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Old January 20th, 2006, 04:01 AM   #121
hkskyline
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Residents displaced by urban renewal get raw deal: survey
Poor compensation has forced Shamshuipo people to move away or take smaller flats, study claims

19 January 2006
South China Morning Post

Residents relocated by an urban renewal project in Shamshuipo are now living in more crowded housing after receiving inadequate compensation, a study commissioned by the Shamshuipo District Council has found.

Yip Hak-kwong, Director of Policy 21, an independent research institute associated with the University of Hong Kong, said the Urban Renewal Authority had neglected its duty to provide suitable accommodation to residents and businesses forced out of Po On and Wai Wai roads.

His calls were echoed by council members, who said many were forced to accept their compensation package because they knew they could be kicked out under the Land Resumption Ordinance.

About 300 households were affected by the redevelopment project.

The study found only about 10 of the affected owners managed to find a flat in a block less than 10 years old, despite compensation that is supposed to provide for an equivalent seven-year-old flat nearby. Thirty per cent of residents had to move out of the district.

"The standard of living of those who were forced to move has been seriously affected, especially the elderly," district councillor Brandon Young Kwok-kin said.

"Many have had to move away from their friends, from relatives who take care of them. Some have had to move away from the district they lived in all their lives. Businesses that depend on cheap rents, like laundries and tyre shops, have also had to close."

Mr Young and Mr Yip urged the government to consider offering flats and shops in the new development as an extra option for affected residents.

Ko Kwong-pui and his wife, Tsui Sui-yee, who are in their 70s, had their compensation slashed by a third due to an occupancy dispute with the government, and now refuse to move out of their flat.

"They don't believe we live here because we don't use much water or electricity," Mr Ko said. "But that is because our water drain burst and started leaking into the flat below. We appealed to the government and provided two witnesses who can prove we live here, but they didn't care."

Chinese herbalist Lau Chiu-Ching, 45, said the government had cheated her on the value of her store. "We had a great corner location, but they gave us only $660,000 for it, less than for the flat upstairs. Now you tell me which is cheaper, a flat or a shop?"

A spokeswoman for the Housing Society, which conducts the projects on behalf of the URA, said it had provided adequate compensation under URA guidelines but could not guarantee a supply of suitable flats in the area.

"We know some residents, especially Chinese, may have opted for a smaller flat to save some of their compensation money," she said.

The redevelopment was announced in 2003 and 80 per cent of the properties have been acquired.
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Old January 20th, 2006, 04:03 AM   #122
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New World deal to pave the way for Hyatt return
Developer and hotel operator in final stages of talks on management contract
541 words

16 January 2006
South China Morning Post

The legacy of the recently closed Hyatt Regency lives on in Tsim Sha Tsui, with plans at an advanced stage for the group to operate a 320-room hotel on Hanoi Road early next year, according to sources.

Chicago-based Global Hyatt Corp was in the final stages of discussions on a management contract for the luxury hotel project, part of a one million square foot redevelopment by New World Development and the Urban Renewal Authority, the sources say.

"They are putting some final touches to the details of the hotel management contract," said a source familiar with the discussions between New World and Hyatt. "A conclusion is expected in two months."

The Hanoi Road hotel building was expected to be completed early next year, the source said.

New World spokesman Kwan Chuk-fai said negotiations to award a management contract to an international hotel company were proceeding.

Given the tourism boom, with Tsim Sha Tsui a particular hub for visitors, many had expected the Hyatt to reaffirm its presence in the area after the 723-room Hyatt Regency closed its doors after 36 years.

Its exit comes at a time when hotel supply in the area struggles to meet demand.

The new project "will replenish less than half of the some 700 rooms the Hyatt has closed in the district", Eric Wong, co-head of Asia properties at UBS, said.

"Hong Kong is facing a big question mark on whether it has enough upmarket tourist beds to feed rising demand."

The hotelier also runs the waterfront Grand Hyatt in Wan Chai with 570 rooms.

It faces increased competition at the higher end from recent additions, notably the deluxe Four Seasons Hotel on the Central waterfront and the boutique Landmark Mandarin hotel that opened in the Central shopping district last year.

