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Old February 26th, 2007, 02:24 PM   #1
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HONG KONG | Graham Street Redevelopment

From news.gov.hk:
Graham St to become 'Old Shop St'

Press Release from the Urban Renewal Authority
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Old February 26th, 2007, 05:57 PM   #2
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市建局冀將嘉咸街打造成全港首條老店街
【18:12】2007年02月26日

【on.cc 專訊】市區重建局公布上環卑利街及嘉咸街的重建設計藍圖,並計劃將嘉咸街打造成全港首條「老店街」,以及保留三座戰前唐樓,預計受影響住戶達1100人。市建局希望老店街能匯聚本土百年老店及金牌老字號,而重建藍圖亦於上月底提交城規會;市建局行政總監林中麟指出,是次重建計劃共涉及38億元,當中18至20億為賠償住戶金額,而建築成本則為12億元。
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Old February 27th, 2007, 04:08 AM   #3
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URA looks to past for shops scheme
Hong Kong Standard
Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Urban Renewal Authority has come up with a HK$3.8 billion redevelopment plan to turn a century-old wet market and its surroundings in Sheung Wan into Hong Kong's first "Old Shops Street," with an area for hawkers.

"We hope to retain as much as possible ... We will see if we can create an old shops street in the area to bring back old names that are familiar to Hong Kong people," authority managing director Billy Lam Chung-lun said.

The Peel Street and Graham Street project is bounded by Gage, Cochrane and Wellington streets and Kin Sau Lane.

The 57,000-square-foot site will be turned into two residential buildings, a hotel and an office tower, all of which will be between 26 and 33 stories.

The project will affect 37 blocks, 360 vendors and shops, and 1,120 residents.

Four of the buildings were built before World War II while most of the others were built between the mid 50s and the late 60s.

Lam said the aim was to bring back the old charm and streetscapes.

He said three prewar shop houses will be preserved and put to adaptive re-use while the facade of Wing Woo Grocery will be conserved, subject to a structural engineering feasibility study.

The plan also incorporates a variety of hawking activities in Graham Street, Peel Street and Gage Street.

It is expected that about HK$1.8 billion to HK$2 billion of the HK$3.8 billion cost will be used to relocate and reclaim land from property owners and residents. However, the authority did not reveal how much it was offering per square foot.

According to the authority's standard policy, compensation would be aligned to other properties in the same area with a background of at least seven years, which would put compensation between HK$6,000 and HK$7,000 per square foot.

A store owner said she would not settle for anything less than HK$7,000 as rent levels in the area have always been high and relocation costs are steep.

Others said they were not too keen to move away because of either emotional attachment or the possible loss of old customers.

The project was one of 25 announced but not started by the former Land Development Corporation in 1998. The authority said it would maintain talks with residents and the district council on the plan.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 08:55 AM   #4
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1. Background

Peel Street/Graham Street project was one of the 25 projects announced but not commenced by the former Land Development Corporation in 1998. The area comprises three sites bounded by Gage Street, Cochrane Street, Wellington Street and Kin Sau Lane in Sheung Wan.
Total site area : about 5,320 m2 (57, 240 sq ft)
No of buildings : 37 blocks (four pre-war and most are built in mid 50s and late 60s)
Property interests : 360
Affected households : about 470 (some 1,120 people)

Because of the dilapidated conditions of most of buildings and the poor living environment within the redevelopment site, the affected residents, Central & Western District Council, political groups and the community at large have voiced support for redevelopment and called on the URA to implement the project as soon as possible.


After two years of public consultation and community engagement exercises, the URA has drafted a Master Layout Plan for the project and submitted it to the Town Planning Board in late January this year for consideration.
2. Consultation process in project planning

The URA attaches much importance to the project which is sited at a busy location and full of interesting historical features.


Over the past two years, a bottom-up approach has been adopted to solicit community views on the way forward for the project. These included:
- commissioning a survey team of the HKU in 2005 to survey public views and aspirations on the project;

- briefing the Central & Western District Council on the initial design concept of the project in early 2006;

- Holding an exhibition survey in June 2006;

- Holding a community workshop together with the Central & Western District Council on 24 June 2006;

- commissioning a survey team of the HKU in June and July of 2006 to solicit public views at the exhibition and the workshop; and

- consulting the Central & Western DC on the layout plan in October 2006 which passed a resolution asking the URA to submit the MLP to TPB for consideration.

