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Old November 4th, 2007, 06:25 AM   #341
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Redevelopment : Cherry Street Project

11/3

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Old November 4th, 2007, 06:57 PM   #342
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what is this.... condo or office tower???
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Old November 4th, 2007, 07:36 PM   #343
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarenz View Post
what is this.... condo or office tower???
residential towers with retails/office at street level.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 12:05 PM   #344
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URA slammed for seeking to profit in Sham Shui Po plan
10 November 2007
Hong Kong Standard

The Urban Renewal Authority on Friday was accused of competing with people for profit.

The accusation came from the company Golden Light Services over the authority's redevelopment draft plan for Hai Tan and Kweilin streets in Sham Shui Po.

The company strongly opposed the inclusion of 189 to 203 Hai Tan Street into the plan, comprising eight blocks of buildings.

Golden Light Services claimed that more than half of the 37 affected interests are on board and have agreed to redevelop on their own.

Company director Liu Wah-hing said the government should allow private redevelopment if it came with residents' support, as was proposed by the Graham Street Community Builders last month.

The company also claimed to have started to implement its redevelopment plan in the 1990s and therefore their investment interests would be affected if the buildings were included in the authority's plan.

Under the plan, the redevelopment will affect 37 buildings and 680 households.

The three sites would produce 880 residential units, with 11,148 square meters of retail space and 1,486 sqm of open space.

The Planning Department said piecemeal redevelopment is ``undesirable'' and suggested no amendment be made based on Liu's representation. The department said the company did not give supporting evidence to show it is representing the majority of the owners.

It also said if the eight buildings were excluded, the two planned buildings would have to be linked by platforms and frustrate the project's intended planning.

Liu said their plan is a joint venture and that it is negotiating with owners. He declined to reveal more details.

Liu warned that this would be the beginning of a long resistance.

``I may take the authority to court,'' he added.

``Why not allow people to do their own redevelopment? A free economy should be like that. The authority has accumulated a lot of opposition already, if they continue this line of thinking, I wouldn't rule out turning it into a political issue.''

Other concern groups also questioned the inclusion of a section of Pei Ho Street into the redevelopment.

The 820 sqm section will remain as public open space, connecting Tung Chau Street and the jade market, according to the plan.

Planner Kenneth To Lap-kee from the H15 concern group said the section's plot ratio may be transferred to the two nearby residential towers at Hai Tan Street, with a height of 150 meters.

An authority representative warned that the project will be in the red, and if Pei Ho Street were excluded, a 10 percent less floor area would lead to a HK$270 million loss.

He said the towers' height will be based on technical assessments, which will be studied further at the Master Layout planning stage.

The board will release their decisions within one month after Friday's meeting.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 06:51 PM   #345
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Redevelopment : Cherry Street Project

11/10

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Old November 19th, 2007, 06:56 PM   #346
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Call to reexamine role of `inflexible' URA
19 November 2007
Hong Kong Standard

The Urban Renewal Authority should improve its flexibility and review its role to better complement the government's heritage conservation policy, according to an outspoken member of the Antiquities Advisory Board.

Patrick Lau Sau-shing also suggested that land exchange and transfer of plot ratio could provide a sound incentive to promote heritage conservation among private landlords and developers.

Speaking on Radio Television Hong Kong's Letter to Hong Kong program yesterday, Lau, who is also a legislator representing the architecture, surveying and planning functional constituency, described the present situation as ``very ironic,'' as the authority's redevelopment projects were often restricted by the zoning boundaries set by the government. ``As a result, their working attitude is almost no different from that of a private developer. Therefore, I wish that the authority would review its role and revise its inflexible work strategy.''

Lau urged the authority to adopt a cross-district mentality for achieving ``people-based urban renewal objectives'' to improve the quality of life of residents.

He also said more powers and participatory opportunities should be given to district councils to conserve heritage buildings. The lawmaker said he was pleased with the policy address in which Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam- kuen acknowledged heritage conservation as a key component of quality city life. But he said the document failed to specify arrangements for protecting privately owned historic buildings, noting that a long-term policy is needed.