Tourist arrivals are expected to see single-digit growth this year. Mr Wong said this year would be a "pricing power year" for Hong Kong hoteliers after robust growth in occupancy in the past two years.

Last year, average occupancy at the city's top-end hotels hovered around 85 per cent on the back of a stronger economy and an increase in visitors.

About 5,000 rooms came on stream last year with a further 6,000 expected this year. The new supply is expected to slow room rate growth, potentially hindering yields.

The Hyatt Regency building and its associated shopping centre are to be torn down to make way for a retail and commercial complex.

The hotel has held a sale of its property, including limousines, grand pianos, televisions, refrigerators, pots and pans, linen and cutlery.

It caused mayhem when thousands of people turned up to buy the goods and police had to be called in.

It is understood, however, that the hotel has kept several pieces of signature inventory for its planned comeback.

The property, with its famous Hugo's French restaurant, where the late Bruce Lee and film boss Raymond Chow met for their first film, is to be replaced by a $1 billion shopping and entertainment complex.
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Old January 21st, 2006, 05:40 PM   #123
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14 January 2006
Locals join planning and design of Kwun Tong Town Centre redevelopment
URA Press Release

Over 100 participants from the Kwun Tong community and other sectors today (Saturday) articulated their aspirations and innovations in a workshop on the future design of the Kwun Tong Town Centre, the largest ever single redevelopment project undertaken by the Urban Renewal Authority (URA).

The participants' task was facilitated by the use of a 3-D urban design computer software which is the first time that such a professional software is used for a community workshop of its kind in Hong Kong. A team of architecture undergraduates was on hand to assist the participants in generating instantly various planning scenarios and layouts according to their views and suggestions. Results of the workshop will be given to three architecture consultant firms selected by the URA to produce comprehensive development concepts which will then be used for further consultation with the Kwun Tong community and other stakeholders.

The workshop, organised by the Kwun Tong District Advisory Committee (DAC) set up by the URA last November, is held to involve local residents, civic leaders, businessmen, planners, architects and social workers, etc. in the early stage of planning and design for the 5.35-hectare town centre. The URA intends to submit a formal planning application for this multi-billion-dollar project to the Town Planning Board before the end of March 2007.

Mr. Edward Cheng, Chairman of the URA Board, described the design workshop as an effective approach in "bottom-up" project planning that enabled a wide segment of the local community to participate hands-on in shaping an important part of their future habitat in an innovative and yet realistic manner.

"Through this workshop, the URA will not only have a firm grasp of the vision and aspirations of the local community but also establish a much closer mutual understanding between all interested parties and the Authority on the constraints and opportunities of this mega project," Mr. Cheng said.

"This is not simply a URA project. In view of its scale and complexity involving over 1,600 property interests, some 4,000 residents and need to maintain an unbroken service of public facilities even during the redevelopment period, it is essential that a close partnership be forged between the Authority and the residents. We will try to come up with a development model to reflect the ideas collected and put them in a coherent, integrated and modern manner.

"We should not lose this good opportunity to come up with a 21st Century design of world-class standard that can, apart from creating a meeting hub, help to address environmental and transport issues in East Kowloon," he said.

He emphasized that success of the project would depend on four critical factors including public participation in the comprehensive preparatory work on strategic positioning of the site as a community hub of East Kowloon, planning and design compatibility with government policies, acceptability of property acquisition and rehousing arrangements, and phased implementation to minimize disruption to people's livelihood.

"Of course, financial feasibility is a fundamental factor that must not be overlooked if we want to make our dream a reality," he added.

Professor David Lung, Chairman of the DAC who is also the Chairman of the Planning, Development and Conservation Committee of the URA Board, said the workshop provided an early opportunity for participants to visualize various options of the initial development design concept plans for the project with the aid of professional 3-D computer software.

"With the aid of the 3-D graphic software, participants were able to gain an instant ¡¥feel¡¦ of the various development mix and phasings they wanted to achieve.

"Furthermore, they were able to readily appreciate the practical problems inherent in the urban design process, such as the hard choice between building height, density and open space," he said.

During the workshop, the participants divided themselves into six work groups and each eventually came up with its own vision of the development mix and phasing of implementation. Three consultancy firms appointed for the initial design concept plans of the project were on hand to present the broad parameters of their design direction and listen to the views of the participants so that they could input the views wherever practicable into their future designs.

