For discussion
on 13 October 1998

Legislative Council Panel on Security
Comprehensive Redevelopment of Police Headquarters


This paper informs Members of a proposal to redevelop the Police Headquarters complex at Arsenal Street, Wanchai with a view to optimising the use of the site and providing an operationally efficient facility for the Police Force.


2. The existing Police Headquarters Complex is located in Arsenal Street, consisting of four buildings, namely Caine House, May House, Arsenal House and Arsenal House West Wing. A sketch map of the site is at Annex A. The site was allocated to the Police Force in the 1950's. Caine House was built in 1952 while May House was completed in 1973-74. Arsenal House was built in 1990. Arsenal House West Wing was completed in 1996.

3. May House is a 20-storey building built in 1974. Most of the fire services and building services installations including the electrical, air-conditioning and lift systems are aging and need to be replaced. The Police Force submitted a proposal to refurbish May House at a cost of $230.8 million to the Public Works Sub-Committee on 23 April 1997. The Sub-Committee, however, considered that the proposal would not be the most cost-effective option and asked the Administration to consider a long-term redevelopment plan for the PHQ site.

4. We have carefully considered various options for redeveloping the PHQ site. These include refurbishing May House and constructing a new building on the external car parking area, redeveloping Arsenal House and Arsenal House West Wing, and demolishing May House and redeveloping the site together with the external car parking area. Retaining May House will incur high refurbishment cost and will substantially reduce the size of the site available for redevelopment and hence the cost-effectiveness of the project. Redeveloping Arsenal House and Arsenal House West Wing is also not considered favourable as the facilities have been newly built and are functioning to requirements. After careful consideration, we believe that a viable and cost-effective option is to demolish May House and redevelop the site together with the external car parking area into a new complex.

5. Apart from housing the PHQ units, the new facility can also incorporate a new Wanchai District Headquarters and Divisional Station, which would significantly enhance the cost-effectiveness of the project. The existing Wanchai District Headquarters and Divisional Station on Gloucester Road was built in 1932. Its facilities and building services installations are obsolete and cannot meet present operational requirements. Due to the age of the building, it is very expensive to maintain. Furthermore, the outdated design of the building has restricted the utilisation of the site. There is no more room for expansion to meet increasing demand for space. Locating the station within Arsenal Yard can release the site for development while obviating the need to find a reprovisioning site in other areas in Wanchai.

The redevelopment plan

6. The redevelopment site (approximately 7 400 m2 ) is currently occupied by May House and the external car parking area. A sketch plan showing the location of the site is at Annex B. The proposed facility will have approximately 110 925 m2 of gross floor area. The new complex will accommodate all senior Directorate officers, personnel housed in May House and Caine House as well as various PHQ units currently located in leased premises. It would also accommodate the Wanchai District Headquarters and Divisional Station, podium and basement carparking and various support facilities, such as an indoor firing range, the Force Armoury, a multi-purpose hall and an area for holding ceremonial functions. The proposed redevelopment will achieve the permissible maximum plot ratio of the site which is 15 as advised by the Planning Department.

7. The redevelopment plan is a cost effective proposal. The major benefits that will be brought by the project are set out below:

  1. the new complex will replace three existing buildings, namely May House, Caine House and Wanchai District Headquarters and Divisional Station, which are inefficient to maintain and the sites of which are under-utilised;

  2. there will be rental savings of about HK$32,932,000 a year as PHQ units now located in leased premises will be accommodated in the new facility;

  3. upon completion of the project, part of the Caine House site and the whole of the Wanchai District Headquarters and Divisional Station and Quarters site, which is more than 7 800 m2 in size, can be relinquished for redevelopment; and

  4. the new complex will provide an operationally efficient and cost-effective facility for the Police Force. Many facilities and support services can be shared within the complex thereby reducing the recurrent expenditure. The new building will be fitted out in accordance with the prevailing standard of a modern Police station and offices and meet the current operational requirements, including that of modern information technology. Its design will also keep up with the current needs to conserve energy and minimise recurrent maintenance cost.

Cost estimation and implementation plan

8. The estimated capital cost of the proposed project is approximately $2 755 million. A breakdown is at Annex C. The project will be carried out in two stages. Stage 1 is mainly concerned with the preparatory works including the demolition of May House, piling works and construction of a four-level basement structure. It will commence in April 1999 for completion in September 2001. The major construction works will be conducted in Stage 2 which is expected to start in September 2001 and be completed in November 2003. We intend to seek funding approval from PWSC for the implementation of Stage 1 of the project in November 1998.

Security Bureau
October 1998

Annex C

$ Million
(as at Dec 1997)

(a)Site Works1.10
(b) Demolition15.20
(c) Piling132.84
(d) Building1,295.50
(e) Building services810.27
(f) Drainage & external works28.23
(g) Furniture & equipment129.61
(h) Contingencies342.48