Lam’s Office Rent In Admiralty Is Comparable To Market Rates
HONG KONG – The government is paying a monthly office rent of HK$377,000 (about HK$131 psf) for former chief executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s 2,874 sq ft office at Pacific Place in Admiralty, reported The Standard on Thursday morning (27 October, SGT).
The office rent is comparable with the market rate, said Chief Secretary for Administration Eric Chan Kwok-ki, who revealed the figure during a recent legislative council.
Notably, Lam is Hong Kong’s first former chief executive to lease workspace in a Grade A office building. All of her 3 predecessors have their offices in the government building at 28 Kennedy Road in Mid-Levels. However, that structure is presently fully occupied.
Chan said Central and Admiralty are considered as suitable places for Lam’s office, as these prime areas are “commensurate with the status of a former chief executive (CE).”
“Taking into account the operational needs of the former chief executive’s office, in particular the need to support a former CE in performing promotional and protocol-related functions, and any other activities in relation to the former official role, the Central and Admiralty districts are considered suitable for setting up the office in question.”
In particular, Pacific Place meets the operational requirements of Lam’s office, including location, security, access to transportation, having requisites for receiving visiting guests, and facilitation for meeting people from various industries. In addition, the office building neighbours the Central Government Complex.
Chan revealed that Lam’s Pacific Place office has an internal floor area of 2,874 sq ft, which is smaller than 5,759 sq ft combined internal floor area of the offices of the 3 other former chief executives at 28 Kennedy Road.
The Hong Kong authorities began utilising the Kennedy Road government building for the offices of former chief executives in April 2007.
“Since then, the government has been providing support and other life-long benefits, including office accommodation and administrative support, for all former CEs to support them in performing promotional and protocol-related functions for Hong Kong after leaving office,” explained Chan.
Furthermore, the Kennedy Road office can no longer be expanded after it was listed as a Grade I historic building in 2009.