"We would consolidate views and suggestions from the workshop as well as those we have collected earlier in our community aspiration survey and produce three different detailed designs for further public consultation in the coming months," Professor Lung said.

The Kwun Tong Town Centre project is one of the 25 redevelopment projects announced but not yet commenced by the URA¡¦s predecessor, Land Development Corporation, in 1998.
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Old January 21st, 2006, 05:51 PM   #124
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another kpf development in hong kong
excellent location ...
Hysan to Redevelop Hennessy Centre
Hysan Development Company Limited (Hysan) today announced that it will spend some $1.2
billion to redevelop Hennessy Centre. The redevelopment project, with more than 700,000
square feet of retail and office space, is destined to become the landmark in Causeway Bay.
The project will commence work in the fourth quarter of 2006, with targetted completion in
late 2009. Leading international architect firm, Kohn Pederson Fox Associates (KPF), has
been engaged to carry out the redevelopment project.
On announcing the redevelopment project, Michael T.H. Lee, Managing Director of Hysan
said: “As a leading property investor and the largest commercial landlord in Causeway Bay,
our vision is to continually look for opportunities to maximise the value of our investment
properties.
“The redevelopment of Hennessy Centre is the latest asset enhancement programme we have
embarked on over the years to realise this vision. We believe that in addition to being a new
landmark, the project will further rejuvenate the surrounding areas and indeed the entire
Causeway Bay district thereby continuing to reinforce its position as a shoppers’ paradise and
prime commercial district in Hong Kong,” added Mr. Lee.
A major feature of the new development is to substantially increase retail space to capture the
strong demand for prime retail space in Causeway Bay.
Hysan is a leading property investment, management and development company in Hong Kong
with an investment property portfolio of over four million square feet of high quality office,
retail and residential space. It is the largest commercial landlord in Causeway Bay owning over
three million square feet of prime office and retail space.
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 03:47 AM   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InitialD18
Hysan to Redevelop Hennessy Centre


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Old January 22nd, 2006, 05:43 AM   #126
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very nice

nice
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 07:21 PM   #127
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Planning board tells tenants they are on their own
Rezoning, not compensation, is its responsibility

21 January 2006
South China Morning Post

The Town Planning Board yesterday failed to offer assistance to commercial and residential tenants in Shamshuipo, saying its mandate was in rezoning rather than compensation.

Tenants in the area due for redevelopment by the Urban Renewal Authority - Lai Chi Kok Road, Kweilin Street and Yee Kuk Street - told an open board meeting they were being forced out without compensation or rehousing arrangements.

Five submissions - three from the district council and two from individuals - were submitted, urging the board to request that the authority make concrete relocation arrangements under its development scheme.

District councillor Wai Woon-nam said the authority had not consulted commercial tenants and owners in the affected area.

"There are many small traditional businesses, and the local community relies on them for job opportunities," Mr Wai said.

"Most residents and commercial tenants want to remain in Shamshuipo. The authority, however, has ignored this when conducting the social impact assessment of its plan."

He also pointed out that there were few second-hand transactions in the area, and challenged the feasibility of the authority's suggestion of compensating tenants and owners based on prices in the second-hand property market in the same district.

"The Town Planning Board should request that the authority makes concrete arrangements to protect the rights of the people who work and live in the district, before approving the redevelopment project," Mr Wai said.

Urban Renewal Monitor, a group formed by affected parties, wanted the board to ask the authority to conduct another social impact assessment, but this time through a third party.

But permanent secretary of the Housing, Planning and Lands Bureau Rita Lau Ng Wai-lan - who chaired the Town Planning Board meeting - said the authority's role lay in planning details, not in relocation arrangements.

"The authority only has to submit drawings and charts to the board," Mrs Lau said.

Leung Yau-fong, chairman of a working group on urban renewal under the district council, said the board should act as a gatekeeper to guard public interest in the face of urban renewal projects.

"I hope the government takes the relocation arrangements to heart, on a human interest basis," Mr Leung said.

A spokeswoman from the authority rejected the proposals.

"The assessment is the duty of the Urban Renewal Authority, which cannot be delegated to a third party," she said.