``I sincerely believe that any sound heritage conservation policy must be supported by the incentives of land exchange and transfer of plot ratio to promote heritage conservation in the private sector,'' he said.

He also suggested that legislation be reviewed to revive historic buildings.
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Old November 30th, 2007, 04:41 AM   #347
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Sour note for URA chief in swan song
28 November 2007
Hong Kong Standard

There were more brickbats than bouquets during outgoing Urban Renewal Authority chief Billy Lam Chung-lun's swan song before lawmakers yesterday to discuss the authority's land acquisition policy.

Lam, who retires as the authority's managing director next month, came under fire as legislators accused him of denying small property owners their say in redevelopment projects.

At a meeting of the Legislative Council's development panel, members directed their anger at Lam and questioned the authority's power to reject the voices of small property owners.

"Why would the authority only work with big developers which own majority property rights?" the Liberal Party's Miriam Lau Kin-yee asked.

She was referring to the redevelopment project at the 600-year-old Nga Tsin Wai village in Wong Tai Sin, announced in October, in which 70 percent of the property was acquired by Li Ka-shing's Cheung Kong (Holdings).

Redevelopment proposals by affected property owners in other projects have often met with a less than enthusiastic response from the URA.

The controversial redevelopment of Mong Kok's Sai Yee Street, or "Sneakers Street," into a shopping mall sparked an outcry from shopowners there. Their alternative plan to keep their businesses along the street was turned down by the authority last month.

"Why is it that big developers can take part in redevelopment and small property owners can't? How on earth can this be fair?" said panel deputy chairman and architect Lau Sau-shing.

A visibly upset Albert Chan Wai-yip of the League of Social Democrats sarcastically congratulated Lam on his departure, accusing him of "bureaucratizing the authority and suffocating redevelopment" in Hong Kong during his six years in office.

"The `Sneakers Street' redevelopment was one of 25 projects announced in 1998 by the then Lands Development Corporation," Chan said. "These projects were announced two decades ago. Now many development projects, such as that at [Light Rail Transit] Yuen Long Station, are directed by the chief executive. Shouldn't good proposals be examined again?"

Lam, however, was commended by the Democratic Party's James To Kun-sun, who praised him for his efforts in pushing for building repairs and speedy redevelopment.

Lam said he was aware of the divergence of views between property owners living in dilapidated conditions and who prefer a cash buyout in redevelopment projects, and shopowners who prefer to stay.

He said the URA will consider joint redevelopment with affected owners only on an ad hoc basis as long as it benefits all parties concerned.

"We're all in the same ship here although we hold different positions. You're sitting at the bow of the ship going forward, while I'm pedaling at the stern. Society will reach its own conclusion," he said.

Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who also attended the panel meeting, pledged to review the urban renewal policy next year.
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Old November 30th, 2007, 04:42 AM   #348
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URA forces issue on project
24 November 2007
Hong Kong Standard

The government yesterday announced the land resumption of 150 private interests in Lai Chi Kok Road, Kweilin Street and Yee Kuk Street for the Urban Renewal Authority's redevelopment project in Sham Shui Po.

The 3,345 square meter project involves 17 buildings in which 80 percent of the interests have been acquired by the authority.

The rest of the owners have either been resisting compensation packages or could not be reached. The project will produce 400 residential flats, 4,645 square meters of commercial space on lower floors and 372 square meters of public open space.

Under the Land Resumption Ordinance, the affected interests will revert to the government in three months' time. Rehousing will be in units provided by the Housing Authority or the Housing Society.
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Old December 11th, 2007, 07:25 PM   #349
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Redevelopment : Cherry Street Project

12/9 - not much progress it seems

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Old December 25th, 2007, 06:01 AM   #350
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Urban renewal chief chased by 'Wedding Card Street' protesters
25 December 2007
South China Morning Post



A meeting between the Urban Renewal Authority chairman and hunger strikers in Wan Chai's "Wedding Card Street" ended in chaos yesterday as demonstrators chased him and blocked his departure.

