tallest building in the world"
You want cheaper offices? look in wan chai or sheung wan....or taipo, this is market driven economy for you.

posted by: Chris on 11.17.05 at 12:21 PM [permalink]

And which Government Gweilo was accompanying Darth Bowtie on his trip to Canada and The US to help boost economic ties?

HarbourtFest Fiasco must not be toxic history for this administration.

posted by: Tom - Daai Tou Laam on 11.17.05 at 12:22 PM [permalink]

Hi Chris, I agree that HarbourFest was cool for the consumers - but it was rather a waste from the perspective of the Hong Kong government and has shadowed everyone that has been remotely involved in the project - I merely used it as a foil for trying to dissuade them from their action of moving their office to the harbourfront. But as Dai Tou Laam alludes, if Mike Rowse was accompanying Sir Donald on his trip to Washington then it must be ancient history. Particularly now that the government thinks nothing of wasting a couple billion dollars on a new HQ.

And yes, actually, I do have a problem with the government deciding to take the most prime location currently available in all Central for their own use - when they could actually go anywhere in Hong Kong (think Kai Tak). I mean, if Germany, Burma or South Korea can move their capital, why can't Sir Donald just move out of Central! The fact is that the Hong Kong taxpayer is getting totally screwed by losing out on the accumulation of funds from the land sale of this prime plot of land, particularly now as rents and office property values have soared.

And yes, it would make a difference if another IFC2 were built. The GFA of that building is a couple million square feet.

posted by: HK Dave on 11.17.05 at 12:53 PM [permalink]

I'd much rather a park on the Tamar site than a government HQ. More urban greenery please, Mr Tsang.

posted by: Tiu Fu Fong on 11.17.05 at 02:24 PM [permalink]

Point taken on the harbour fest even thoug I seem to remember that half the cost was paid by amcham and a quarter or so by the tickets sales, so the all thing was greatly exagerated by the media claiming 100 milion wasted, when in fact it was 20-25 mil, which in the great scale of things isn't much. All by memory so i might be wrong.
As for a prime location, i am sorry but immagine moving the white house in Denver or buckingham palace in southampton.
best regards

posted by: Chris on 11.17.05 at 05:53 PM [permalink]

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