She added that the authority was required to conduct the assessments of affected residents, meaning that commercial premises were excluded.

Compensation and rehousing details would be released later if the authority's policies changed, she said.
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Old January 25th, 2006, 12:39 AM   #128
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Housing approvals drop to eight-year low
25 January 2006
South China Morning Post

"This is the lowest in the past eight years," said Patrick Chow, head of the agent's research team.

He added that some developers had changed the layout of their buildings to turn smaller units into bigger flats to meet market demand, which had delayed construction schedules.

Another reason for the low figure was the limited number of government sites offered for auction last year, while developers were also slow to redevelop old buildings, he said.

However, Mr Chow said the figure would rebound this year, mainly thanks to the two rail companies - MTR Corp and Kowloon-Canton Railway Corp - which are expected to start more projects over the next 12 months.

"Total number of housing starts will increase 50 per cent to around 13,000," he said.

Of the 34 projects approved last year, 15 were in the New Territories, including Metro Town in Tseung Kwan O, the second phase of Sun Hung Kai Properties' YoHo Town in Yuen Long and the fifth phase of Park Island in Ma Wan, also developed by Sun Hung Kai.

Major projects approved for construction in Kowloon and Hong Kong included the Urban Renewal Authority redevelopment project in Cherry Street and Residence Bel-Air in Cyberport near Island South.
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Old January 27th, 2006, 02:50 AM   #129
vincent
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InitialD18
another kpf development in hong kong
excellent location ...
Hysan to Redevelop Hennessy Centre
Hysan Development Company Limited (Hysan) today announced that it will spend some $1.2
billion to redevelop Hennessy Centre. The redevelopment project, with more than 700,000
square feet of retail and office space, is destined to become the landmark in Causeway Bay.
The project will commence work in the fourth quarter of 2006, with targetted completion in
late 2009. Leading international architect firm, Kohn Pederson Fox Associates (KPF), has
been engaged to carry out the redevelopment project.
On announcing the redevelopment project, Michael T.H. Lee, Managing Director of Hysan
said: “As a leading property investor and the largest commercial landlord in Causeway Bay,
our vision is to continually look for opportunities to maximise the value of our investment
properties.
“The redevelopment of Hennessy Centre is the latest asset enhancement programme we have
embarked on over the years to realise this vision. We believe that in addition to being a new
landmark, the project will further rejuvenate the surrounding areas and indeed the entire
Causeway Bay district thereby continuing to reinforce its position as a shoppers’ paradise and
prime commercial district in Hong Kong,” added Mr. Lee.
A major feature of the new development is to substantially increase retail space to capture the
strong demand for prime retail space in Causeway Bay.
Hysan is a leading property investment, management and development company in Hong Kong
with an investment property portfolio of over four million square feet of high quality office,
retail and residential space. It is the largest commercial landlord in Causeway Bay owning over
three million square feet of prime office and retail space.
nice to hear KPF will be the architect.
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Old January 28th, 2006, 12:48 AM   #130
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OK... so the Mitsukoshi department store is a part of the Henessy Centre? I guess Mitsukoshi will be moving to another building or what?
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Old February 1st, 2006, 06:54 AM   #131
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2006年1月21日
第一百幢市建局維修樓宇完工
http://www.ura.org.hk/html/c1002061t169e.html

市區重建局(市建局)主席鄭維新今日(星期六)表示,若果政府提出的強制驗樓計劃建議得以落實,市建局一定會增撥資源,配合全新的局面。

市建局今日在灣仔聯發街洋紫荊園舉行儀式,慶祝市建局自願樓宇復修計劃下,第一百幢樓宇-同勝大廈-完成復修工程。房屋及規劃地政局局長孫明揚在鄭維新、市建局灣仔分區諮詢委員會主席譚惠珠及行政總監林中麟陪同下,主持儀式。

孫明揚局長致辭時表示,「相信參與過市建局復修計劃的業主都親身體會到妥善保養樓宇的好處,包括改善居住環境、提升物業價值和減低樓宇保險費用等。」

他說:「政府自去年十月展開『強制驗樓公眾諮詢』以來,積極透過不同渠道,聽取市民大眾的意見。諮詢文件內建議推行的強制驗樓計劃,正正希望在保障公眾安全之餘,可為樓宇業主帶來同樣的好處。」

