Following Hong Kong’s $35 million cleanup of Kai Tak airport and its relocation to Chek Lap Kok Island a comprehensive plan was formulated to develop the rehabilitated land nearby Victoria harbor. When complete the project will sit on 790 acres of land, take 12 years of work and cost a total of $16.76 billion.
The aim of the multifaceted project is to take what had become an abandoned area of Hong Kong and turn it into a high quality residential and business district with large open space parks and hospitals thus improving the living environment in Hong Kong.
Also incorporated into the project is a plan to make Hong Kong the regional hub of world-class cruise shipping. In 2013 the first berth of the cruise terminal and runway park will be completed and public rental housing will be finished. Between 2013 and 2019 a second berth of the cruise terminal and tourism node will be added. The Shatin-to-Central Subway link will be completed. And finally the Metro Park and access roads will be finished.
In addition, an international multipurpose stadium is planned to create a local and international attraction for sports and entertainment. This part of the project is currently in the financing stage and once that is in place work will begin and be finished by 2018 or 2019 at an estimated cost of $2.44 billion. The new stadium will have a retractable roof and a capacity of 50,000 spectators. The project is set up as a “design-build-operate” undertaking meaning design, construction, operations and maintenance will be under a single entity to ensure the effective creation and operation of the facility.
In 2012 president Hu Jintao of China visited Hong Kong to celebrate the 15th anniversary of its return from England. His main visit during his short stay was to the Kai Tak cruise terminal that is under construction and the nearby public housing project.
Kai Tak development is like so many other projects worldwide that are taking back prime land from industrial use and transportation footprints thereby greening cities and improving the quality of life they offer.
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