Date posted: 2012.12.06
Transforming Former Police Married Quarters into PMQ – Creativity at a New Address Expected Soft Opening by the end of 2013Press Release : Download PDF
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(Hong Kong, 6 Dec 2012) In November 2010, the Development Bureau announced the award of operating rights to transform the former Police Married Quarters on Hollywood Road into an iconic hub for Hong Kong’s creative industries to the Musketeers Education and Culture Charitable Foundation Ltd (“Musketeers Foundation”) after an open invitation. In July 2011, the Finance Committee of Legislative Council approved the funding for the Architectural Services Department for the conservation and revitalisation works of the project. The works commenced in early 2012 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2013. At today’s press conference “PMQ: Co-Creation” , PMQ Management Co. Ltd., an non-profit-making social enterprise eatablished by the Musketeers Foundation to run the project, announced that PMQ aims to have its soft opening by the end of 2013 before its official launch in 2014. Tenancy application is now open to designers who are interested in co-creating the platform for enterprising creativity.
Superior Location for Showing Creative Talent & Building Business
PMQ is located at SoHo in Central and Sheung Wan. The area represents the interchange of traditional culture, heritage and innovation amid artsy haunts, and it is a popular stop among many middle-class professionals, arts lovers, tourists and youngsters. It is an ideal location for designers to launch or build up their brands and retail businesses.
As the Chairman of PMQ Management Co. Ltd., Mr. Stanley Chu remarked, “PMQ is a place built for designers. PMQ will serve as a platform for designers to showcase their products to the public and to create new business opportunities. It will be a historic building and all-round venue for new experiences of shopping, dining, and inspiration, as it will stand out as a landmark of Hong Kong’s creative ecology.”
130 Studio Units for Designer Tenants
The revitalised PMQ offers around 130 studio units. PMQ’s Executive Director Mr. Stephen Ip noted, “We welcome designers to apply for a studio at PMQ. Key requirement is that our tenants must keep their studios “open door”, which allows the venue to capitalise on the huge number of visitors in the prime business district of Central. We encourage local designers to station at PMQ, where they can collaborate with fellow designers and interact with their customers. It will be a platform for them to introduce their brand story, their products or services and the creative process to the public, and to keep a close watch on the changing market trends.”
Most important of all, the studio units can be used as points of sales and display of retail products and services. Mr. Ip added, “The studio-cum-shop concept offers greater flexibility to our tenants. We also welcome young designers and new create-preneurs who would like to co-rent a studio unit, which allows them to share the cost as well as their experience.”
Concessionary Rents and Other Support for Nurturing Designers
According to Mr. Stephen Ip, PMQ sets out to nurture the new generation of local designers by offering stable and affordable rentals to its tenants. For studio units on the second floor and above, the base rent is benchmarked to that of a grade B office building rather than retail shops in Central and Sheung Wan.
Rental fee for studio units is set with the account of the rental statistics conducted by the Rating and Valuation Department for grade B offices in Central and Sheung Wan at the start of 2012. The base rent of a standard studio unit (approx. 40 sq.m.) is therefore set at HK$18,000 per month. Local designers will be entitled to 20%-50% discount off the base rent. An additional 5%-10% discount will be offered to tenants on higher levels. The effective rent for a standard studio unit on a higher level is HK$10,530 (excluding management fee), as per the median figure (35%) of the 20%-50% rental discount.
Mr. Ip remarked that overseas or established Hong Kong designers, design associations and institutions are required to pay the standard base rent, though they will be entitled to additional rental discounts in accordance with the levels they are renting. As PMQ’s Director and Studio Tenant Selection Committee member Mrs. Lo Lee Oi-lin said, the discount policy and the selection criteria reflect PMQ’s dedication to nurturing local designers. She stressed that tenant selection will be made on the criteria of creativity and business, which is in line with PMQ’s mission of promoting “enterprising creativity”. Other factors such as tenants’ contribution to PMQ, the industry and the society will also be considered.
To help local designers launch their brands on the international market, PMQ’s Executive Director Mr. Stephen Ip stated that there will be a resource center offering various support services to tenants, which include training, consulting services, and networking with manufacturers, buyers and overseas designers. Moreover, six units will be reserved for the “Designers-in-Residence” programme, which will bring some of the world’s top designers to PMQ on short-term residencies. Their input will inspire local designers while propelling them into spotlight on the international design scene.
Working Together to Promote Hong Kong’s Creative Industries
As an advocate of creative culture in Hong Kong, PMQ is also dedicated to promoting creativity and design in the community. The revitalised PMQ provides ample space and facilities for hosting creative events for event organisers. They include the 600 sq.m. multi-function hall named “The Cube”, a 1000 sq.m. covered event space, and the verandahs on designated floors. Senior Consultant for PMQ Mr. William To urged event organisers to hold events related to design, creative industries, culture, arts, and conservation at PMQ.
At the press conference, Mr. To also gave a briefing on PMQ’s branding development, with 2 students from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Hong Kong Design Institute in collaboration with two renowned design companies from Hong Kong and Denmark, followed by the screening of a video documenting the conception.
Tenancy application for studio units is open from now until 5 March 2013. Deadline for tenancy application for restaurants and shops is 11 January 2013. Details are available on PMQ’s website (http://www.pmq.org.hk/tenants). To give an overview of PMQ’s concept to the public, the “PMQ : Co-creation” exhibition will be held at the Inspiration Hall, HKTDC Inno Tech Design Expo at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre for three days from today to simulate the real scenario of studio units at PMQ.
At the end of the conference, Mr. Stanley Chu, who is also a co-founder of the Musketeers Education and Culture Charitable Foundation Ltd, pledged to promote the development of Hong Kong’s creative industries. Through partnerships with other organisations and design advocates, PMQ will nurture the new generation of designers, as it contributes to the hardwares, resources and talent pool in the field.
About Former Police Married Quarters on Hollywood Road
The former Police Married Quarters on Hollywood Road is a Grade 3 historic building in Hong Kong. According to historical records, the site was the home to Shing Wong Temple operated by some Chinese residents in the early years of Hong Kong’s opening. In later years it became the site of Central School, the first government school to provide upper primary and secondary Western education; the school was renamed Queen’s College in 1894. The school was seriously damaged during the Second World War and relocated to Causeway Bay. The school buildings were demolished to make way for the construction of the Police Married Quarters in 1951 providing the first residential areas for Chinese junior married police force. In November 2010, it announced the revitalisation of the former Police Married Quarters into PMQ. For the conservation of historical and cultural heritage, PMQ will build an Underground Interpretation Area for showcasing the remains of the original foundation for Central School and it will be open to public to enable a closer appreciation.
PMQ is one of the revitalisation project and also part of the government’s “Conserving Central” initiative. Awarded with the operating rights after an open invitation for proposals, the Musketeers Education and Culture Charitable Foundation Ltd (“Musketeers Foundation”) has set up an non-profit-making social enterprise to run this project, in collaboration with Hong Kong Design Centre, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and Hong Kong Design Institute of the Vocational Training Council (VTC), namely PMQ Management Co. Ltd. Not only to build this iconic design hub for the Hong Kong creative industries with the design community, PMQ also promotes “enterprising creativity”, creativity manifestation, and sets out to nurture more local designers.
1. Project background