鄭維新主席說,強制驗樓計劃是政府一項重要的建議,是根本解決香港日益嚴重的樓宇老化問題,最必要而又正確的起步點,與市建局的自願復修計劃亦是相輔相成。

他續表示:「如果有了強制性驗樓,就會促成一個良好的樓宇保養管理框架和制度。市建局可以在這個新框架之下,提供協助,令業主實際進行維修時,做得更好和更順暢。」為了社區和業主本身的利益著想,市建局希望社會大眾可以積極回應政府的建議。

市建局在兩年多之前,開始推行自願樓宇復修計劃,其中包括物料資助計劃和貸款計劃。至今已經有一百幢樓宇完成復修工程,另有五十六幢大廈的工程正在積極進行中;受惠的住宅單位總數,達到一萬三千多個,是過去四年市建局所有重建項目的三倍多,顯示了樓宇復修在整個市區更新策略之中的重要位置。

市建局在灣仔區的樓宇復修工作,獲得業主的大力支持。以樓宇復修的參與程度來說,在九大更新目標區之中,灣仔區是全港之冠。灣仔區已經有三十幢樓宇,在市建局的協助下完成復修工程。另有十一幢大廈在籌備和施工中。

在過去兩年,市建局根據實際經驗,不斷改良樓宇復修計劃的內容,以及推出配套措施,例如鼓勵銀行為復修樓宇提供優惠的按揭貸款計劃,以及資助復修樓宇購買第三者保險等,直接間接鼓勵不少舊樓業主自願參與計劃。現時物料資助計劃的資助額,已增加至工程總開支的百分之二十,或每戶最高三千元。

典禮上,孫明揚在鄭維新、譚惠珠及林中麟陪同下,向第一百幢復修樓宇的業主立案法團司庫容根旺,致送一棵桃花,寓意吉祥。另外,譚女士又致送感謝牌匾予灣仔區議員盧建明先生、鄭其建先生和鄭琴淵女士,多謝他們一直以來與市建局緊密合作,推動區內的樓宇復修工作。
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 06:47 AM   #132
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市建局規劃奪國際獎
02/02/2006



【專案組記者張偉光報道】市區重建局成立四年多以來,首次有建築師在國際性規劃重建比賽中獲獎。市建局規劃及發展經理麥中傑與另四名建築師組成隊伍,去年參加由南韓政府主辦的亞洲文化藝術規劃國際比賽,題目為重建南韓光州市八十年代軍警鎮壓民主化運動的「五一八事件」原址,在約九萬三千平方米地方上作重建規劃,並需保留原有八十多年歷史的政府辦公大樓及一條百年老街等歷史建築物,規劃成純文化和藝術地區,隊伍終以白色、方形和「天幕」作主題構思獲優異獎,更獲頒二萬美元獎金。但麥慨嘆本港規劃受制於太重的商業因素,即使很好的規劃意念亦不能實現。
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Old February 12th, 2006, 06:07 PM   #133
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巿建局收購衙前圍村餘下業權
10 February 2006

【明報專訊】長實已收購約80%業權的黃大仙衙前圍村,市區重建局昨向黃大仙區議會表示,最遲3個月內會開出收購價等條件,收購這條本港市區最後一條圍村內餘下約27伙,預料市建局收購餘下村屋及安置毗鄰小學後,才會與該村大業主長實,洽商妥善解決方案。另外,長實旗下公司入稟高等法院,申請禁制令,禁制該村村民再次阻撓承建商進入該村範圍,今日於高院開審。

黃大仙區議會主席黃金池表示,市建局高層昨日向村民,承諾最遲3個月內,公布以同區7年樓齡的單位價格收購餘下村屋,另加特惠津貼,而對於「衙前圍三寶」包括門樓、「慶有餘」牌匾及天后宮廟宇,市建局亦承諾會將牌匾妥善放在廟內,並會負責興建一幢3層高的鄉公所。有村民代表於會上表示,村內埋了兩支古炮,市建局亦承諾進行工程前,會先聯絡古物古蹟辦事處到場。長實已花上約20年時間收購衙前圍村約80%業權,曾申請自行重建該村。

