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Old July 4th, 2009, 10:35 AM   #101
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月華街重建財團勢搶

2009年07月03日(五)







剛於上月批出灣仔喜帖街項目發展權的市建局,趁市場氣氛持續向好,緊接於今日為觀塘月華街住宅重建項目招收發展意向書。該地雖屬單幢式發展,只提供約 300伙住宅,但由於屬整個觀塘市中心重建項目首期,發展商若取得發展權,將可發揮「插旗」效應,有利日後爭取其餘發展期數;其中新地已率先表明有興趣參與該項目。
屬首期發展 樓高40層

市建局剛於上月底批出喜帖街重建項目發展權不久,迅速於今日再邀請發展商就月華街項目提交意向書,截止日期為七月十日。觀塘市中心重建項目將分5期重建,其中月華街地盤屬首期發展,該地盤與市中心重建主地盤僅一街之隔,佔地約4.66萬方呎,可建1幢40層高物業,包括5層高基座,總發展樓面29.96萬方呎,其中住宅發展樓面佔23.29萬方呎,而基座內會有3層公眾健康院、1層停車場及1層會所,料於二○一三年完工。
市建局主席張震遠

新地代理執行董事雷霆指出,項目位置理想,加上觀塘區正在蛻變中,發展潛力大,因此集團有興趣。美聯測量師行林子彬估計,項目每方呎地價約5,000元,即地價估值約11.6億元,項目雖包括健康院的發展,會增加發展成本,但只要配合適當設計,相信不會減低投資價值。
插旗效應惹爭奪

韋堅信測量師行林晉超稱,為發揮「插旗」效應,料發展商會爭奪月華街項目,以利日後爭取觀塘市中心重建的其他期數。

月華街地盤屬觀塘市中心重建的首期發展,其餘四期發展均位於主地盤。據悉,觀塘市中心主地盤收購進度理想,整體業權收購比率已達八成,其中自住物業的收購比率更高達97%,為歷來最好,因此擬將重建步伐加快一至兩年,項目將建4幢46至52層高綜合發展物業,包括住宅、酒店、寫字樓及商場等,提供約 1,700伙住宅單位。

發展商近年為求吸納市區靚地,爭相入標競投市建局的重建項目。上月截標的灣仔喜帖街商住發展吸引7家發展商爭奪,由信置及合和合組的財團奪得。信和集團執行董事楊光稱,喜帖街項目擬提供共800伙住宅。
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Old July 12th, 2009, 07:08 PM   #102
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15 builders interested in Kwun Tong project
11 July 2009
South China Morning Post

The first phase of the HK$30 billion Kwun Tong bus terminal redevelopment project has attracted expressions of interest from 15 developers, reflecting renewed interest in land acquisition following a rebound in the property market.

The developers include Sun Hung Kai Properties, Cheung Kong (Holdings), Sino Land, Henderson Land Development, Kerry Properties, Nan Fung Development, China Overseas Land, New World Development, K Wah International, Kowloon Development and Wheelock Properties.

The Urban Renewal Authority's Yuet Wah Street project will be put up for tender after the qualified developers have been shortlisted.

Surveyors estimated the investment cost of the project to be about HK$1.5 billion.

The 46,565 square foot site at the junction of Hip Wo Street and Yuet Wah Street could become a 40-storey residential building with a total gross floor area of 299,562 sq ft, providing about 300 units. The winning bidder will be responsible for building a public health centre as part of the project.

The Kwun Tong redevelopment project is the biggest undertaken by the Urban Renewal Authority.

There was expected to be some aggressive bidding as the eventual winner was likely to have an advantage when the second and largest phase of the project came up for grabs, said surveyor Albert So Chun-hin. "Another reason is developers have found it difficult to trigger land sales from the government's land application list. Bidding for the URA project is the only way for them to replenish their land banks," he said.

Sun Hung Kai Properties' Latitude development in San Po Kong was the last project to be launched in Kowloon East when average property prices reached about HK$7,800 per square foot in April.