The meeting was arranged after a dozen protesters opposing plans to redevelop the area presented a petition to the authority's headquarters.

After exchanging views with a hunger striker, Barry Cheung Chun-yuen was surrounded by yelling protesters and had to be escorted to his car by police.

Some protesters climbed onto his car and others stood in front of it. He was able to leave only after police ordered the protesters to calm down and issued a verbal warning.

Mr Cheung remained adamant the development of the Lee Tung Street area - known as Wedding Card Street because of the shops it once housed - had to proceed.

H15 Concern Group, which launched a protest on Sunday, said Mr Cheung would pay a high price and hinted at a judicial review.

The action began after group member May Yip Mee-yung found that demolition of tenement buildings had begun last week, three weeks before a meeting of the Town Planning Board was due to consider a proposal from the group.

The proposal calls for retention of 30 tenement buildings, reducing the height of four proposed high-rises by five storeys and scrapping an underground car park.

Citing the high restoration cost, the authority decided to demolish most of the buildings and build new ones. It also promised an area for a social enterprise with the theme "Wedding City". Responding to shop owners' worries that rents in Wedding City would be too high, an authority spokesman said it was considering a short rent-exemption period if they moved back.

Wan Chai District Council chairwoman Ada Wong Ying-kay said it would be regrettable if the street was not saved, as the Blue House and Wan Chai Market were to be.
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Old January 1st, 2008, 08:00 AM   #351
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70pc of households accept compensation
29 December 2007
South China Morning Post

More than half of the shops and households affected by the Graham Street and Peel Street redevelopments had accepted the compensation option offered by the Urban Renewal Authority, its managing director, Billy Lam Chung-lun, said yesterday.

Mr Lam, who steps down as URA chief on Monday, said he had never felt disappointed or unhappy about the public protests staged against the authority's redevelopment projects.

"While preserving our history, we have to protect the interest of the silent majority," he said. Efforts had been made to retain characteristics of redeveloped districts, he said, adding preserving the old market along Graham Street was an example.

According to the authority's latest figures, 33 per cent of the 78 shops and 70 per cent of 470 households affected by the Graham and Peel street projects had already accepted compensation.
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Old January 1st, 2008, 10:22 PM   #352
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grate urban development
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Old January 7th, 2008, 06:40 PM   #353
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Group seeks redevelopment of Kowloon City Plaza site
5 January 2008
South China Morning Post

A consortium led by Morgan Stanley has submitted an application to redevelop Kowloon City Plaza in Kowloon City into three residential buildings.

The Town Planning Board said the developer had applied last month to have the site rezoned as a comprehensive development or residential area instead of a commercial development with a public car park.

It said the developer planned to build three 23-storey residential buildings with four basement levels, providing 396 units.

It said the 63,733 square foot site has the potential to provide 414,268 sqft of residential area and a 159,334 sqft commercial area. The board will discuss the application within the next two months.

Last September, the developer won Building Department approval to build a 15-storey retail building extension on top of the 10-storey Kowloon City Plaza shopping centre. The building extension will have a total gross floor area of 160,382 sqft.

Singuz Lo, director of Pamfleet Property Asset Management, one of the shopping complex's shareholders, said he was not aware of the latest application. He said the development of the commercial extension was still in the planning stages.

In 2004, Morgan Stanley, Pamfleet Property Asset Management and Pioneer Global Group bought Paliburg Plaza in Causeway Bay and Kowloon City Plaza for HK$2 billion. It was the first time a foreign investor had acquired a shopping centre in Hong Kong.

The developer invested HK$100 million in renovating and repositioning Kowloon City Plaza in 2006.

The owner said the upgrade allowed it to charge retail rents of between HK$30 per square foot and HK$150 per square foot - double the levels before the renovation.

Kowloon City Plaza at 128 Carpenter Road, next to Kowloon Walled City Park, is a 10-storey shopping complex.

DTZ retail department director Lawrence Heung Ping-chung said he believed the sharp rise in residential prices in the fourth quarter of last year prompted the decision to redevelop the shopping complex into residential buildings.