村民阻勘察工作 承建商申請禁令

另外,長實負責衙前圍村項目的附屬公司世寧地產,向高院申請禁止該村村民吳振鴻、吳展鴻、吳少洪再次阻止該公司職員進入村內。吳少洪表示,該公司職員曾於本年1月中欲到村內進行勘察等工程,但村民覺得時近冬至等節令,所以阻止。
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Old February 13th, 2006, 05:17 PM   #134
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Lane Crawford plan shelved
Exploiting a growing demand for retail space, Wheelock decides to put the flagship store's redevelopment on hold
13 February 2006
South China Morning Post

Wheelock & Co has shelved plans to redevelop Lane Crawford House in Central in favour of re-leasing the retail space with prospects for higher rental income amid a rebounding property market.

Analysts said Wheelock would stand to make more money letting the retail space now, especially when considering the rental income the company would forgo if it were to redevelop the building.

"The rental value of retail and office space has surged in the past few years and would continue to follow a rising trajectory," said Gareth Williams, property investment director of Wheelock Properties Hong Kong, a Wheelock unit. "We would not redevelop the building in the near future. We hope to take advantage of the upward trend."

Lane Crawford House on Queen's Road Central was put up for private tender last year. Wheelock had invited local and foreign firms to bid for the property, with a target price of $2.5 billion. According to one of the bidders at the time, the highest offer was $2.1 billion.

Wheelock scrapped the sale plans as the offer did not meet its expectations. Instead, the company said it would redevelop the building into a prime office and retail complex.

However, amid a recovery in the office property sector, Wheelock has decided to postpone its redevelopment plan.

"We have started leasing the retail floor area of the building, though we did not have any asking rent," Mr Williams said, adding that the rental level of the street shops on Queen's Road Central was about $350 per square foot and $40 per square foot for office spaces.

"This is a good starting point," Mr Williams added.

The developer planned to divide the retail space from the basement to first floor into four shops.

Wheelock does not have a projection of how much rental revenue it can achieve from the relaunch.

According to Wheelock's tender brochure released last year, the building generated annual rental income of about $23.64 million.

The 24-storey office-retail building was built in 1977 with a site area of 12,286 square feet and a gross floor area of 195,500 sqft.

The retail space, formerly housing the Lane Crawford flagship shop, has a gross floor area of 89,500 sqft from the basement to the sixth floor. It has been vacant since Lane Crawford moved to the International Financial Centre shopping centre in 2004.

Office space starts on the seventh floor, and the key tenants are mostly clinics and legal firms, which provide stable rental income.

"Retail rentals have been increasing significantly in the past few years, and are close to the peak level," said CB Richard Ellis associate director of research Simon Wong said.

"Although [Wheelock House's] office rental level is far below those for Grade A office in Central, the rental revenue [Wheelock] can achieve from the redevelopment could not justify the loss of rental income during the construction period."

According to the firm, the rental level at One and Two International Financial Centre ranges from $75 to over $90 per square foot. CB Richard Ellis expects office and retail rentals to increase 20 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively, this year.

"The property cycle is in an upward trend at the moment. Developers have to take another two to three years for the next upward trend cycle," said Charles Chan Chiu-kwok, a director at Savills. "That explains why Wheelock put off its plan to redevelop Lane Crawford House. Most office buildings in Central have used up the permitted gross floor area, which is a disincentive for landlords to redevelop their buildings."
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Old February 18th, 2006, 07:13 AM   #135
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7年耗2億 翻新三條街
重建深水步打造玉翠坊

18/02/2006



傳統深水步舊區將會搖身一變成為具有地方特色的玉石市場。市區重建局計畫動用超過二十五點三億元,重建深水步海壇街、桂林街及北河街三十七幢舊樓,最遲七年後會為該區帶來新貌,同時興建玉石主題廣場「玉翠坊」,預計將於二○一三年落成。

受重建影響的三十七幢戰前舊樓,樓齡由三十四年至五十七年不等。市建局地區發展總監李敬志直言,該區多幢舊廈已非常殘舊,不但外牆石屎剝落,喉管破裂,又有不少僭建物,而且生情況惡劣,故有必要進行清拆重建。市建局會動用二十五億三千萬元進行收購及重建,其中約十一億元用作收購及安置成本,有三百八十五個物業權及六百八十戶家庭受影響,業主賠償會按同區樓齡七年計算。