3. A design responsive to the community needs

Response to the above mentioned consultation exercises is encouraging. The essential sentiments of the community expressed to URA during the various consultation exercises have been reflected in the Master Layout Plan. These include:
(a) As a key feature of the design concept, three prewar shop houses at 26A-26C Graham Street will be preserved and put to adaptive re-use. Also, in view of its unique architectural design, the façade of Wing Woo Grocery will also be conserved subject to structural engineering feasibility study, as this building is structurally unsafe.

(b) preserving the local physical street character and its atmosphere at Graham Street

(c) preserving a variety of hawking activities at Graham Street, Peel Street and Gage Street

(d) creating an Old Shop Street;

(e) improving pedestrian flow and facilities;

(f) providing an east/west pedestrian linkage walkway;

(g) providing community facilities, public open space and greening facilities;

(h) provision of transport facilities and parking spaces and

(i) the proposed redevelopment will blend in well with the existing environment and will not give rise to unacceptable visual impact.


4. Theme of project design

Because of urbanization, old shops are being pushed away from the area during the years. Our design concept aims to redevelop the area in a holistic and coherent manner, so that the existing traditional streetscape and local cultural character may be preserved, the old area revitalized with synergy and vibrancy and the old shops are given an opportunity to come back.


Our theme is Nostalgia in Vibrancy: Bringing back Old Charms and Streetscape


One of the unique design elements is to create Graham Street as Hong Kong¡¦s first Old Shop Street where Hong Kong¡¦s renowned old specialty shops would be attracted to do businesses there.


The open market at Graham Street and Peel Street, being one of the local features, would be retained.

5. Design Features

Recreate the architectural style and streetscape
- Preserving the three building blocks at nos. 26A ¡VC, Graham Street;

- Other new buildings along Graham Street would be constructed after the architectural style of the existing low-rise buildings;

- Other new buildings in the site would be set back to improve air ventilation and more open space for street shopping.


Provision of an "Old Shop Street"
- The low-rise along Graham Street would be dedicated for famous old shops and trade. This would be the first "old shop street" in Hong Kong.


Public open space and green walking corridor

- A brand-new public open space would be provided linking up the three development sites of the project.

- An additional green walking corridor will pass through Cochrane Street, the three development sites, Graham Street, Peel street, Stavele Street, Gage Street and then extend to the "Dr Sun Yat-sen Historical Trail"

- Hawkers' stalls can be set up in the public open space.


Careful transport planning

- Adequate loading/unloading areas would be provided to the future residents and avoid the creation of additional demand on the parking space in the nearby areas.

- The loading/unloading areas would be located in the L/G of the new buildings.
6. Development Impact Assessment

Various kinds of assessment have been conducted by professional consultants appointed by the URA with satisfactory results:

- Visual impact assessment

- Traffic impact assessment

- Construction impact assessment

- Environmental assessment

- Air ventilation assessment
7. Continuous public consultation

Formation of a conservation panel under the URA Central & Western District Advisory Committee to study and recommend measures to promote heritage conservation of the project.


Continuous dialogues with the local residents and district council.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 08:57 AM   #5
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Old February 27th, 2007, 09:02 AM   #6
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嘉咸街重建打造老店街 尋著名老店後人 游說進駐經營

【明報專訊】王老吉涼茶、陳意齋糕點、誠濟堂藥材這些在中上環盛極一時的百年商店,隨城市變遷已被湮沒或搬離原區。市區重建 局正式動用約38億元展開重建上環卑利街和嘉咸街項目,計劃廣尋百年老店的後人,游說他們重新經營,把該區打造混雜著名老店和大眾化雜貨檔販的「老店街」,重塑昔日街頭風貌。