Kowloon City Plaza has seen greater competition from new shopping centres being set up in Kowloon East in the past 10 years, including apm in Kwun Tong and Festival Walk in Kowloon Tong. Most of the new complexes were near the MTR, he said.

However, Kowloon City Plaza's distance from the MTR would make the project a harder sell. "There is no large scale residential project in the area. It is difficult for the shopping complex to develop into a retail landmark from a regional shopping centre," Mr Heung said.

He said he believed the renovation plan had had a positive impact on the shopping centre, but warned: "Kowloon City Plaza provides a retail area of 630,000 sqft, which is oversized for a regional shopping mall."
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Old January 8th, 2008, 07:56 AM   #354
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North Point initiative should be first of many
4 January 2008
South China Morning Post

The land surrounding the North Point ferry terminals where the former North Point estate once stood is potentially worth tens of billions of dollars to the government's coffers. That assumes no height restrictions, limited open space and a plot ratio comparable with the local norm.

In his October policy address, however, Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen promised a planning review to lower the density of development, saying that the inevitable loss in public revenue from land sales was worth it if it created a better living environment.

This was a response to increasing public concern over the adverse effects of high-density development that blocked air flow by creating a "wall effect" that blocked breezes, raised urban temperatures and aggravated pollution, and reduced the amount of sunshine.

The redevelopment of the old North Point estate - one of the most valuable residential sites in Hong Kong - presents the government with the first big test of a more environmentally sensitive approach.

Planning Department proposals to be considered by the Town Planning Board represent a radical response. The department has not stopped at a 100-metre height restriction proposed last year right across North Point, but slashed it to 80 metres. Plot ratios proposed for two developments flanking a transport terminal - a hotel and a commercial-residential centre - are 4.12 and 3.05 respectively, compared with an average of 6 to 8 in nearby residential developments. The ratios govern the amount of floor space developers can build on a site; a lower figure means less floor space. As well as the height restriction, development of the commercial-residential complex will be stepped downwards towards the waterfront.

The height restriction alone, however, is not enough to prevent the construction of wall-like buildings, or the encroachment of large podiums. To allow space for wind circulation and visual access to the waterfront, the plan limits maximum site coverage to 65 per cent and provides 10-metre-wide open spaces either side of the terminal and a 10 to 20-metre-wide promenade along the shoreline. This will also address a shortfall of public open space in North Point under the planning standards and guidelines.

The proposal has been well received in some quarters, including environmental activists, as an attempt to strike a sensible balance between two imperatives - continued development and making Hong Kong a more attractive place to live and work. It deserves to be. By one estimate, the site's development parameters will cost the public coffers about HK$19 billion. That is certainly a big sum. Right now, Hong Kong can well afford that, with the accumulation of enough fiscal reserves to cover government spending for more than 18 months. It is arguable that there will be no better time to find the right balance between development and conservation and the quality of life by tackling an issue that has been much talked about.

Hopefully, the government's bold planning initiative will be the first of many in the search for the right balance. In fact, it would be wrong just to focus on the monetary losses of reduced development density. What the community loses in land revenue will be compensated for by environmental gains through less pollution, reduced health risks and higher quality of life.

Even if the monetary value of such gains does not eclipse that of the forgone revenue, there is no point sitting on a mountain of cash if the city we call home becomes increasingly uninhabitable due to overdevelopment.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 02:42 PM   #355
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Compensation for heritage village
Hong Kong Standard
Friday, January 04, 2008

The Urban Renewal Authority yesterday issued an acquisition order to owners affected by the redevelopment plan for the 600-year old Nga Tsin Wai Village in Wong Tai Sin.

The HK$1.24 billion-project was announced last October with plans to transform the dilapidated village into a conservation park.

The authority's special compensation package is based on the resumption of the urban area village policy. Based on the value of the land, the 31 affected owners will be given notional ex-gratia compensation. Indigenous owners will also be given a removal allowance.

To sweeten the offer, the authority will add 10 percent of the compensation as a bonus if owners accept the offer within 60 days.

Owner-occupiers of domestic properties who wish to move back will be given priority to purchase units after the completion of the redevelopment.