Mr So believes the property prices of the Yuet Wah Street project would be more than HK$8,000 per square foot as the location is better.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 07:18 PM   #103
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After almost half a century, the credits roll for Silver Theatre
14 July 2009
SCMP

Without fanfare, and barely noticed by nearby residents, the curtain has been quietly lowered on the last pro-Beijing cinema in Hong Kong, closing a chapter in the city's movie history.

Opened on September 7, 1963, the Silver Theatre in Kwun Tong closed on Thursday after 46 years, during which it showed films about the lives of local people under colonialism, patriotic mainland movies and, later, mainstream films.

But many did not realise it had gone until they saw a notice posted at the cinema's entrance in Yue Man Square yesterday, declaring: "Due to redevelopment of the district, we announce our glorious closure after 46 years of service."

Sil-Metropole Organisation, which owned the cinema and had a 70 per cent interest in the building, said it had shut down in a deal with the Urban Renewal Authority, which plans a massive rebuilding of Kwun Tong.

"We have lost quite a lot of money in the cinema's operation," a spokesman for the company said.

There were once four pro-Beijing cinemas in Hong Kong, but the Silver was the last.

Yesterday, knots of people gathered outside the building, reading the notice and reminiscing about the theatre.

"This cinema brought me many good memories," said a Mr Chu, who is in his late 50s and has lived in Kwun Tong since he was a child.

"I went to the cinema a lot when I was small," he said. "What a pity that it has folded. All I have now is memories of some fine moments of my childhood relating to the cinema."

But Mr Chan, a stall owner in his early 50s who sells baby clothes in a nearby market, said it was time to move on.

"Without demolishing old buildings, how can we have new ones? The redevelopment has already dragged on for too long," he said.

After a delay of more than 10 years, the authority announced its redevelopment plan, which includes the Silver Theatre Building, last year. The HK$30 billion project, to be carried out in five phases spanning more than 12 years, affects about 5,000 residents, 520 shops and 1,656 property owners.

An honorary adviser to the Museum of History, Cheng Po-hung, said the Silver Theatre experienced its best times before the 1970s.

"It used to show many good films depicting the reality of Hong Kong, like the lives of fishermen and people in squatter areas. These films were produced to criticise the British government for failing to take care of the people," he said.

"Later, it showed many patriotic films of China without many patrons. Since the 1980s, it has changed its direction again as it tried to integrate with the mainstream due to market concerns.

"It is the last cinema of its kind. Other pro-Beijing cinemas - South Pacific Theatre, South China Theatre and Astor Theatre - closed a few years ago. I will say its mission as a pro-Beijing theatre has ended."

Perry Lam, a film and cultural critic, agreed.

"The cinema has ended its days as a propaganda machine for the promotion of mainland China. Nowadays, there are so many other ways and so many organisations doing the job," Mr Lam said.

Fung Lam, 84, a veteran actor and former director of the actors' division at the Sil-Metropole Organisation, said the cinema would be sadly missed. She recalled that it had screened many famous films produced by pro-Beijing filmmaking companies, such as

Those 72 Tenants and Sha Chia Pang.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 07:36 PM   #104
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Old July 21st, 2009, 07:35 PM   #105
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發展商空群而出爭月華街項目
11 July 2009
信報

在補充土儲困難的情況下,觀塘市中心重建項目第一期月華街項目接獲十五份意向書,與利東街項目所接獲的意向書相同,反應算理想。包括長實(001)、新地(016)、恒地(012)、新世界發展(017)、會德豐地產(049)及南豐等大型地產商均遞交意向書。 其餘遞交意向書的發展商包括信置(083)、嘉華、嘉里(683)、中海(688)、九建(034)、富聯國際(369)及恒隆地產(101)。不過,富豪(078)、合和(054)及太古地產則沒有遞交意向書,市建局預計招標工作將在短期內展開。

