THE Urban Renewal Authority (市區重建局) has ignored calls for the old Central Market (中環街市) to be torn down as it is sure most people want a HK$740 million redevelopment to go ahead.
The authority sees a public desire for a facility that is flexible in its activities. There is a general agreement that inexpensive food should feature, but everything else remains open to suggestion.
Authority managing director Wai Chi-sing (韋志成) said in a blog that a consultant will filter recommendations to work out the “most adequate” set of facilities. He also stressed the renewal project has “strong and widespread” public support.
That was an answer to an argument last November for the demolition of the facility that has stood untouched and unused for years.
A first engagement exercise in 2010 showed most people wanted the market refurbished with local delicacy shops. Other ideas for the interior included an around-the-clock workout space, bookstores and grocers.
Paul Zimmerman, another councillor and CEO of Designing Hong Kong, proposed last November that the entire building be replaced with open green space.
Central Market opened in 1842 and moved three times before settling in its current location, a 4,153-square-metre site on Des Voeux Road, in 1939.
The three-storey Bauhaus-style structure is rated a grade three historic building.
(This article is published on Student Standard on 29 January 2018)
Central Market – heritage preservation and revitalization
Wai Chi-sing blog post