Underground people mover depot also to stay in place
A third hotel at Hong Kong International Airport is now in the development pipeline after getting the green light by top airport officials.
In a press release issued Tuesday, the board of directors of the Airport Authority Hong Kong announced that the development of the new hotel would proceed immediately.
The hotel would be located at the North Commercial District of the airport island within the area earmarked for the first phase of development.
“The hotel will be located on approximately two hectares of land adjacent to AsiaWorld-Expo, an area that is currently used for long-term parking,” the press release said.
An AA spokesman said there were no details regarding development cost and timetable for implementation as yet because the board has only just approved the plan.
Along with the hotel, a basement carpark with about 1,000 parking spaces will also be built.
Currently there are two hotels at the airport, the Regal Airport Hotel and the SkyCity Marriot Hotel.
The decision on the new hotel comes after a high profile bust-up last month between tycoon Vincent Lo Hong-sui, the chairman of Shui On Group, and authority chairman Marvin Cheung Kin-tung over development plans for the open area near the AsiaWorld Expo.
Lo, who wanted to use all the land solely for commercial use as opposed to a train depot with commercial use, promptly resigned as the chairman of the Infrastructural Planning Committee although he remains a member of the AA board.
On this issue, the board announced that there was “no need to relocate the planned underground Automatic People Mover depot”.
To this, Lo said he eventually agreed to it as a compromise as long as the depot did not interfere too much with commercial portion which is planned to be built above the depot.
According to a report by English newspaper The Standard on Monday, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying summoned the pair to Government House last week to suggest they resolve their differences of opinion.
A master layout plan for the entire North Commercial District, taking into account the planning parameters of the authority’s HKIA Master Plan 2030, would be finalised and sent to the board for approval as soon as possible.
However, the authority may have difficulties with an underground depot plan, according to a report by Chinese newspaper Sing Tao Daily last Saturday.
A report from engineering consultant Mott MacDonald, obtained by the newspaper, reminded the authority that fire regulations prohibited industrial activities underground.
Another report, also obtained by Sing Tao, compiled by Chicago architect and engineering firm SOM said having an underground depot was unprecedented and if it went ahead would require items such as refuge floors, rescue facilities, firemen’s access routes and multiple stairs and escalators in order to meet fire regulations.