靚地條件吸引 南豐發展董事總經理蔡宏興指出,觀塘是一個成熟的地區,交通方便,而月華街項目發展規模不大,發展成本不高,不少發展商感興趣。他又稱,月華街項目是觀塘巿中心大型重建項目第一期,惟取得月華街項目的發展權,也不代表可以取得其他期數發展權,故發展商將獨立考慮月華街項目的標價。會德豐地產執行董事黃光耀表示,本港經濟環境穩定,外圍負面消息不多,在低息環境下,樓市向好,不少發展商有意增加土儲,建議當局在適當時候考慮優化勾地制度,刺激勾地意欲。根據勾地制度,提出勾地申請的發展商事前準備工作繁多,同時又要承受市況波動的風險,故此甚少發展商願意提出勾地申請。他又稱,市建局項目有既定程序,且規模往往較小,適合中、小型發展商需要。

觀塘渴求新盤 除港鐵(066)鐵路上蓋沿線上蓋及市建局市區重建項目外,不少發展商透過舊樓重建增加土儲。黃光耀稱,倘若強制收樓舊樓的門檻日後能夠降至八成,將有助發展商透過舊樓重建補充土儲。 美聯測量師行董事林子彬表示,自從麗港城、匯景花園、裕民中心等屋苑落成後,觀塘多年來未有新盤供應,惟區內人口眾多,換樓需求又大。他又稱,鄰近觀塘港鐵站的月華街項目,屬難得市區住宅靚地,故受發展商歡迎。 他又稱,估計住宅部分每呎樓面地價五千元,整個項目地價十一億六千萬元。 資料顯示,月華街項目將重建為一幢四十層高樓宇,提供三百個單位,預計二○一四年落成■
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Old July 24th, 2009, 06:13 PM   #106
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月華街項目擬增環保條款
14 July 2009
信報

市區重建局旗下的觀塘市中心重建第一期月華街項目日前接獲十五份意向書後,計劃暑假正式招標。 市建局主席張震遠出席《金融時報》城市更新峰會時表示,觀塘巿中心項目收購業權比率超過八成,其中自住業主比率更高達九成七至九成八。整個項目原定分五期發展,月華街項目是第一期,倘若收購進度理想,不排除減少發展數期。他預期,月華街項目暑期推出招標,將加入環保條款。 他重申,該局下半年發行港元債券,惟細節未定。該局早前指出,發行規模介乎十至二十億元,首批發債對象為機構投資者。 另一方面,由房協統籌的深水埗福榮街重建項目收樓期限屆滿,執達吏昨天上門收樓■
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Old July 24th, 2009, 06:48 PM   #107
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「原居民」查詢 睇樓增 觀塘重建激活東九龍沿綫屋苑
11 July 2009
星島日報

舊區重建為社區帶來新貌,刺激區內以至鄰區樓市表現。如市建局的觀塘市中心大型重建計畫,首階段的月華街重建項目剛截收意向,往後尚有多個相關項目排隊登場,今次直擊東九龍多個重點港鐵站如彩虹、九龍灣、藍田及油塘站一帶屋苑,樓價如何拾級而上。

7月初,市建局為觀塘月華街重建項目邀請發展商遞交意向,令這個觀塘大型重建計畫又再成為近期焦點,而項目亦剛於周五(10日)截收意向,多家財團亦已遞交意向。

觀塘重建計畫是市建局歷來最大型的重建項目,將分5個階段進行,估計總投資額達300億元,重建範圍包括觀塘道、物華街、協和街、康寧道及裕民坊等,將來會搖身一變,發展成新社區,包括綜合公共服務,商業及住宅發展,中央廣場、多用途文化康樂設施、診所、小販市場、寫字樓、酒店、商場等。

重建項目5階段進行

今次招意向的月華街重建項目,屬首階段發展,可為整個計畫起着指標作用。這幅位於協和街及月華街交界的地皮,現巴士總站位置,面積46,566方呎,將建1幢可提供300個住宅單位的物業,物業另附設健康院。

