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Old September 21st, 2009, 03:25 PM   #1
hkskyline
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HONG KONG | The Icon | 17 fl | Com

The Icon - 38 Conduit Road

Location



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Old September 21st, 2009, 05:32 PM   #2
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wow, so cool! i never know that and i'm in hk :P
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Old September 21st, 2009, 06:19 PM   #3
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Location yes..... but is it big enough to swing a cat in?
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Old September 21st, 2009, 06:46 PM   #4
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pretty location, bad design
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Old September 22nd, 2009, 12:03 AM   #5
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I love it.
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Old October 27th, 2009, 10:24 AM   #6
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The Icon apartments stand out on quiet road
9 October 2009
South China Morning Post

The Icon on Conduit Road in Mid-Levels gives its residents a piece of quiet tranquility smack in the middle of the bustling city centre.

"The first residential floor of The Icon is on the 11th level of most apartment buildings in Hong Kong, so the residents on the first floor will not feel like they are living just above the road," said Ada Ng, StatelyHome regional associate director Mid-Levels West at Centaline Property Agency.

Unlike other Conduit Road buildings, residents can enter the front of the building via a lay-by, like a hotel entrance.

The Icon, at 38 Conduit Road, has 17 floors of apartments with 66 standard and two penthouses from the 11th floor to the 32nd floor, with floors 13 to 15, 17 and 24 omitted.

There are four standard apartments, ranging from 690 to 781 sqft, on each floor from the 11th to the 31st floor. Each apartment has one to two bedrooms

The penthouses of 1,460 sqft have an internal staircase leading to a private rooftop swimming pool.

All the apartments on the higher floors have a sea view facing the Tsing Ma Bridge or mountain vistas.

Facilities offered include a 100-metre swimming pool surrounded by glass walls with a standard diving area, a multifunction room, a yoga area, a gymnasium and a barbecue area.

The standard apartments were put on sale three months ago and 90 per cent have been sold at prices ranging from HK$14,000 to HK$18,000 per sqft.

Centaline Property said more than five buyers bought two adjoining apartments to create a bigger living space.

The average price for apartments on Conduit Road ranges from HK$10,000 to HK$14,000 per sq ft, a 10 to 15 per cent rise since May.

According to Ng, one reason the residential property prices on Conduit Road are stable is due to the fresh environment.

Conduit Road is too narrow to allow buses or heavy goods vehicles so carbon dioxide emissions are lower than other streets in the area.

There is also a shortage of property for investors or end-users, so people buying in the area will hang on to their properties.

Another residential property on the market on Conduit Road is a duplex apartment at Elegant Terrace for HK$39.6million, or HK$16,000 per sqft.

It is 2,476 sqft with four bedrooms and a rooftop facing the mountains and the sea.
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Old October 27th, 2009, 11:01 AM   #7
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Uh-oh, another Conduit Rd headliner!
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Old November 4th, 2009, 05:25 PM   #8
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9/19



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Old January 31st, 2010, 04:16 PM   #9
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31/1

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Old January 17th, 2011, 11:38 AM   #10
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$10m flat sale row sparks heat over legal loopholes
The Standard
Monday, January 17, 2011

A concern group has called on the government to close legal loopholes in property sales after it was found the developer that sold what a purchaser called a "rubbish dump" for close to HK$10 million did not break any laws or regulations.

Winfoong International, which developed and sold the Mid-Levels residence The Icon, is also accused of failing to provide a sales brochure to the buyer.

Green Sense president Roy Tam Hoi- pong said the "rubbish dump" gripe is not the only complaint.

The first one received by Tam's group was from a prospective buyer who said Winfoong's sole agent, Centaline Property Agency, gave him a brochure that does not include green features such as balconies and utility platforms.

He complained to the Buildings Department and received a reply in November 2009 saying the sales brochure was for Centaline "marketing purposes" and was not the official one.

It went on to say the marketing activities of property agencies are outside its jurisdiction and that requirements were met when the developer submitted the sales brochure in October 2009.

But Tam said that was two months after the sale of several flats at The Icon, including one purchased by the second complainant, surnamed Chu.

She spent HK$9.7 million for a 691-square-foot flat that resembled a "rubbish dump," with the promised open kitchen replaced by a tiny room.

Tam said the issue shows there are several loopholes that need plugging.

Winfoong does not belong to the Real Estate Developers Association, which requires members to follow nine new measures set by the government last year to enhance sales transparency.

Its 23-story project, located at 38 Conduit Road, is not covered by the Lands Department consent scheme, being a redevelopment.

Civic Party lawmaker Tanya Chan Suk-chong said although no law was broken in the sales brochure complaint, the government still needs to protect consumers.