建公園闢行人專區
這個深水步重建群是該區最大型的重建項目。市建局計畫將興建超過六十萬平方呎,三幢共八百八十個的住宅單位及十二萬平方呎的商舖。重點是在北河街一段,興建小型玉石廣場「玉翠坊」,將北河街及桂林街一帶連接地鐵的公共空間,改為行人專用區,並以鑑賞玉石和育為設計主調,吸引區外人士光顧玉石市場。

市建局又於海壇街及桂林街交界,建立面積達八千平方呎的健康公園,並配合深水於一九二七年舊式唐樓外形,設計具舊時代特色的地面石柱。行人專用區及健康公園均會以「原玉」為擺設,又會將玉石育展板鑲嵌在地上,供市民參觀。

李敬志表示,市建局大規模改善深水區,是希望活化舊區,該局又正與區議會及現有玉石市場商戶研究,將市場作為旅遊點藉以帶動人流及經濟。
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Old February 18th, 2006, 07:20 AM   #136
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More of old Shamshuipo faces wrecking ball
18 February 2006
South China Morning Post

The Urban Renewal Authority has unveiled a $2.53 billion plan to demolish 37 buildings in Shamshuipo for redevelopment.

About 680 families will be affected by the redevelopment, to be carried out in three projects in Hai Tan and Tung Chau streets. Previous similar projects in the area have affected 1,800 families.

Total compensation and rehousing costs are estimated at $1.1 billion - 44 per cent of the total - but the exact compensation rate will not be calculated until the project is approved by the Town Planning Board.

The project is expected to start in about two years and be completed by 2013.

Under the plan, three commercial-residential complexes - two 40-storey and one 38-storey - will be built. They will provide 600,600 sq ft of residential area and 120,000 sq ft of retail space. Each building's ground floor and two podium floors will be designated for retail or commercial use.

Two recreational areas, a park and a small town square are also proposed. Each will cover about 80,000 sq ft. The successful bidder will be required to build them.

The square, to be called Jade Walk, will be next to the jade bazaar and themed on the precious stone.

The authority's district development director, Joseph Lee King-chi, said: "The project will improve living conditions for Shamshuipo families and rejuvenate the local economy."

But he admitted that some residential or commercial tenants might not be able to be relocated in the same district. "This is the problem we usually encounter in urban renewal projects," Mr Lee said.

The authority's general manager of external relations, Eddie So Shuen-yee, said it had been successful in rehousing affected tenants and owners. "We have not encountered one single case which we can't resolve," he said.

Existing tenants and owners in the district expressed mixed feelings about the project.

Mr Ho, who had been operating a plastic utensils wholesale shop for more than a decade in the district, said he might have to close the business.

"I rent this 1,000 sq ft shop for $10,000," said Mr Ho, who refused to disclose his full name. "I will have to pay double that amount outside Shamshuipo, where rents will go up after redevelopment.

"Redevelopment is going to be positive to the development of the district, but some people, like me, may lose their business."

But a 75-year-old resident, giving her name only as Mrs Pao, said she would be ready to move out any time, provided the government offered substantial compensation. She bought the 1,000 sq ft flat more than 30 years ago.

"Money is what matters," said Mrs Pao, now living with her son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren in the flat. "It will be fine if I have to move to a smaller flat or outside Shamshuipo as long as we have compensation because the flat is very old. We have no power to bargain, though, and we have no choice but to take what is offered."
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Old February 28th, 2006, 05:58 AM   #137
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February 24, 2006
Government Press Release
Tai Kok Tsui land resumed for redevelopment

Two Tai Kok Tsui sites will be resumed under the Lands Resumption Ordinance for redevelopment, the Lands Department says.

Upon completion of resumption and clearance, the two sites in Larch Street/Fir Street and Pine Street/Anchor Street, covering about 2,176 and 2,300 square metres, will be granted to the Urban Renewal Authority at a nominal premium.

Mixed-use development is permitted on the sites and the current proposals for them are for residential developments with commercial use on the lower floors.