市建局上月正式向城市規劃委員會遞交嘉咸街項目規劃申請,計劃興建兩座住宅、一座酒店及一座商業大廈,總樓面面積是6.8萬方米,住宅和商業項目的地積比分別為8倍和15倍。城規會預計在3個月內審批。

建3層高「裙樓」

市建局行政總監林中麟表示,新建樓宇將會移後,面向嘉咸街的兩旁地面則會參照昔日唐樓,興建一列3層高的「裙樓」,落成後會邀請不同老字號進駐經營,打造成香港首條「老店街」,重塑往日街道形態。

林指出,昔日王老吉涼茶、高陞茶樓等著名老店在上環享負盛名,但部分已湮沒。稍後會成立由居民、商戶和專家組成的保育小組,尋找各老店後人,遊說他們重操故業。

永和雜貨外牆成入口標誌

現時在市集內經營的雜貨攤檔和露天檔販,可返回原來街道經營,使市集歷史得以保留。林中麟指出,市建局會重新替市集鋪設水電和排污等設施,並設計較美觀的木檔結構,改善市集環境。但他拒絕透露日後會否向檔販收取租金或管理費等。

有近80年歷史的永和雜貨舖由於結構殘破,天花有倒塌危險,相信日後只會保留外牆,作為老店街的入口標誌。另外3棟戰前舊樓,則會保留翻作其他用途。永和雜貨舖老闆關先生表示,對永和極之有感情,日後要清拆,如失去一位親人般,感到很可惜。

整個重建項目的發展成本達38億元,其中收購賠償成本便達18至20億元。林中麟承認,樓市復蘇令收購成本上升,為項目帶來風險,但不擔心血本無歸。
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Old February 27th, 2007, 09:54 AM   #7
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市建局38億打造「老店街」
(星島) 02月 27日 星期二 03:30AM
(綜合報道)

廣 告


(星島日報報道)香港早期的生活點滴,日後可望於中環卑利街和嘉咸街一帶重現。市建局計畫動用三十八億元,重建上環卑利街一帶的舊樓,位於重建範圍的八十年歷史永和雜貨鋪及三棟戰前舊樓均會保留,局方亦會嘗試邀請一些已絕上環的金牌老字號商鋪「進駐」,期望將嘉咸街打造成全港首條「老店街」。

  經過為期兩年「由下而上」的規劃過程,市建局於上月底向城規會提交卑利街/嘉咸街發展藍圖,正等候批准。項目最獨特的設計概念,在於重塑嘉咸街的老區風貌,嘉咸街及結志街交界的三座戰前舊樓將會保留,新建的大廈亦會採用仿唐樓設計﹔日後更會邀請本土百年老店及金牌老字號於街內開設分店,打造成全港首條「老店街」,營造成行成市的效果。

  至於被視為全港現存歷史最悠久雜貨店的「永和號」,市建局亦屬意保留,作為「老店街」日後的入口店鋪,但由於市建局考慮到該建築物已日久失修,加上部分木結構已塌下,認為只能盡可能保留其外貌,現已展開工程勘察,了解實際可保留範圍。為了重塑傳統市集氣氛,市建局亦會保留嘉咸街、卑利街和結志街的街頭攤檔,而在重建嘉咸街樓宇時,亦會特意將鋪面後移,使行人通道更為寬敞暢通。

  項目在重建後,會興建兩座住宅、一座酒店及一座商業大廈,總樓面面積達六萬八千平方米。市建局亦在設計樓宇布局時,特意將原來南北座向的樓宇「開」,提供一條東西向的行人連接通道,藉此改善區內空氣流動。市建局行政總監林中麟表示,局方初步預計動用三十八億元重建上環卑利街和嘉咸街,其中十八至二十億用作賠償安置。他承認,推展項目存有風險,但相信不至於會蝕本,會小心處理,「我們不是普通地產商,普通地產商計算賺蝕,賺錢就做,蝕錢就不做。」 邀老字號重返開店

  他又稱,局方稍後會成立一個文化保育小組,嘗試尋回或邀請昔日曾於上環開業的老店,如王老吉、皇上皇、春和堂、陳意齋、順記等,返回上環開設分店,重振老店街聲威。他表示,明白到社會開始講求集體回憶,因而會在發展和保育之間尋求平衡。

