Melco to help revitalise Inner Harbour Piers 23, 25 & Mount Fortress: govt

2023-09-22 03:28
BY Yuki Lei

Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Elsie Ao Ieong U announced yesterday the government’s revitalisation plan for Pier 23 and Pier 25 in the Inner Harbour district and the utilisation plan for the surrounding areas of Mount Fortress, which will be carried out in collaboration with integrated resort (IR) operator Melco Resorts & Entertainment under the theme of “Conservation – Revitalisation – Symbiosis”.

The government announced previously its revitalisation programme for the city’s six historic areas, in which the revitalisation of the Barra area, Pier 23 and Pier 25 in the Inner Harbour district and the areas surrounding Mount Fortress, as well as the pedestrianisation of Rua da Felicidade (“Street of Bliss”) has been started in cooperation with IR operators MGM, Melco Resorts & Entertainment and Wynn Resorts (Macau) respectively, while the details of the revitalisation plans for the area comprising Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro and Rua de Cinco de Outubro, Taipa’s Iec Long Firecracker Factory, and Coloane’s Lai Chi Vun shipyards have not yet been announced. The three future revitalisation plans will be split between the city’s other three IR operators – Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG), SJM Resorts and Sands.

Revitalisation plan for Pier 23 & Pier 25 in Inner Harbour

According to yesterday’s joint press conference at the Macau Cultural Centre (CCM) in Nape, with Pier 23 and Pier 25 as the main “nodes”, the current revitalisation plan, featuring a bazaar, gift and souvenir shops, a tourist information centre, an outdoor teahouse or coffee shop, a bookshop, cultural and creative industry facilities, or a specialty shop and a “private terrace” for leisure activities such as parties, as well as a platform for photo taking, aims to increase the foot traffic in the city’s old quarters for residents and visitors to explore, connecting Camões Garden, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ruins of St Paul’s and the old quarters in the Inner Harbour area in the east, and divert the foot traffic southwards towards Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro, Rua da Felicidade and the Barra area, as well as the São Lourenço neighbourhood, creating more cultural tourism experiences and thus enriching the diversity and attractiveness of community tourism in conjunction with the other revitalisation projects of the surrounding areas.

The multi-pier Inner Harbour, including Pier 23 and Pier 25, includes the reclaimed land opened up after the expansion of the port in the 1930s, amongst which Pier 23 was built in 1948 and was renamed Iao Tac Pier after being operated by the Lao Tac Passenger Transport Agency in the 1960s, while Pier 25, built in 1950, was named UVO Pier. The press conference noted that the former was used mainly for regular freight services between Macau and Hong Kong, while the latter was originally designed for passengers and freight between Macau and Jiangmen. In addition, the Art-Deco style jetties which replaced the traditional trestle style wooden planks in the 1940s and 1950s, “tell the history of Macau with a very distinctive landscape and humanistic atmosphere”.

Ao Ieong said that Pier 23 and Pier 25, which witnessed the prosperity of the Inner Harbor in the past, have gradually declined, adding she hoped through conversion and utilisation, the area from the two piers along to the Patane Municipal Market, a wet market, will be injected with new vitality.

Regarding public concern about the foul smell coming from the water in the Inner Harbour, Ao Ieong said that she had the same concern before visiting the site, adding that she had a totally different impression of the area after arriving at the scene, where the coastal water was clean, with a different scene at dusk.

In response to a reporter’s enquiry about the possible flooding in the Inner Harbour area, Ao Ieong said that with the continuous efforts by different public entities, the flooding situation in the Inner Harbour has improved “very well”, adding she believed that the development of the district will not be hindered by the risk of flooding.

Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC) President Leong Wai Man noted during the press conference that both Pier 23 and Pier 25 are currently owned and managed by her bureau, adding that prior to the revitalisation plan, her bureau will take part in the restoration of the two buildings, the budget of which, she estimates, totals about 12 million patacas.

Leong also said she expected the restoration to be completed as early as in the third quarter of next year, adding that the piers have been abandoned for quite a while, so that, coupled with future functional changes, the bureau has already assessed the two buildings’ structural aspects.

Melco Chairman & CEO Lawrence Ho Yau-lung said he expected that it will take about nine months to complete the revitalisation after the bureau finished the two piers’ restoration. Ho underlined that the revitalisation plan will be a long-term commitment.

Utilisation plan for the areas surrounding Mount Fortress

Meanwhile, for the first stage of the utilisation plan, Melco, in conjunction with the Cultural Affairs Bureau, will arrange a raft of activities such as performances and the setting up of catering stalls in the garden surrounding Mount Fortress during the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday from next Friday, according to yesterday’s press conference, which noted that two concerts will be staged in front of the Ruins of St Paul’s on the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival on September 29.

Located in a famous scenic spot, Ao Ieong said, the Mount Fortress is an integral part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage – the Historic Centre of Macau, adding that with a rich cultural atmosphere and as a unique historical space, the Mount Fortress is suitable to “inject” more diversified features to attract both residents and tourists there, especially at night, so as to promote the area between Rua das Estalagens and Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro, and better develop the cultural and tourism resources in the neighbourhood.

Yesterday’s joint press conference by Melco and the Cultural Affairs Bureau was held in conjunction with the Municipal Affairs Bureau (IAM) and Marine and Water Bureau (DSAMA). 

Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Elsie Ao Ieong U (third from right), Melco’s Chairman & CEO Lawrence Ho Yau-lung (second from left) and Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC) President Leong Wai Man (third from left), as well as officials from the Municipal Affairs Bureau (IAM), Marine and Water Bureau (DSAMA) and Melco Innovation & PR Director Jennifer Lai Pui Kwan(left) look on during yesterday’s press conference about their revitalizstion plan, at the Macau Cultural Centre (CCM) in Nape.

This photo taken yesterday shows Pier 25 in the Inner Harbour area, where integrated resort (IR) operator Melco will carry out a revitalisation project in collaboration with the government. – Photos: Yuki Lei


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