Low-rise complex in Hong Kong recalls old pledge

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WATCH THIS REPORT as a two-minute video, below, or scroll down to read it in print.

TOP DEVELOPERS IN HONG KONG are embarking on an extraordinary low-rise experiment in the world’s tallest city – and keeping an ancient promise made by the British colonial governor to his businessman friends half a century ago.

Hong Kong billionaire brothers Peter and Martin Lee of Henderson Land are building a spectacular high-tech low level complex in the central district of Hong Kong island.

Artists’ impression shows the new complex, roughly where the temporary ferris wheel is now. Picture: Henderson Land

They are honoring a promise made way back in 1971 by the British colonial government to the Jardines group. They promised that no one would block the sea-view of the upper floors of Jardine House.

The top of that building, of course, houses the offices of the men known successively as the Taipan.

Sir Henry Keswick opened Jardine House, then called the Connaught Centre and the tallest building in Asia, in 1972

It’s nice to see modern Hong Kong and old Hong Kong co-operating in a friendly way and remembering history.

The new complex will include lawn areas at ground level plus tree-lined rooftop parks. It will be made up of three elements forming a bridge for people to stroll around.

Jardine House is on the left: picture by Henderson Land

The Lees have promised to include and celebrate the old Star Ferry clock tower to preserve a bit of history.

The new complex will have multiple open levels: Picture by Henderson Land

The amount of cash they paid, more than HK$50 billion (about US$6 billion) is a huge vote of confidence in the city.


All artists’ impressions copyright Henderson Land

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