其實市建局於去年12月底,已向觀塘重建項目逾1,600個物業的業主發出收購建議信,補償價按實用面積計為平均每方呎5,937元,截止回覆為今年3月底,截止時間雖已過,但往後的這段時間其實亦有為數不少的潛在買家及租客四出睇樓及入市。

遷拆戶成樓市生力軍

正所謂住開有感情,其實大部分打算入市的重建戶,都因希望新居環境較接近觀塘區,而會選擇於東九龍區置業。若他們擁有的單位,實用面積約400方呎計,獲賠償金額約有230餘萬元,是一批頗具潛力的買家,這個利好因素亦間接帶挈東九龍區,尤其是港鐵沿綫屋苑的睇樓量及樓價。

要數最受惠的東九龍港鐵沿綫屋苑,相信非毗鄰港鐵藍田站及九龍灣站的幾個指標及上車屋苑莫屬,這些屋苑現時部分2房戶入場價約170萬元,至於想加少少錢換3房的話,則由330萬元起。

觀塘月華街地盤

位置 觀塘協和街及月華街交界
地皮面積 6,566方呎
用途 住宅(另附設健康院)
可建總樓面 299,568方呎
住宅座數 1幢
單位 約300伙
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Old July 27th, 2009, 07:33 PM   #108
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Loss of the Silver Theatre
27 July 2009
South China Morning Post

Kwun Tong's Silver Theatre, the last of four pro-Beijing theatres that once operated in the city, closed on July 9 after 46 years, during which it showed films about the lives of local people under colonialism, patriotic mainland movies and, later, mainstream films. But the theatre, which is making way for a redevelopment project, hasn't been forgotten by Chui Hin-wai, 52, theatre management department manager of the Sil-Metropole Organisation that operated the theatre. He shares his memories of 34 years in the entertainment industry with CityChat.

"I went into the cinema industry in 1975, when I was 18 years old. I first worked at the Ruby Theatre in To Kwa Wan, which was also owned by Sil-Metropole and opened in 1964. At the Ruby I was an usher to begin with. After several months, I thought of quitting and trying something else, but the management wanted me to stay. Afterwards, I was told to work in different departments - the art department, the ticket office and the film promotion department. I learned a lot of things. By 1981, I was house manager and had to deal with all matters in the cinema. In 1988, I became the manager of Sil-Metropole's theatre management department and have managed the company's cinema business until now.

"As far as I know, the Silver Theatre was built and opened for business in Kwun Tong in September 1963. In the 1960s, Kwun Tong was a new town. There were fewer people and fewer entertainment places. The Silver Theatre became one of the main entertainment venues at the time. The audiences were mainly families. Adults took along their kids to watch films. Sometimes I heard of kids following strangers into the cinema. Some kids who could not get inside even stood behind the curtain at the door and stole a glance at the film.

"Many years ago, there were different ticket prices for front seats, middle seats and back seats. The front seats were cheapest but sometimes people bought front seat tickets and sat at the back. Many different types of people visited the cinema - some of them very odd and some of them drunk.

"When I worked at the Ruby Theatre, the relationship among colleagues was like a big family. There was a canteen and dormitories, and we worked and lived together. In the 1970s, at least 40 people worked at the cinema. I recall some interesting stories ... About a year ago an old man got locked inside when it closed for the night. There were many false fire alarms and I called firefighters to the cinema several times but no fire really broke out.

"The Silver Theatre experienced good times in the 1970s and 1980s. Several hundred people would queue outside for tickets and revenue was more than HK$1 million a month. The cinema was about 80 per cent full in those days. The good times continued until the 1990s. But the bad times came in 2000. After that audience numbers fell as low as 4 per cent of capacity - about 16 people.

"Sometimes, if there was a popular film, a few hundred people watched it. But this was not often seen in recent years, except on public holidays and the summer break. The reasons for the low revenue could be explained by the bad film market and the Silver Theatre's structural difficulties. The old cinema lacked competitiveness in the cinema market. It could not compete with all the newer ones being opened. That was natural.

