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To quote from an internal Government Document dated 29 June 1934:"If the Government scheme is to proceed [redeveloping Government Hill] the company [HK Land] cannot be allowed to rebuild on the present site, and, owing to its location and shape it would not be wise to re-adjust it to the proposed layout. The only option therefore is to acquire the property."There was more to this Government "scheme".Much more.At about this time, the HSBC Manager's and sub Manager's House (where the American Consulate is today) were returned to Government by HSBC in partial payment for half of the City Hall site.The grand plan developed by Government was to sell off much of Government Hill, and move Government House up to Magazine Gap.Here is the plan:
1933 proposed (and rejected) plan:
LegCo said no. Here is the quote:
such development of the Battery Path and Garden Road area would be vandalistic commercialization of what should be one of the most beautiful parts of Hong Kong.
Fast forward another 70 years. After taking a valuable piece of property with a 999 year lease, and "resuming" it specifically claiming that they did so for a "public purpose" - Government announced in September 2010 that it now plans to sell off the property to the highest bidder.
Tough cheese HK Land.