  嘉咸街的老牌店鋪及附近的攤檔東主普遍迎老店街的概念,認為有助帶旺生意。其中年屆逾七十歲的「永和號」老闆關釗表示坦言,倘若店鋪只能局部保留,日後難以遷回繼續開業,只好選擇結業。他說﹕「我對永和極之有感情,如果要拆,我好像自己少了位親人,會很懷念這裏。」
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Old July 19th, 2007, 07:08 PM   #8
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19 July 2007
URA commences Peel Street/Graham Street project
URA Press Release

Renderings : http://www.ura.org.hk/html/c1002073e230e.html

The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) today (Thursday) announced the commencement of the Peel Street/Graham Street redevelopment project, estimated at a total development cost of $3.8 billion, by conducting an occupancy survey.

Measuring a total site area of about 57,240 square feet, the project is bounded by Peel Street, Graham Street, Gage Street, Wellington Street, Cochrane Street, Gutzlaff Street, Staveley Street and Kin Sau Lane in the Central and Western district. Some 360 property interests in 37 old buildings are expected to be affected. Four of the blocks were built pre-war, while the remainder were built mostly in the mid-50¡¦s and early 60's.

Speaking at today's media briefing to announce details of the occupancy survey, District Development Director of the URA, Mr Joseph Lee, said: "It is estimated that some 470 households involving approximately 1,120 people are residing within the site area. We are deploying some 90 staff members to ascertain the exact number of those affected and the occupancy status of the properties involved, aiming to complete the survey within three days."

Depending on the work progress, the URA intends to issue purchase offers to the owners for acquiring the 360 affected property interests in about three months. Upon completion of the property acquisition exercise, the URA will make compensation or rehousing arrangements for the tenants concerned. The estimated cost of cash compensation and rehousing is about $1.8 billion.

The Peel Street/Graham Street project is one of the projects announced but not yet commenced by the former Land Development Corporation in 1998. Over the past years, the affected residents have repeatedly petitioned the Legislative Council, the Government, Central & Western District Council and the URA urging for early implementation of the project to improve their living environment.

Also speaking at the briefing, Mr Michael Ma, Director, Planning & Design said: "In moving this project forward, the URA will not only bring tangible benefits to those directly affected, but will also provide a multi-purpose community hall with a floor space of 13,500 square feet and some 17,000 square feet of quality open space for the enjoyment of the community."

Central & Western District is a place full of interesting historical and cultural elements. Over the past two years, the URA has spared no efforts in engaging the community in a bottom-up approach on the design and other aspects of the project. The URA, after giving due consideration to all views expressed, has incorporated a lot of the suggestions in the final plan and design which has recently been approved by the Town Planning Board.

Mr Ma said: "One of the unique design elements is to create Graham Street as Hong Kong¡¦s first 'Old Shop Street' where Hong Kong's renowned old specialty shops would be attracted to do businesses there. The entrance of the 'Old Shop Street' will be located at the present Wing Woo Grocery whose façade will be preserved, subject to structural feasibility study. At the other end are the three prewar shop houses at 26A-26C Graham Street which likewise will be preserved and put to adaptive re-use. The rest are three-storey structures to be built for the specialty old shops; the design of these structures will be based on that of traditional shop houses in Hong Kong."

"The URA is keenly aware that we will be faced with a daunting task. Hence, a heritage advisory panel under the Central and Western District Advisory Committee, comprising district council members, local community figures, conservation experts, as well as hawker and resident representatives, has been set up to advise on our various conservation proposals. The panel and experts have started work and have initially obtained a very positive response from operators or descendents of the once vibrant specialty old shops."

"The project is also unique in that it is one of the earliest open markets in Hong Kong. Hawkers still operate in the area. Although strictly speaking they fall outside the project boundaries, we fully encourage these hawkers to continue with their activities upon completion of the project. Indeed we have been in close touch for months with government departments concerned and hawker representatives; we hope to put in place the best possible mutually-acceptable arrangements, be they interim or permanent," Mr Ma added.