"Until 1990, the Silver was one large cinema seating 1,000 people. But then I had it divided into two houses with 440 seats and 804 seats so we could show a greater variety of films. In 2000, I kept the 440-seat house and rented the other one out.

"There were differences between old cinemas like the Silver and mainstream theatres in the city. The operators of most old cinemas also owned the building. But most mainstream cinemas these days can be found in rented premises in shopping malls.

"Although the Silver Theatre has closed, I am proud that I successfully changed it from one large house to two smaller houses and then rented part of it to boost revenue. When the redevelopment project is finished, I want the Silver Theatre to reopen and continue to serve the public. For me, I will continue to work in the industry as long as I can."
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Old July 30th, 2009, 04:36 AM   #109
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Quote:
Kwun Tong site draws 20 developers

About 20 property developers are interested in acquiring a Kwun Tong residential development estimated to cost HK$4.5 billion, which shows strong demand for housing in the area, according to Centaline Property Agency.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

About 20 property developers are interested in acquiring a Kwun Tong residential development estimated to cost HK$4.5 billion, which shows strong demand for housing in the area, according to Centaline Property Agency.

Flat owners of Kai Tak Mansion, who appointed Centaline as agent for the auction, are seeking interested parties to buy property rights in the residential area.

The tender agent has acquired more than 90 percent of ownership rights for the development, which consists of four blocks, with a site size of about 61,500 square feet, according to James Cheung King-tat, Centaline Surveyors director. The site has a maximum plot ratio of 7.5 times.

Including land premium, the Kwun Tong redevelopment project is estimated to cost about HK$8,100 per square foot, or a total of HK$4.5 billion, Cheung said. Developers must tender offers by September 9. A building representative surnamed Chung hopes the government's proposal to lower the threshold for compulsory sale for redevelopment projects will pass.

Rocky Wong Chun-wai, Centaline's senior sales director for Kowloon, said that the completed volume of flats in Kwun Tong is very limited with only 185 flats coming on stream this year and he sees no fresh supply for 2010.

In The Latitude in San Po Kong, Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016) had one customer buying more than 20 flats.

Meanwhile, agent Ricacorp Properties said home prices of more than 70 percent of 50 large housing estates in Hong Kong are now back to levels that existed before the financial crisis last year. Their average selling price is HK$4,646 psf, up 21.3 percent from last December.

ALFRED LIU

Source: http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_p...4&sid=24753609
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Old July 30th, 2009, 04:57 AM   #110
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Old July 30th, 2009, 06:57 PM   #111
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I find it hard to believe anyone will want to pay $8000/square foot in Kwun Tong.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 10:15 PM   #112
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Old Kwun Tong
Source : http://www.pbase.com/hltam/kwuntong













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Old August 4th, 2009, 11:38 AM   #113
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張震遠:觀塘重建收樓已逾八成,關注褔榮街商戶要求
12 July 2009

《經濟通通訊社13日專訊》市區重建局主席張震遠出席峰會後表示,觀塘月華街重建項目已邀請發展商提交意向書,並將於暑期期間進行招標,該項目亦需要符合一定環保條款,市建局將來發展的項目,亦必需包含環保設計及設施。

他又指,整個觀塘重建項目,80%以上的業權已經收購完成,當中自住的單位收購情況更達到97%至98%,觀塘重建項目合共有五期,月華街屬重建計劃第一期,希望整個項目發展愈短時間完成愈好。

另外,有褔榮街商戶不滿意收樓條件作出抗爭,他則表示,事件正由房協處理中,市建局一向對商戶賠償均十分關注,並希望將之優化,繼續觀察事態發展。
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Old August 9th, 2009, 08:26 PM   #114
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Old September 22nd, 2009, 05:30 AM   #115
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Old banyan among 21 trees threatened by redevelopment
21 September 2009
South China Morning Post

Conservationists and residents in Kwun Tong have raised concerns about an urban renewal plan that threatens 21 trees, including a large banyan.