The affected 83 interests will revert to the Government three months after the date the resumption noticeis posted on the site. Details of the private land affected were gazetted today.

Compensation details

Apart from their entitlement to statutory compensation, eligible owners of domestic properties will be offered an ex-gratia home-purchase allowance or supplementary allowance as appropriate.

Owners and tenants affected may make statutory claims under the Lands Resumption Ordinance. The Government may reimburse any professional fees reasonably incurred.

Occupiers of commercial properties may also be eligible for an ex-gratia allowance in lieu of the right to make statutory claims for business loss and disturbance.

Eligible domestic occupiers will be offered a rehousing allowance or ex-gratia cash allowance in lieu of rehousing.
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Old February 28th, 2006, 05:56 PM   #138
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Authority may scrap Mongkok site plan
28 February 2006
South China Morning Post

Rising property prices have forced the Urban Renewal Authority to consider scrapping plans to acquire 28 buildings in Mongkok for a development project in favour of rehabilitating them.

The authority has said the cost of buying the five to six-storey residential blocks on the junction of Fa Yuen and Argyle streets could result in a loss of up to $900 million after the site is resold to a developer.

The project was announced in 1998 by the defunct Land Development Corp and passed to the authority in 2001.

An authority spokesman said yesterday that the original plan envisaged demolishing the buildings, which are between 38 and 50 years old, to create a 30,000 square feet development site for a commercial and residential project comprising a gross floor of 270,000 sqft with 372 units.

However, the authority now is looking at rehabilitating the buildings instead.

The spokesman said district council members and local residents would be consulted before any decision was made.

Pierre Wong Tsz-wa, the chief executive of Midland Realty's commercial and industrial division, said Fa Yuen Street was a prime shopping area in Mongkok, commanding prices of $20,000 to $50,000 per square foot.

Rents in the area ranged from $150 to $250 per square foot, he added.

Albert So Surveyors managing director Albert So Chun-hin said: "As the market price of street-level shops is high, the cost of acquisition will be higher than expected, which could result in a loss for the Urban Renewal Authority as developers could not achieve break-even unless flat prices increased by between 30 per cent and 40 per cent.

"The Urban Renewal Authority should consider rehabilitating the old buildings instead of rebuilding. It would save development costs and allow this part of Mongkok to retain its unique character and style."

A non-executive director of the authority said the project involved the acquisition of retail shops, which took time to negotiate with the owners.

"We have another development project on Nelson Street, which is a joint venture with the Hong Kong Playground Association and which will have faster development progress," he said.
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Old March 4th, 2006, 07:41 AM   #139
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Wan Chai block set for redevelopment
2 March 2006
South China Morning Post

Chinese Estates Holdings is preparing to demolish Tung Sang Building in Wan Chai and develop it into a commercial-residential tower.

Surveyors yesterday said the redevelopment project could cost about $307 million.

The company has been planning the redevelopment for several years. It has not renewed any leases since last year and all the tenants moved out after negotiations.

The Buildings Department has issued a demolition consent and work is scheduled to start in the next few months.

The 19-storey Tung Sang Building was built by the Hotung family in 1972.

Chinese Estates acquired the apartment block with retail space for $180 million, or $2,579 per square foot, in 2003.

Chesterton Petty executive director Alnwick Chan Chi-hing yesterday valued the new project at $307 million, or $4,202 per square foot.

"This project will benefit from the completion of the subway between Three Pacific Place and the Admiralty MTR station this year that will bring closer links between Wan Chai and Admiralty," Mr Chan said. "I believe that the average flat price of this project will reach $7,000 per square foot."

The 8,117 sq ft site can provide a gross floor area of 69,784 sq ft.

In 2003, the rental yield of the building was more than 10.5 per cent, but the developer decided against refurbishing it to raise rental income, and opted instead for redevelopment.

Meanwhile, Wheelock Properties has bought a luxury residential site in Mid-Levels for $240 million, or $5,140 per square foot. The 5,837 sq ft site on Babington Path has a gross floor area of 46,696 sq ft.

Chuang's Consortium International acquired the site for $178 million last year and invited developers' tenders last month.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 02:43 AM   #140
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Kowloon Bay by nwfb1601 from a Hong Kong transport forum :



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