Shop owners and tenants will also be compensated, based on the market value, plus an ex-gratia allowance.

While many villagers have said they wished to leave behind their deteriorating houses with leaky roofs, some were concerned the compensation they would receive may not lead to a better life.

Villager Ng Hou-chuen questioned whether the notional ex-gratia compensation was fair, considering the high- rises that will be built on the land. He said the villagers will meet soon to discuss the acquisition.

The sole Chinese doctor in the village, 62-year-old Lam Tak-sun, feared he may lose both his clinic and his home of 20 years.

"The rent outside the village is so expensive, the compensation may not be enough to rent another place," Lam said.

Nga Tsin Wai, the last surviving walled village in the urban area, was founded by the Ng, Chan and Lee clans in 1352.

The redevelopment project has been dragging on for 20 years.

Cheung Kong (Holdings) has owned about 70 percent of the 57 village houses since the 1980s.

The historically rich village will become a conservation park, with two 120-meter residential towers, one on each side of a 40-meter wide park.

The Tin Hau Temple, the arched gatehouse and the "Hing Yau Yu" stone tablet, the village's three relics, will be kept along with seven stone houses and a paved lane.

Lawmaker Chan Yuen-han said while she was glad to see villagers given the opportunity to get out of their shackled living environment, she was disappointed the government lacked vision in preserving the heritage village in its entirety.

"The development will damage any relics buried underground," Chan said. "This village has witnessed the city's history for several hundred years, and it would be sad to see it go."

Earlier, green groups raised concerns that the building height may result in a wall-effect, blocking ventilation in the district.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 06:52 PM   #356
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新建公屋八成在巿區 蘇屋鸷清拆原址重建
01月 08日 星期二 05:10AM



【明報專訊】房屋委員會面對覓地興建公屋困難,決定於即將清拆的深水蘇屋鸷原址重建公屋,加上觀塘安達臣道和啟德公屋計劃,暫時已覓得最少27公頃土地,在2012年後提供約2.9萬個單位。運輸及房屋局長鄭汝樺表示,未來10年將有八成新建公屋分佈在市區和擴展市區,迎合輪候人士需求。

11萬戶輪候 3年上樓不變

現時公屋輪候冊上共有11萬個家庭,房委會每年須興建約1.5萬個公屋單位及回收1.5萬個舊屋鸷單位,才可滿足3年上樓承諾。未來5年,房委會已拍板興建7.6萬個公屋,足以應付輪候冊需求,但2012至2017年的公屋計劃仍充滿變數。

運輸及房屋局向立法會提交的文件指出,暫時有6個公屋計劃遭區議會 反對,涉及1.4萬個公屋單位。鄭汝樺說,與區議會溝通具挑戰性,例如在屯門 龍門居旁及良景鸷旁的用地,區議員稱恐致環境擠迫及缺乏交通配套,要求用作興建康樂及社區設施,局方會繼續磋商。

此外,房屋署已選址觀塘安達臣道地盤和啟德興建公屋,其中安達臣道佔地逾10公頃,將提供約1.61萬個單位,在2015至2016年分階段落成;啟德佔9.2公頃,可提供約1.3萬個單位。鄭汝樺表示,規劃署亦探討在古洞等新界北新發展區提供公屋,政府政策是未來八成新建公屋坐落市區和擴展市區,例如港島東的愛秩序灣和前柴灣鸷亦會重建公屋。副房屋署長馮宜萱補充,深水蘇屋鸷清拆後決定原址重建公屋,不會交出拍賣,詳細方案今年內將交區議會討論。
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Old January 8th, 2008, 10:19 PM   #357
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can you translate hkskyline? i only can see square boxes
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Old January 9th, 2008, 09:17 AM   #358
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More open space at North Point estate, but opera centre ruled out
4 January 2008
South China Morning Post

The redeveloped North Point Estate will have more open space on the harbourfront, creating a new stop for tourists, according to revised proposals for the site unveiled yesterday.

However, requests by local residents for a football pitch and Cantonese opera centre have gone unheeded.