Under the plan, a bus terminus at Yuet Wah Street is making way for a clinic and residential block. There is a large banyan on the site, which a botanist estimates is about 40 years old, along with 20 other trees.

An Urban Renewal Authority spokesman said some of the trees had to be moved, including the banyan, because of the design plans.

Conservationists are calling on the URA and the developers to show flexibility in the planning and do what they can to ensure the area keeps its leafy coverage.

"These trees all stand on the edge of the site, which can be easily preserved with design and some care," Green Sense spokesman Roy Tam Hoi-pong said.

Nearby to the south, Yue Man Square is also being cleared of small, rundown buildings and will be replaced by four residential towers and a commercial building. Old and valuable trees at that site, however, are being preserved.

Green Sense had spoken with three of 14 developers interested in the Yuet Wah Street project, and one said it was willing to leave the banyan tree where it was.

That may not be possible, however. The banyan blocks what would be the entrance to the clinic, the URA spokesman added. It was possible to accommodate the tree in the final design, though this was not certain.

A spokesman said the project's tender document specified which trees were to be transplanted, and it included the banyan. The developer would need to come up with a tree-management plan. The banyan would be temporarily planted in a nursery bed and then transplanted to the main site when it was cleared.

Even though the URA said yesterday that there was a plan to relocate the banyan, Tam said it would cost millions of dollars. And the tree could still be damaged.

Professor Jim Chi-yung, a tree expert at University of Hong Kong, said transplanting the tree twice would pose more risk to its survival.

"On-site preservation is always the best option, but if this is impossible, phased root-pruning should take place now in order to give the tree enough time for recovery," the professor said.

"There should not be a midway stop in transplantation."

Au Yeung Kim-wai, a resident on Yuet Wah Street, said the big tree could provide shade for people and should be allowed to stay because there were very few trees in the Kwun Tong district.
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Old November 25th, 2009, 06:17 PM   #116
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Kwun Tong redevelopment could be ready three years early
24 November 2009
South China Morning Post

A residential project and the public transport interchange in the Kwun Tong town centre redevelopment could be put on the market three years earlier than planned, as the Urban Renewal Authority is considering enlarging the scale of the phase-two redevelopment.

The redevelopment project, which is divided into five phases, is expected to be completed in 2021.

The authority awarded the phase-one redevelopment in Yuet Wah Street to Sino Land last month and is about to start the second phase.

This covers a residential project and a public transport interchange at Yan Oi Court and Fu Yan Street.

The authority is considering extending it to the phase-four area, along Hong Ning Road, which was originally scheduled to be completed in 2019.

The phase-four area covers a street of shops, a market for hawkers, a residential project and another half of the public transport interchange in Hong Ning Road. Integrating the two phases of redevelopment would provide people with public transport and places to dine and shop, the authority said.

If the proposal is agreed to by the district council, the phase-four area could be completed three years earlier, in 2016, while phase two would still be on schedule for completion in 2015.

But enlarging the redevelopment area may have a greater impact on the local transport network. The authority will solicit the views of the Kwun Tong District Council and carry out a transport impact assessment before reaching a decision on whether to speed up the redevelopment.
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Old January 8th, 2010, 11:17 AM   #117
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Kwun Tong renewal project hits snag
8 January 2010
South China Morning Post

The Urban Renewal Authority is having difficulty taking over the remaining properties for the Kwun Tong redevelopment project because some owners are holding on to their shops or flats in the hope prices will rise further.

Authority managing director Quinn Law Yee-kwan told a year-end press briefing yesterday that about 80 per cent of the property interests in the area had been acquired last year but the process was slowing down for the remainder.

The situation was the same at 10 other redevelopment projects.

"Many owners are expecting the property market will continue to do well and they are not willing to sell their units yet," Law said. The owners are mostly investors who did not occupy the flats or shops themselves.