He said: "We will take into consideration the views and needs of hawkers in our design for the future stalls so as to give added emphasis to the original district feature."

Mr Joseph Lee added: "Upon completion of the survey, we will arrange a series of briefings for the affected residents and shop operators to explain to them the acquisition and compensation and rehousing arrangements. Meanwhile, we have appointed the urban renewal social service team of the St James' Settlement to provide professional and practical services alongside our frontline staff for the affected residents, in particular the elderly, physically handicapped, new arrivals and single-parent families. The telephone number of the social service team is 2857 1606.

The URA will also set up a district office at 27A Gage Street to address public enquiries on the project. Members of the public are also welcomed to call the URA hotline at 2588 2333 for general enquiries about the project.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 08:15 AM   #9
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嘉咸街收購呎價料達7000
市建局花18億 勢破紀錄 2007年7月20日



【明報專訊】市區重建局宣布斥資38億元重建中上環嘉咸街項目,將原來百年市集翻新成全港首條老店街,兩旁舊樓則清拆重建成4座住宅和商業大廈。市建局計劃在3個月後向業主出價收購,總收購成本達18億元,有地產界人士預計,該區樓價在未來兩年收購期有望攀升至每方呎7000元,超越市建局去年收購灣仔項目所需的每呎6351元,勢打破市建局收購價紀錄。

近年市建局收購成本持續急升,04年出價收購利東街項目時,住宅收購呎價只須4079元,但到06年8月收購鄰近的茂羅街項目,收購價已急升至每呎6351 元,兩年來升幅逾五成。

收購價兩年升逾五成

嘉咸街附近的住宅市道較淡靜,主要以服務式單位為主,缺乏合適參考的7年樓齡屋苑,但地舖則有交投,其中一間地舖最近易手,呎價約達1萬元。中原地產高級區域聯席董事盧民偉表示,該區可供參考的5至6年樓齡住宅呎價介乎5000至6000元,但新開售的樓花如聚賢居等,呎價卻達7000至1萬元,顯示該區的市值在未來2年的市建局收購期內,會進一步攀升,局方出價勢直逼每呎7000元,但最終估值仍須聘請獨立測量師評定。

重建工作將影響約1100名區內居民,居民曾經自行參考同區樓價,期望市建局每呎出價達7000元,才可在同區物色合適單位。

城市規劃委員會早前通過市建局提交的嘉咸街重建規劃大綱,市建局隨即宣布展開一連3天的人口凍結調查,調查重建區實際業權數目。稍後市建局將聘請7名測量師獨立估值,在3個月後正式出價收購,預計整個收購期約需2年。

涉37幢50年舊樓 千人受影響

重建計劃佔地5.7萬平方呎,涉及37幢逾50年樓齡的舊樓,共470個住戶,另外商舖有78間。市建局計劃在地盤興建兩座30層高住宅大廈,共提供293個單位。另外,在靠近半山自動扶梯的閣麟街地盤另建1座設182客房的酒店,及1座33層高的寫字樓。嘉咸街市集及永和號老店外牆亦會保存。項目預計於2013年完成。

市建局地區發展總監李敬志表示,會按獨立測量師估值「貼市」出價及作出安置賠償。他承認,由於項目涉及不少市值較高的地舖,因此總收購成本亦較高,增加重建局財政風險,但項目周期達6年,難預計未來市道和項目盈利,而市建局按一貫重建政策,須如期開展計劃。
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Old July 20th, 2007, 08:17 AM   #10
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難捨永和60年緣分

【明報專訊】市區重建局約3個月後便正式收購嘉咸街物業,有80年歷史的永和雜貨舖預料在2年後便要清拆。自小在永和打工,後來從僱主接手經營逾60載的第二代老闆關伯說,永和號結業如失去一位親人般感到可惜,坦言一班街坊就像「衣食父母」一樣。也有商販擔心,重建後舖租大幅上升,商戶難以負擔返回原址經營的成本。

在結志街居住了19年的李太說,居住大廈的設施十分殘舊,她希望居民可獲每呎7000元的賠償,購買同區7年樓齡的住宅,附近市集的衛生問題很嚴重,李太期望市建局盡快改善。她說,市集路面狹窄濕滑,不時有貨車出入或在路中央上落貨,人車爭路,「我自己買也跣倒了3次,現時到街市要改穿運動鞋。」