Chan warned that with developers allowed to force a sale of buildings after acquiring 80 percent ownership, more properties will not need pre-sale consent.

A Transport and Housing Bureau spokesman said a steering committee is discussing regulations on the sale of new properties and is expected to complete its work by October.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 11:14 AM   #11
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Probe heat on Icon as buyer gripes pile up
The Standard
Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Estate Agents Authority plans to launch a thorough investigation into sales at The Icon - the Mid-Levels luxury project accused of failing to honor transaction terms.

Chief executive Rosanna Ure Lui Hang-sai said the authority will meet with Centaline Property Agency, sole marketing agent for The Icon, to seek the necessary information to start the probe.

The EAA wants to see if Centaline used any inappropriate tactics in marketing the 17-story block at 38 Conduit Road. If so, the agency will face a sanction and a fine of up to HK$300,000, Ure said.

The controversy over sales at The Icon - developed by Winfoong International - was sparked after several buyers complained of being handed over unfinished units.

The EAA yesterday received two more complaints, which were forwarded by the Transport and Housing Bureau.

Meanwhile, the authority will proceed to mutually recognize the professional qualifications of estate agents in Hong Kong and the mainland, as agreed earlier with the China Institute of Real Estate Appraisers and Agents, EAA chairwoman Vivien Chan said.

Chan said 300 estate agent candidates will be nominated through a strict scoring system to participate in the training courses and exams organized by both sides in Shenzhen from July 18 to 20.

Passing the exams will qualify participants to practice on either side of the border. The application process begins next month.

The EAA will also roll out a three-year "Integrity Management Program" with the Independent Commission Against Corruption in March in a bid to enhance industry standards, Chan said.

"I believe education, although a long-term plan, will work better than enforced sanctions to prevent non-compliance," she said.

Complaints against agents last year fell 7 percent.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 06:57 PM   #12
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Flat-out crazy
20 January 2011
The Standard



The developer of Mid-Levels project The Icon has offered to buy back the alleged "rubbish dumps" from dissatisfied buyers by adding 10 percent to the purchase price.

But property agents say that prices of flats in Conduit Road have escalated since 2009 and the so-called dumps could be worth much more.

A property agent, who asked not to be named, said no owner is likely to accept the deal. "The average price of similar luxury homes in the area shot up by 20 percent last year, so why would anyone want to sell for 10 percent more now?".

Prices of new homes in the area start at between HK$16,000 and HK$17,000 per square foot, and older homes cost at least HK$11,000 psf.

Centaline Property Agency - the sole agent of Winfoong International, which put the incomplete luxury flats on sale in 2009 - said the developer has offered to buy back all but four flats in units A and D.

The agency received a letter from Super Homes Ltd, believed to be linked to Winfoong, which states: "Our company now agrees to authorize your company [Centaline] to buy back flats from first-hand buyers of all 26 flats in A and D (except 17D, 25A, 27D and 29A) at the price of 10 percent on top of the prices they bought."

Some buyers of flats A and D said the completed flats did not contain the open kitchens they expected when they bought the homes.

Earlier, the Civic Party, which received six complaints from buyers, said the developer had offered owners two options.

These are HK$500,000 in compensation if they accept the kitchen as it was when they took possession, or six monthly payments of HK$30,000 - totaling HK$180,000 - while they wait for the developer to incorporate the open- kitchen design as shown in Centaline's marketing brochures.

It is not clear which offer is now on the table - the buyback or the alterations.

Centaline managing director Louis Chan Wing-kit refused to comment on the Civic Party's remarks on the open- kitchen offer.

In a related development, the Buildings Department has sought permission from flat owners to inspect their flats to see if there have been any illegal alterations.

Last night, Civic Party lawmaker Tanya Chan Suk-chong confirmed complainants have received calls and are considering the 110 percent offer.

Another Civic Party lawmaker, Alan Leong Kah-kit, called on the government to regulate the sales of first- hand properties and incomplete flats, and to take legal action if necessary.
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Old January 25th, 2011, 09:28 AM   #13
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wow wow wow wowwwwwwwww
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Old January 25th, 2011, 10:42 AM   #14
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Owners of Icon flats reject offer of buy-back
Price for 'rubbish dump' apartments is too low

21 January 2011
South China Morning Post

Angry owners of so-called rubbish-dump flats in Mid-Levels rejected a buy-back offer from the developer, saying the price was too low.

The buyers of apartments at The Icon in Conduit Road said they would not accept the offer unless the price was upped, the deal was in writing and that it was the same for everyone.

In a statement issued last night, they also accused the developer of issuing confusing messages.

"Individual estate agents have given us different details regarding the compensation options, including the number of options that are still valid, the amount of cash, the arrangements for renovation and how the money will be handed out.