The slowdown may delay the redevelopment and the authority may have to pay more compensation, but Law said it had adequate cash to cope with the risks. He declined to reveal its cash balance.

Kwun Tong, the largest of the authority's renewal projects, involves 1,657 property interests and will offer 2,000 flats.

The authority is planning to condense the four-phase development into three so that a hawker bazaar and a public transport interchange can be set up as soon as possible after residents move in. The first phase is expected to be finished by 2014.

Asked whether the authority would build more affordable flats for homeseekers in future - some recently completed projects such as the Masterpiece in Tsim Sha Tsui have been marketed as luxury apartments - Law said it was up to the market to determine the sale price.

He added that half of the 1,700 flats the authority would supply in the next 18 months would be smaller than 600 square feet.

Meanwhile, the review of the urban renewal strategy is entering the third phase of consultation.

The authority will hold a forum tomorrow for seven district councils that cover old urban areas to share the initial findings of research it sponsored on areas that residents wish to see redeveloped.
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Old February 12th, 2010, 02:59 PM   #118
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Source : http://www.pbase.com/caveman_lee/image/55114270

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Old March 15th, 2010, 06:36 PM   #119
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LCQ9: Maintenance of buildings acquired by Urban Renewal Authority
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Government Press Release

Following is a question by the Hon Wong Kwok-kin and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, in the Legislative Council today (March 3):

Question:

Some residents of Kwun Tong have relayed to me that due to a prolonged lack of maintenance of the buildings in Yue Man Square and its vicinity which have been acquired by the Urban Renewal Authority (URA), tin plates on the rooftop of the buildings were once blown away and fell down, and it was lucky that no one was hurt. Furthermore, some members of the public have pointed out that as the Kwun Tong Town Centre Project and Mong Kok's Sai Yee Street Project cover relatively large redevelopment areas, it will therefore take some time before demolition and redevelopment works formally commence; yet, in the meantime, the buildings acquired by URA may become potential bombs in the city. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:

(a) if there were accidents in the past five years which were caused by the lack of maintenance of old buildings already acquired by URA but pending redevelopment; if so, the numbers and nature of such accidents;

(b) if URA will appropriately maintain the flats and buildings it has acquired but pending redevelopment, such as regularly inspecting them and removing the dangerous illegal structures therein, with a view to ensure that such buildings are structurally safe and will not pose danger to the pedestrians nearby; if not, the reasons for that, and

(c) the total amount of funding URA committed in the past five years to the maintenance and management of the flats and buildings it has acquired but pending redevelopment?

Reply:

President,

(a) According to the records of the Urban Renewal Authority (URA), there was only one accident related to the buildings acquired by the URA pending redevelopment in the past five years (2005-2009). The accident involved the power transformer of a signboard which fell and hit the windscreen of the upper deck of a bus that was passing by. There were no injuries in the incident. The URA commissioned a contractor to remove the signboard right away and carried out inspection on all signboards within the project area to ensure public safety. As regards some Kwun Tong residents' allegation on the blowing off and falling down of tin plates from the rooftop of buildings acquired by the URA, the URA has no such records.

(b) The URA attaches much importance to the conditions of the buildings it has acquired within its redevelopment projects. The URA has engaged building consultants to inspect the buildings regularly, and whenever necessary, so as to prevent these buildings from posing danger to the surrounding environment and to the public, and to take follow-up action as required. The inspections cover the external walls and the common areas of the buildings. If any potential danger is identified, the URA will take immediate action.

(c) Over the past five years, the URA has spent about $17 million on maintenance-related works for the acquired buildings pending redevelopment. The expenses covered the costs for commissioning of consultants and the actual maintenance works. About 550 buildings and 6,000 flats were involved.

The URA has also set up a designated team to deal with the management of the acquired buildings.

