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CENTRAL

Today, Central is well known for its famous buildings such as IFC, HSBC Bank, The Center and also entertainment places such as SoHo and Lan Kwai Fong for bars and restaurants. But Central still includes some old buildings that are under redevelopment threat.

The Bauhaus-style Central Market is a grade three building. In years 1960s, the Central Market was the biggest meat market in Southeast Asia.

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Central Market
Central Market

The Horizontal Window Walls at Central Market is typical from 1930s Contemporary Architecture.

Inside Central Market ground floor
In year 1994, part of the Central Market was converted to the Central Escalator Link Alley Shopping Arcade and as a starting point of the Mid-levels escalator system. By year 2003, the market ceased to operate.
Inside Central Market ground floor

The market, built in year 1938, is the last Bauhaus-style structure left in Hong Kong with the Wan Chai Market, whose fate is still unknown.

In year 2005, the government was preparing to auction the prime Central site with some estimates tipping a price tag of more than 5 billions HKD.
Central Market
Central Market
Central Market
The Hong Kong Institute of architects said development could go ahead over the existing structure, as had been done successfully with The Peninsula hotel.
Central Market

The market is listed as a historic building but that status does not protect it from demolition.

In year 2006, members of the Antiquities Advisory Board have agreed that the Central Market has no preservation value, smoothing the way for its demolition. They claim the market building does not have sufficient historical and architectural merit to be upgraded to a status that requires preservation of part of the building.
Central Market
Central Market
Central Market
There are still a few shopkeepers at the Central Escalator Link Alley Shopping Arcade above the Central Market.
Central Market

In year 2007, the Central Market has been turned into grade three cultural heritage site.



In year 2007 a redevelopment project on the site of Hong Kong's oldest urban wet market has moved a step closer. The Urban Renewal Authority project covers an area of just over half a hectare bordered by Cochrane, Gage and Wellington streets. It includes the market, which is nearly 140 years old and runs through Peel, Graham and Gage streets.

Wing Woo Ho grocery store has stood there for more than 70 years and the building is even more than 100 years old. After redevelopment, only the external walls of the building will be preserved.

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Wing Woo Ho grocery store
Wing Woo Ho grocery store

The Urban Renewal Authority plans to re-create an avenue of old shops in a historic part of Central to revive some of the old charms of the dilapidated area. In addition to the replica buildings there will be two residential blocks of 30 and 32 storeys, a 33-storey office tower and a 26-storey hotel on top of two other four-storey podiums.

Wing Woo Ho grocery store
A 135-year-old, three-storey building that houses the 80-year-old Wing Woo Ho grocery store will have only its facade on Graham Street preserved as the building is unsafe.
Wing Woo Ho grocery store

Wing Woo Ho grocery store owner shut up shot in year 2009 due to rising rent. The Urban Renewal Authority increased the rent from 10 000 HKD to 17 000 HKD preventing the owner to make ends meet.

The Central Street Market covers the area of Peel Street, Graham Street and Gage Street and includes 130 licenced fixed pitch hawkers. Since 1970 the Authority has adopted the policy of not issuing new hawker licenses, so only family members can inherit the hawker license.
Central urban wet market
Central urban wet market

The plan of this redevelopment project is to replace the original shophouses buildings with fake structures.

Central urban wet market
After redevelopment, only the 135-year-old facade of the Wing Woo Ho grocery store will be preserved.
Central urban wet market
An alternative plan has been launched asking for a compromise between profitable development and community environment, asking to upgrade and preserve the open-air wet market, to maintain many local hawker businesses and livelihoods.
Central urban wet market
Central urban wet market


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