Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Wednesday, Feb 01, 2023

No takers for plan to transform part of Hong Kong’s Ocean Park into retail hub

No takers for plan to transform part of Hong Kong’s Ocean Park into retail hub

As part of the Hong Kong theme park’s HK$6.8 billion rebirth plan, an area near the main entrance will be turned into a retail, dining and entertainment hub with free entry.

A proposal to redevelop part of Hong Kong’s Ocean Park into a recreational, dining and entertainment zone failed to draw external investors before an invitation for tenders closed in late July, the attraction’s chairman revealed on Thursday.

As part of the struggling Aberdeen theme park’s HK$6.8 billion rebirth plan following the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic, 80,000 square metres near the main entrance at Wong Chuk Hang will be turned into a retail, dining and entertainment hub with free entry.

An invitation for tenders was launched in February with an undisclosed number of potential investors shortlisted. The original May 31 deadline was later extended to July 29. But Paulo Pong Kin-yee, the new chairman of the Ocean Park Corporation, said none on the short list had shown interest when the tender closed on July 29.

Ocean Park chairman Paulo Pong.

He attributed it to the fifth wave of Covid-19 cases, which struck the city early this year, suggesting it had caused potential investors to back off.

“We will consider any possible plans and see how the future developments can help the park to be self-financing,” Pong said.

He also said since the Legislative Council allocated the funds in March last year, park operations had been running smoothly, except for pandemic-related closures, and it was financially sound at the moment, and would be in coming years if foreign visitors returned.

But Pong denied the retail-zone plan was a failure, arguing the project involving external operators in the park’s lowland area was only part of it. The park would change its strategy, he said, with rebidding a possibility.

The park has been reeling from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has kept tourists away and triggered several closures.

The planned HK$6.8 billion transformation aimed to relaunch the 45-year-old attraction as a financially self-sufficient leisure and retail destination focused on education and conservation, with a variety of outsourced activities on offer.

A park spokesman said on Thursday that it was not totally out of expectation that no bidding proposal was received for the project, considering the outbreak of the fifth wave and the volatile situation, coupled with a downturn in global market conditions.

“In order to chart its way forward, the park is now examining the situation, which includes analysis of the rationales behind the invited tenderers’ decisions not to submit a bid,” the spokesman said.

Ocean Park is located in Hong Kong’s Southern district.

The outsourcing of the lower area was only one of multiple components of the park’s future strategy and it would continue to drive the implementations needed for it to successfully transform into a destination which focused on conservation and education, grounded in nature, the spokesman added.

Lawmaker Tony Tse Wai-chuen, who represents the architectural, surveying, planning and landscape sector, said he was deeply disappointed with the failed tender, adding that it reflected a lack of confidence in the market.

“This will delay the pace of the park’s reforms and may even affect the progress of the ‘Invigorating Island South’ initiative the government raised in the policy address in 2020,” Tse said, referring to a project to enhance cultural and leisure facilities in Southern district.

He hoped the park and the government would review the project and the tendering situation and relaunch the scheme as soon as possible after adjustments.


Related Articles

Hong Kong News
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
Chinese search giant Baidu to launch ChatGPT like AI chatbot.
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
China is opening up for foreign investors.
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
China relaxes 'red lines' on property sector borrowing in policy pivot
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
Japan prosecutors indict man for ex-PM Shinzo Abe murder
Vietnam removes two deputy PMs amid anti-corruption campaign
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
China’s recovery could add 1% to Australia’s GDP: JPMorgan 
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
China vows to strengthen financial support for enterprises: official
International medical experts speak out against COVID-19 restrictions on China
2 Billion People To Travel In China's "Great Migration" Over Next 40 Days
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
Flight constraints expected to weigh on China travel rebound
Billionaire Jack Ma relinquishes control of Ant Group
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
Teslas now over 40% cheaper in China than US
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
China seeks course correction in US ties but will fight ‘all forms of hegemony’, top diplomat Wang Yi says
China will boost spending in 2023
African traders welcome end of China’s Covid travel curbs
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
Preparations begin for Spring Festival travel rush
Domestic COVID-19 drug effective in trial
HK to see a full recovery, John Lee says in New Year message
Bargain hunters flock to last day of Hong Kong brands and products expo
Hong Kong aims for January 8 reopening of border with mainland China