According to a new proposal submitted to the Town Planning Board yesterday by the Planning Department, 41 per cent of the site area - or 15,000 square metres - will be designated as public open space. The move helps remedy what the department says is an acute shortfall of open space in North Point.

The open space will include a piazza next to the ferry pier, a 20-metre-wide promenade, and green areas serving local residents.

They will be designed and built by the developer, while management and maintenance will be left to the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

The developer is required to provide green areas of trees and shrubs covering at least 30 per cent of the mixed commercial and residential development site.

Residential buildings would be set back from the Island Eastern Corridor and all open space would be open to the public 24 hours a day.

To make the place more accessible, the department said the central piazza would be located close to the ferry pier to provide a focal point for leisure activities.

Two 10-metre-wide landscaped walkways along Shu Kuk Street and Kam Hong Street are planned, to bring people from the inland area to the waterfront and the ferry pier.

A subway is also proposed to connect the existing North Point MTR station on Java Road. Parking spaces would be provided for coaches carrying visitors for harbour cruises departing from the pier.

Civic Party vice-chairman Albert Lai Kwong-tak welcomed the proposal yesterday, saying the government was making progress.

"We hope the government will impose the same restrictions on waterfront sites on both sides of the harbour," he said.

However, Eastern district councillor Frankie Lo Wing-kwan said he was disappointed that the revised plan had failed to address the problem of a shortage of recreational space in the district.

Mr Lo, who was re-elected in November's poll, said a group of fellow members from constituencies in North Point had formed a concern group and would fight for a venue for Chinese opera on the North Point Estate site.

Hong Kong's only permanent Chinese opera venue, the Sunbeam Theatre in North Point, is likely to close in August next year, when its current tenancy expires.

The Home Affairs Bureau said it was considering converting the Yau Ma Tei Theatre into a venue for Cantonese opera.
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Old January 9th, 2008, 09:22 AM   #359
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZZ-II View Post
can you translate hkskyline? i only can see square boxes
This article is a high-level overview of public housing developments, which includes the redevelopment of So Uk Estate. Highlights include :

- So Uk Estate redevelopment, along with several other redevelopment plans in Kowloon, will add another 29k new public housing residential units by 2012
- in the next decade 80% of new public housing units will be in the urban areas
- currently 110k families are on the waiting list for public housing, with expected completion of new units at 15k/year + receipt of 15k existing units/year
- expected wait time 3 years
- in the next 5 years will construct 76k units
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Old January 12th, 2008, 05:41 AM   #360
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Bid to save tenement buildings rejected
10 January 2008
South China Morning Post

The Planning Department rejected a proposal to keep the tenement buildings in "Wedding Card Street" yesterday because it failed to include a detailed structural assessment of the buildings.

Because the Urban Renewal Authority is the sole owner of the Wan Chai redevelopment site's private land, the chances that the proposal submitted by the H15 Concern Group will be implemented are doubtful.

The H15 Concern Group - which comprises Lee Tung Street's former business operators and residents - is seeking to retain the 35 tenement buildings and scrap a proposed underground car park. The authority's plan would knock down all but three buildings, which would remain as an acknowledgement of their pre-war architecture.

In a paper submitted to the Town Planning Board, the Planning Department said the group's proposal had failed to submit an assessment to demonstrate the structural adequacy of the tenement buildings.

"In the previous report findings of the URA scheme, structural inadequacies and poor conditions have been identified in the existing buildings along Lee Tung Street," the Planning Department's reply said.

The department also said an assessment on the potential impact of traffic should be conducted to support the request to scrap the proposed underground car park.

"No information on road improvement works is provided [in the application]," the reply said. "Further assessments on the pedestrian flow generated by the proposed development and its impact on adjacent roads, the traffic improvement measures and road improvement works required should be provided."

Town planner Kenneth To Lap-kei, who devised the plan for H15 Concern Group, said conducting the assessments required by different government departments was too costly.

"Each of the assessments can cost several hundred thousand dollars. We don't have that money," he said.

The Town Planning Board will discuss the matter tomorrow.
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