In addition, in view of security concerns arising from the gradual moving out of affected residents from the URA redevelopment project areas, the URA will employ security companies to carry out round-the-clock patrol at the buildings it has acquired, including the common areas of those buildings until the commencement of the redevelopment work. The cost of employing security companies over the past five years amounted to about $11 million.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 05:56 PM   #120
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垃圾灣闢鬧市 觀塘再變身
20 March 2010

【明報專訊】觀塘,香港第一個衛星城市。香港歷史研究者鄭寶鴻指出,開埠初期,觀塘是一片山丘及海灣,因海灣用作堆填垃圾,故戰前名叫「垃圾灣」,日治時期命名「塵芥灣」,塵芥日本字意思解作垃圾。50年代,政府決定將香港發展為工業港,並於1957年將觀塘開闢為工業區,大量工人湧入觀塘謀生,勞動階層亦應運而生。為應付工人日常生活需要及相應配套,政府於1959年全面發展觀塘市中心,開闢裕民坊作商住用途。

Kwun Tong is HK's first satellite town. In the 1950s the government envisioned an industrialization strategy for HK, and an industrial zone was established here in 1957. In 1959, a district centre was developed around Yue Man Square.

市建局觀塘項目總監李樹榮指出,過去50年,觀塘人口由當初的6萬激增至今天的60萬,商住空間不敷應用。裕民坊一帶樓宇大部分建於60年代,經過時間洗禮,日久失修,居住環境漸趨惡劣,有見及此,市建局於2007年決定在裕民坊開展香港有史以來最大的市區重建計劃,面積達5.35公頃,相等於10個足球場。

Population has skyrocketed from 60k to 600k in the past 50 years. Most buildings were built in the 1960s. Without proper maintenance, living conditions have worsened. In 2007, a redevelopment plan was envisioned, encompassing an area the size of 10 football fields.


銀都戲院 首代留學建築師手筆

在翻天覆地的重建計劃中,區內建築物亦陸續完成其歷史任務。建築師朱卓雄指出,裕民坊已結業的銀都戲院建於60年代,有1400多座位,屬傳統式大戲院設計,其罕有的金字屋頂具去水功能,而尖頂空間亦物盡其用,兼作儲存風喉及冷氣系統。原來,戲院設計出自中國首批留學建築師之一的范文照手筆。范氏1927年聯同其他第一代的建築師創辦中國建築師學會,是20世紀初期中國最重要的建築師之一,代表作有上海音樂廳、上海美琪大戲院及香港豪華戲院等。

銀都戲院經理崔顯威見證了戲院在電影業興衰影響下的幾個變化。銀都戲院1963年開幕,鄰近的輔仁里是摩登大笪地,夜市遊人如鯽,有熟食、賣武、占卜、賣唱等,十分熱鬧,暢旺的人流同時替銀都帶來輝煌業績。在市場競爭下,戲院於90年代一分為二,改為兩銀幕、兩影院;隨着電影巿道下滑,2000年只剩下位於樓座的迷你戲院。受觀塘重建計劃影響,銀都已於2009年7月結業。

工業北移 工廈變身寫字樓

受工業北移及重建計劃影響,觀塘不少工廠大廈將用途改變。建築師何文堯指出,建築物與人的生命一樣,需要定期檢查與更生才能夠持續發展。開源道駱駝漆大廈是「活化工廈」計劃下一個成功例子。大廈自1985年開始主要用於生產油漆及儲存倉庫,90年代香港工廈供過於求,廠方於是利用原有設計適當地更改用途。工廈呎價較市區樓宇便宜,用家在商言商,樂於接受,近年不少銀行及著名會計師樓紛紛遷入觀塘工廈。

活化工廈另一做法是將整座大廈拆卸,建成全新的現代建築物。何文堯認為新大廈往往欠缺傳統工業的生命力與人性,與舊有的格格不入,這對於市區發展與更生是否有絕對好處?值得思考。

節目資料

香港電台電視節目《香港故事》「走過觀塘五十年」,下周一(22日)晚上7時於亞洲電視本港台播出,港台網上廣播站(http://tv.rthk.org.hk)提供視像直播及重溫。
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