市建局規劃及設計總監馬昭智表示,嘉咸街市集攤檔佈局雜亂,從大廈拖至檔口的電線橫飛,地上亦缺乏排污設施,衛生環境惡劣。市建局開展重建計劃時,將重鋪地面和拓闊路面,並替攤檔加設水電排污等,改善區內環境。
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Old July 20th, 2007, 08:18 AM   #11
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保留老舖 建老店街


【明報專訊】市建局計劃將嘉咸街打造成全港首條老店街,現時在市集內經營的雜貨攤檔和露天檔販,在地盤重建期間將暫時遷移至附近街道,至新市集設施啟用後會返回原來街道經營。逾80年歷史的永和號雜貨店則保留外牆作文物展覽及日後老店街正門,旅客穿過永和號便可到兩旁的傳統店舖觀光購物。

市建局經過初步調查,發現區內有不少「百年老店」,包括現位於上環蘇杭街、自清代道光年間賣甘和茶的源吉林涼茶舖,還有上個世紀20年代開業,售賣杏仁餅、燕窩糕等糕餅的陳意齋等。

市建局已成立文物保育小組研究老店街的保育措施,小組主席甘乃威表示,初步建議在街頭和廣場豎立塑像,反映昔日民生,以及將永和號改作文化文物展覽。他表示,距離落成還有數年,未來會就如何吸引老店進駐訂定具體措施。

但市建局規劃及設計總監馬昭智表示,永和號結構殘破,天花有倒塌危險,日後只會保留外牆,另外3幢戰前舊樓,則會保留翻新作其他用途。他又指,市建局會與食環署協調,在地盤施工期間,將露天攤檔遷移至附近街市,但承諾項目完工後會讓全部攤檔返回原來地方。
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Old July 20th, 2007, 08:53 AM   #12
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All the street vendors should stop whining and shut up shop.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 10:45 AM   #13
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URA begins resuming Central plots
Authority moves on redevelopment despite opposition of residents, heritage groups

20 July 2007
South China Morning Post

The Urban Renewal Authority pushed ahead yesterday with its plan to knock down the city's oldest wet market despite strong opposition from heritage and residents' concern groups.

The authority took the first step in the resumption process for a half-hectare site in Central - which includes the 140-year-old market - by launching a population survey of about 1,120 residents in the area.

It did so in the face of continued opposition by critics who said the development would wipe out a rich and dynamic part of the district's history and that residents and traders did not want to move out.

In the HK$3.8 billion plan for the area bounded by Cochrane, Gage and Wellington streets, two residential blocks of 30 and 32 storeys over a four-storey podium are planned, as well as a 33-storey office tower and a 26-storey hotel on top of two more four-storey podiums.

Central and Western Concern Group spokeswoman Katty Law Ngar-ning said the development would destroy the market, which runs through Peel, Graham and Gage streets, and bring its rich and dynamic history to an end.

"The market is a vibrant place. It attracts a lot of tourists and is a favourite shopping place for the neighbourhood," said Ms Law, whose group conducted its own survey of people in the area.

"When we did the survey and chatted with the vendors and shop owners, many of them said they did not want to go.

"We have to express our view of preserving the market or keeping the effect on it to the minimum when the area is redeveloped."

The group will hold a signature campaign tomorrow and a website will be launched soon to give information about the project.

District development director Joseph Lee King-chi said the authority hoped to complete acquisition of affected properties within two years, with a budget of about HK$1.9 billion, which he said catered for possible fluctuations of the property market.

"But honestly, we can't predict what the market will be like during the period," he said. The compensation rate would be close to the prices of nearby private buildings, he said.

The authority's director of planning and design, Michael Ma Chiu-chi, said the project would preserve the external walls of the nearly 100-year-old Wing Woo Ho grocery store and three pre-war buildings in Graham Street.

A heritage advisory panel would work out ways to run a row of old-style shops the authority plans to build in Graham Street and the planned open market, he said.