"We feel the situation is unacceptable," the statement read.

Their concerns came a day after the developer offered to buy back all flat A and D units at a price 10 per cent higher than the owners bought them for. The deal, covering 26 flats sold for between HK$8.7 million and HK$12.99 million in 2009, would amount to HK$300 million in total.

But the owners said: "We suggest the developer takes as a reference the current market prices of properties in the neighbourhood when deciding on a price."

Property agents say luxury home market prices in the area went up by more than 20 per cent last year.

Before the buy-back offer, the buyers were given two options - HK$500,000 to stay with renovated tiny, enclosed kitchens or HK$180,000 plus an unapproved open kitchen, as advertised in the estate agency's promotional leaflet, installed in six months time.

The owners said the developer must make sure the open-kitchen work meets building laws and clarify with them possible legal liabilities.

They were concerned because setting up an open-kitchen required the installation of safety devices and a special application which could be difficult to get past the Buildings Department. Owners were especially worried because they had signed an agreement that they would "be fully responsible for all consequences of such alterations". Some said agents did not explain the legal risks before they signed the contract.

The Icon developer, Winfoong International, remained unavailable for comment last night.

The Icon's sole agent, Centaline Property Agency, is facing a probe by the Estate Agents Authority but denies trying to mislead buyers.

Centaline founder Shih Wing-ching said last night: "Our agents are not architects. They do not have the professional knowledge [about the requirements for open kitchens].

"They did not know they have the duty to find out whether the building plan had been approved or not and they did not know the proposal could violate building laws."

The Democratic Party's spokesman on housing affairs, Lee Wing-tat, said the government should investigate whether the developer and the agency intended to cheat the Buildings Department as well as buyers.

The controversy surrounding The Icon began last week when a buyer said her flat had been left like a rubbish dump a month after she completed the purchase.

It emerged that the developer had tried to avoid fire safety rules over open kitchens. The 16-storey block is on a site with an unrestricted land lease and escapes regulation under a Lands Department scheme that monitors flat sales.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 05:21 PM   #15
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Icon doubles buyback offer
26 January 2011
The Standard

The developer of controversial Mid-Levels luxury project The Icon has doubled the premium of its buyback offer to 20 percent of the selling price.

This came after angry flat buyers said Winfoong International's original offer of 10 percent above the purchase price was too low.

In revealing the new offer, made in a letter, Civic Party lawmaker Tanya Chan Suk-chong said Winfoong has also agreed to bear stamp duties and pay an additional HK$10,000 as legal fees.

Homebuyers will receive the full payment in two installments after the Lunar New Year holidays, according to Chan, who has been helping the 20 owners of the so-called ``rubbish dump flats'' on Conduit Road.

Alternatively, owners can choose to receive an ex- gratia compensation of HK$600,000 for the lack of an open kitchen, or HK$100,000 more than the earlier offer. Winfoong will also renovate the flats under this option.

Flat owners have to decide before 3pm on Monday.

``The home owners recognized that the developer seemed to show its sincerity in the new options,'' said Chan, who is a lawyer.

``They are now considering each of the offers very seriously.''

The scandal was uncovered after authorities probed home owners' complaints about the unfinished condition of their newly handed over flats.

Chan said some owners prefer compensation.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 06:18 PM   #16
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`Rubbish dump' flats spark legal call
27 January 2011
The Standard

The Consumer Council has called on the government to prevent the sale of ``rubbish dump'' flats by introducing new legislation to protect all buyers of first-hand residential properties - regardless of the types of land leases and development status.

The call follows the recent saga at The Icon, where purchasers at the upscale Mid- Levels project were given unfinished flats.

They were only given the keys to their properties after signing sales agreements and paying for them in full, which is the current practice.

``When you buy things like seafood and electronics, you have laws that protect you against buying bad products,'' said Ambrose Ho Pui-him, convener for the council's Working Group on Consumer Issues Relating to Residential Property.

``Property is a big investment, so why aren't there comprehensive laws protecting consumers?''

Ho added that many buyers do not know whether their properties fall under the consent or non-consent schemes.

This makes them vulnerable to unethical developers who might use underhanded tactics to make a sale.

Furthermore, not all developers are members of the Real Estate Developers' Association, and therefore they are far more difficult to regulate.

The council recommends laws be introduced to cover property that falls between the cracks of existing legislation.

Its recommendations include making it compulsory for developers to provide buyers with accurate floor plans and depictions in brochures, especially for pre-sale flats.

``In things such as home sales, the agents also play a big part,'' Ho said.

``They are supposed to represent their clients _ the consumers _ so they need to watch out for them.''

The Law Society has also expressed interest in getting its members to help enforce new regulations if they are passed.

