The Hong Kong SAR government had earlier given the green light for the demolition of the observation wheel after it closed for business on August 29, 2017. The ferris wheel sits on the Central harbourfront in front of Central Piers No.9 and No.10. The Lands Department had leased the area to Swiss AEX in May 2013 to construct and operate the tourist attraction.
The land lease expired on August 28, and the site was to be cleared for new tenant, The Entertainment Corporation Ltd (TECL). Removing the wheel and its foundations, composed of more than 3,000 tonnes of concrete and steel, would have taken approximately two months.
On 6 Sept 2017, the 57-metre-diameter wheel was given a new lease of life after transfer contracts were signed between former operator Swiss AEX Holding Ltd, wheel manufacturer Dutch Wheels and new operator TECL, following five weeks of negotiations and stalemates.
“It has been a challenging road so far, given there is no precedent for the transfer of the Hong Kong Observation Wheel between operators,” said a TECL spokesperson following the signing of the contract.
Allan Zeman, who facilitated the final discussions, said it was a win-win for everyone as the wheel did not have to be taken down. — Pembinaan+ Dalam Talian