The old-shop street would house century-old brand names and shops selling traditional products and handicrafts, he said, but he gave no details of what brand names would be invited or when the finalised plans would be submitted.

Ms Law complained that the heritage panel lacked transparency and excluded the public from its meetings.

"The panel comprises district councillors, historians as well as representatives of the affected vendors and residents.

"But they turned down our request to sit in on the meeting, saying that we have to express our opinion through the members instead," she said.

Roger Ho Yiu-sang, a heritage writer who recently wrote a book on the wet markets of Hong Kong, said the Central project focused more on making profits from the high-rise buildings rather than preserving the wet market tradition and heritage.

"The wet market in Central has a rich sense of interpersonal connections and community feeling," he said.

"Once it is knocked down and with its operation moved into commercial buildings, the whole feeling will be gone."
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Old July 29th, 2007, 07:31 AM   #14
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Coalition to fight `old-style shops' plan
23 July 2007
Hong Kong Standard

Graham Street in the central Mid- Levels does not need artificial ``old- style shops'' that would take years of construction work as there is already a 140-year-old open market, which is to be redeveloped under a HK$3.8 billion facelift, according to a concern group.

The Central and Western Concern Group _ a coalition of more than 10 community organizations _ said yesterday it will launch a signature campaign as part of efforts to prevent the government from turning a vibrant market into a ``decorated stage'' that would take at least five years to build.

Under the massive facelift announced by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, a 57,240-square-foot area in the district housing Hong Kong's oldest wet market will make way for an avenue of shophouses, multistory residential blocks, a hotel and an office complex.

The area, bounded by Peel Street, Graham Street, Gage Street, Gutzlaff Street and Staveley Street, now has 37 old buildings with about 470 households and almost 80 shops.

The coalition said it has carried out a survey in the district and found there has not been adequate consultation with the residents and shopowners on the redevelopment plan. It said only half of the shop operators said the URA had sought their views.

Sixty-four percent of the operators said they believed the market should be preserved, while more than one-third said the district's historical values should be left intact and that they have developed a close relationship with the neighborhood.

Nineteen percent of the respondents vowed not to leave, and 17 percent said they will stay until the last moment.

John Batten, a coalition co-convener who lives in the area, said the campaign is meant to be political to some extent.

``We'll send questionnaires to all the nominees or candidates in the forthcoming district council elections to get their views on the heritage issue. We'll then publicize the results to let the voters decide at the ballot box,'' he said.

Katty Law Ngar-ning, another convener of the group, said more than half of the shop operators are against the renewal plan. ``Although the Town Planning Board has approved the URA plan, it's still not too late to opt for a better one and have a re-plan,'' she said.

The group urged the government to have review its policy on open markets.

Tanya Chan Shuk-chong of the Civic Party said: ``We don't need an artificial old-shop street. Tourists can't be bothered visiting it in Central if we already have something like the Ngong Ping 360 market. I hope the government will understand what's real and what's not.''

Yau Luk Chiu-wing, a fruit store owner who has been doing business in the open market for 35 years, said she was worried about the uncertainty.

``The URA has explained the renewal project to me briefly. Yet, no one has told me where my new shop will be,'' Yau said.
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Old July 30th, 2007, 04:46 PM   #15
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I love that market. The urban renewal authority have no idea what they're doing. =(
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Old October 31st, 2007, 04:41 AM   #16
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Wet market strikes back with fest
Hong Kong Standard
Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Graham Street Market in Central - Hong Kong's oldest wet market - is turning the heat up at a community festival as part of its battle with the government.

The market's cultural treasures and unique features will be showcased to the public during a three-week community festival to be launched on Saturday.

People will get a chance to cook with TVB celebrity chef Chow Chung after shopping for ingredients in the market.

Chow has thrown his support behind efforts to save the market from development, in which seven streets would be affected and 37 buildings demolished. "This market is a symbol for Hong Kong," Chow said.

"It represents the essence of Hong Kong. People have been buying from this market for a long time and they have become attached to it. There's a strong sentiment and relationship unlike a supermarket which is very weak."