Ho said this is important, because ``legislation without enforcement is just a piece of paper.''
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 06:16 PM   #17
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Icon 'rubbish dump' flat disputes resolved
2 February 2011
South China Morning Post

The dispute over "rubbish dump" flats at the Icon in Mid-Levels appears to be over as 25 out of 26 buyers have accepted compensation.

By Monday's deadline, 22 of the buyers had accepted a buy-back offer from the developer, Winfoong International, according to Centaline Property Agency, sole agent for the Conduit Road apartments. They will get back 20 per cent more than they paid for their flats.

"These buyers received a 10 per cent deposit of the sum on signing the agreement on Monday. The rest will be paid within 40 days of signing the deal," Centaline senior sales director Raymond Li-ngai said.

He said three other buyers chose to keep their flats with enclosed kitchens along with HK$600,000 compensation. Another buyer is out of town.

The offers were made to 26 buyers of flats bought for between HK$8.7 million and HK$12.88 million.

The Icon at 38 Conduit Road stands on a site with an "unrestricted lease", which exempts it from a Lands Department consent scheme that regulates flat sales practice. When buyers took possession of their flats from the developer last month, they complained about unfinished flooring, tiny enclosed kitchens and heaps of construction debris.

They said Centaline leaflets promoting the flats carried floor plans showing them with open kitchens. It was then discovered that the developer had submitted to the Buildings Department for approval plans showing the flats with enclosed kitchens.

The discrepancy led to accusations that the developer had sought to dodge rules on fire safety for open kitchens, for which a special application is required. It also emerged that it had asked buyers to agree to have the enclosed kitchens rebuilt as open ones and to bear the costs of the alterations.

The Estate Agents Authority said three of the five complaints it received from Icon buyers had been withdrawn.

It is investigating whether Centaline supplied inaccurate and misleading information to flat buyers.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 08:56 PM   #18
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Wow! What a great tower!
I love the design, itīs different (and the location helps a lot).
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Old February 13th, 2011, 05:04 PM   #19
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Property
10 February 2011
South China Morning Post

The Estate Agents Authority this year will focus on a scheme that allows agents from both sides of the border to have their professional qualifications mutually recognised, according to chairman Vivien Chan. The authority has received dozens of inquiries about the scheme, which kicked off this month. Chan said it would also seek to expand its workforce this year. The authority also said that of the six complaints over the "rubbish dump" flats at The Icon at the Mid-Levels, half were dropped. It is still waiting for the developer's reply.
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Old February 16th, 2011, 04:27 PM   #20
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Door shut on safety check at The Icon
Infrared scan detects defects in wall tiles
15 February 2011
South China Morning Post

Building officers were yesterday refused entry to the controversial Mid-Levels project The Icon to investigate claims that tiles on the external walls of the residential tower were in danger of falling off.

The officers wanted to get to the roof of the 17-storey building at 38 Conduit Road to follow up on a report by a building inspection company that said it discovered "unusual findings" in a test last week.

A spokeswoman for the Buildings Department said: "Our officers could only make inspections from the outside. The property management did not let us in. We will consider whether there is a need to further investigate the case and make a formal application to get into the block."

Last month, The Icon was at the centre of another storm for delivering what owners termed as "rubbish dump flats".

Yesterday's action followed a report by Hong Kong Building Inspection & Structural Diagnostic Ltd, which said it found defects with an infrared scan on one of the tower's external walls.

Lai Tat-ming, the company's technical consultant, said the scan found signs of suspected debonding of tiles on the walls on a number of floors and near the roof of the tower.

Spots appeared in the scan, meaning temperatures beneath the tiles were higher than the surrounding ones, which could be caused by bubbles in the paste that sticks the tiles to the wall.

"We feel this is very unusual for a new building. We disclosed the results for the sake of public safety because it could pose a danger to pedestrians if the tiles peel off," Lai said, adding that the test was a case study and the company was not acting for the developer or any agent.

There was no comment from the building's developer, Winfoong International, yesterday.

Vincent Ho Kui-yip, a spokesman for the Institute of Surveyors, agreed the findings were "strange" for a new building.

Raymond Chan Yuk-ming, a building surveyor also with the institute, said the infrared scan was only a preliminary tool and was not always reliable. "It has to be done at the right time and in the right weather. It is best done in late afternoon after hours of sunshine. It is no use on a cloudy day," he said.

The Icon made the headlines last month when several buyers, on taking possession of their flats from the developer, complained about unfinished flooring, tiny enclosed kitchens and heaps of construction debris.

They said the developer had promised an open kitchen in the promotional leaflet, but such kitchens require a special application to the Buildings Department.

The dispute was settled this month after 22 of 26 buyers accepted a buy-back offer while three others received HK$600,000 cash as compensation.
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