The PWSC finally approved funding to renovate the Bridges St (SOHO) market to become the Hong Kong News-Expo. A media executive led group will take control of this Grade 3 historic site to create a museum/meeting place on Hong Kong journalism.
Photo: Bridges St market (www.adrg.com.hk)
The Public Works Subcommittee today approved $86.3 million dollars in funding for the renovation of the Bridges Street Market to create the ‘Hong Kong News-Expo’.
The former site of the American Congregational Mission Preaching Hall, where Sun Yat-sen was baptised, was rebuilt into a public market after being bombed out during World War II. The Chinese media would distribute their publications from the site, giving the news industry a historical connection to the area.
The Hong Kong Education Foundation Limited will have control of the Grade 3 historical site. The HKEF is a media executive led organisation that secured the rights of development without tender. They have set up a company for this express purpose called Hong Kong News-Expo Limited to create and run the site. Guided tours and interactive games are all part of the plan.
It will include two themed display areas, a periodic display area, a historic display area, a multi-purpose room, a meeting area for journalists and a bookstore. Six ‘experiential’ studios are also in the plan.
In addition, staircases and bridges to connect Wing Lee and Shing Wong Street are on the cards.
Free of charge, the venue will, “tell the success story of Hong Kong’s evolution from a fishing village to an international financial centre” and help “overseas journalists to appreciate the development and core values of Hong Kong.”
The project suffered none of the extensive pan-dem filibustering as it moved through LegCo last year. Shuttered since 2013, the site will see construction begin in Q1 2016 and finish Q2 2017. Tenders will be issued next month, pending Financial Committee approval.
Full scope of work includes:
(a) two themed display areas;
(b) a periodic display area;
(c) a historic display area;
(d) a multi-purpose room;
(e) a meeting area for journalists;
(f) a bookstore;
(g) six experiential studios;
(h) a reception;
(i) two office areas;
(j) a store room;
(k) a new staircase from the BSM to Wing Lee Street;
(l) a new link bridge (with lift) connecting Wing Lee Street
and Shing Wong Street;
(m) a planter and reinstatement of the existing staircase at
Shing Wong Street upon demolition of a refuse
collection point (RCP) nearby; and
(n) upgrading of three existing link bridges from the BSM
to Wing Lee Street and Shing Wong Street1.