The festival is expected to attract thousands of visitors from November 3 to 24, and will feature a fashion show, cultural talks, craft shows and art exhibitions. Poets, academics, writers, artists and conservationists will steer the individual events.

"We want to celebrate our street market and raise public awareness about the cultural significance of this market so the government may be able to rethink its town planning policy," said one of the organizers, Katty Law of the Central and Western Concern Group.

Sentiment in the community has been stirred up since the government's redevelopment announcement.

Lau Chun, a chef at Yellow Door Kitchen - a restaurant near the market - whose kitchen will be used for the cooking sessions, is determined to save the market.

"Before we had fancy supermarkets in the IFC, and the Hang Seng Index, this market was already here. Our ancestors used to buy their food here. This is the real Central so how can we forget this?" Lau asked.

He said the market depicted a very traditional Chinese way of life.

"These people have nowhere to go to. This is their world - this is all they have."

Lau said he could buy ingredients like certain Chinese herbs, basil and fresh lotus picked from Lamma Island, which are difficult to find elsewhere.

The organizers of the event include SEE Network and the Conservancy Association.
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 02:56 PM   #17
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Somehow the area has to be cleaned up and refurbished even without the URA project. The area is rather tatty.
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Old November 4th, 2007, 06:05 AM   #18
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嘉咸街重建擬活化街市
04/11/2007





【本報訊】市區重建局收購嘉咸街,市建局主席張震遠昨日表示收購反應良好,局方正研究如何活化及強化嘉咸街市集,不排除重建後的攤檔數目比現時更多。

張震遠昨日出席嘉咸街活動時表示,保留露天市集是嘉咸街重建項目重點,又稱嘉咸街市集是全港最老的露天街市,應該保留,會考慮讓商戶重返街市,更不排除商戶會較現時增加。他說,保留市集未必代表會發出新的小販牌,市建局正研究如何活化及強化市集,會一併考慮民間就街市商戶發牌制度提出的建議,並向政府反映。他指現時離收購完結尚有兩年時間,尚有時間慢慢研究。

在嘉咸街賣蛋二十六年的黃太說,希望日後留在嘉咸街擺賣,以保生計。但她不滿意嘉咸街住宅的賠償金額,「賠得雞碎咁少,都唔知點算。」魚檔東主何先生希望市建局遵守承諾,照顧商戶,讓他們留低繼續經營,但他擔心日後租金更加昂貴。

中西區關注組等團體由昨起至本月二十四日舉辦嘉咸街市節,昨舉行街市時裝展,設計師利用街市的水靴、魚網、藤籃等材料設計時裝,理工大學一班師生更扮摩天大街及小販攤檔,反映重建問題。

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Old November 25th, 2007, 05:35 AM   #19
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責重建打擊 200人瀕失業
嘉咸街商戶聲討市建局

25/11/2007





【本報訊】受中環嘉咸街及卑利街重建影響的一批商戶及居民,昨日在結志街舉行聲討大會及簽名行動,抗議市區重建局的重建計劃無顧及居民需要,打擊商戶經營,估計區內至少有七十間商舖及小販檔受重建計劃影響,未來兩年將有二百人面臨失業。關注團體亦批評市建局近日要求部分業主將租約由每兩至三年續租一次,改為按月續租,以方便收購交易。

嘉咸街業主潘先生表示,早前有市建局職員曾勸喻他,將與租客的租約縮短為每月續租,由於他擔心若不答應,會影響日後賠償,故向租客提出要求。租用該舖位的魚檔負責人郭太表示,縮短租約會影響經營及欠缺保障,擔心會隨時失業,她嘆謂:「收購後我疉好難再搵到禝做,其他舖租又貴,注定要失業!」

市建局發言人回應稱,為推行重建時間表,當局會詢問業主,能否與租客縮短合約,否則將於收購後再處理租客問題。市建局強調,業主及租客的賠償額與租約年期無直接關係。思網絡總監鄭敏華促請市建局盡量採取復修法,分階段重建,將對商戶及居民的影響減至最低,及保障商戶及租客的收購賠償權益。
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Old January 1st, 2008, 08:01 AM   #20
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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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