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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
26 June 2009
Planning procedures for Sham Shui Po project to commence
URA Press Release

The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) today (Friday) commenced the statutory planning procedures for a new project at a development cost of $ 424 million in Sham Shui Po, giving a further boost to regenerate the district where comprehensive urban renewal initiatives have been implemented.

Speaking at a media briefing for the new project, Director (Acquisition & Clearance) of the URA, Mr Joseph Lee, said: "Over the years, a total of 12 redevelopment projects involving 156 buildings have been implemented by the URA in Sham Shui Po, five in collaboration with the Housing Society (HS), to help improve the living environment of some 2,240 households."

Sham Shui Po will see a major facelift in the next few years upon the gradual completion of all these projects, Mr Lee said. Besides, some 86 buildings involving over 3,800 residential units in the district have also joined the building rehabilitation schemes of the URA and HS.

The project area is located at Shun Ning Road near Tonkin Street in Sham Shui Po, covering an area of about 827 square metres. Built in 1954-55, the five buildings within the project area are in a generally dilapidated condition with unauthorized rooftop structures. None of the buildings have owners' corporation to manage the buildings. "It is believed that the owners and tenants would welcome the redevelopment project because the buildings are in such a poor condition that they are beyond economic repair. Redevelopment is the solution to help them improve their living condition substantially," Mr Lee said.

In accordance with section 23 of the Urban Renewal Authority Ordinance, a URA notice announcing the commencement of the project is published in the Gazette today, said Mr Lee.

For the next two months, a plan delineating the boundary of the project plus a general description will be put on display for public inspection at the URA Headquarters, 10/F, Low Block, Grand Millennium Plaza, 181 Queen¡¦s Road Central, Sheung Wan; the URA's Sham Shui Po Neighbourhood Centre, G/F, 140 Yee Kuk Street, Sham Shui Po; and the Public Enquiry Service Centre of the Sham Shui Po District Office, G/F, Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices, 303 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon.

In accordance with the Urban Renewal Strategy, the URA will make the detailed Social Impact Assessment report available for public inspection at the above venue from 5 August 2009.

"The URA will then have to consider all written objections received during the two-month consultation period before submitting the development project, together with the URA's deliberation on the objections, unwithdrawn objections, and an assessment of the likely effect of the implementation of the project to the Secretary for Development for consideration," said Mr Lee.

If approval is eventually granted by the Secretary for Development, the URA would proceed with acquisition of the properties and re-housing for the tenants in accordance with the prevailing acquisition and rehousing principles, which are estimated to cost about $194 million at current prices. Adding construction and interest to the budget, the total development cost is estimated to reach $ 424 million, he said.

The URA's initial proposal is to redevelop the site to provide about 110 residential units and 8,342 square feet (775 square metres) of commercial floor area, scheduled for completion by 2016/2017.

The project affects a total of 42 property interests. It is estimated that there are about 81 households comprising about 182 residents, but the actual number has yet to be ascertained in a freezing survey conducted by the URA today.

About 50 URA staff members were deployed to conduct the freezing survey to ascertain the actual number of households and the occupancy status. "The URA will arrange a briefing session shortly to explain to the affected owners and tenants the planning approval procedure and the prevailing acquisition and compensation arrangements," Mr Lee added.

An urban renewal social service team commissioned by the URA and staffed by professional social workers of The Salvation Army will provide counselling and practical assistance that the residents may need. The contact number of the social service team is 3188 2151. Affected residents can also visit the URA¡¦s Sham Shui Po Neighbourhood Centre, G/F, 140 Yee Kuk Street in person or call the URA¡¦s Hotline at 2588 2333 for enquiries.

141,081 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Old flats set for the wrecking ball Sham Shui Po buildings will be replaced with 24-floor residential tower
27 June 2009
South China Morning Post

Five tenement buildings in Sham Shui Po will be torn down by the Urban Renewal Authority to make way for a 24-storey residential building. The authority said yesterday that redevelopment was a better choice than refurbishment in this case.

The HK$424 million project forces a private acquisition company to call off an acquisition plan in the same area. The company, Richfield Group Holdings, said it had approached residents last year.

"Most residents living in the buildings are elderly and they have difficulties in walking up and down the stairs," said Joseph Lee King-chi, the authority's acquisition and clearance director. "There's not enough space for installing lifts on the site.

"Redevelopment is a better choice than refurbishment in this case. They have no owners' corporations. Had the residents the determination to repair their buildings, they wouldn't be in this bad condition."

The redevelopment project was expected to affect 81 households with about 182 residents.

A survey was conducted yesterday after the announcement of the project to ascertain the actual number of residents, owners and shop operators involved.

The public can raise objections over the next six months. Acquisition would begin after the Development Bureau gave its approval.

The new development, expected to completed in 2016 or 2017, will provide 110 residential units and 8,342 sq ft of commercial floor area.

The estimate of the acquisition cost at current prices is about HK$194 million.

Chan King-cheung, an 83-year-old resident affected by the project, said his wife had difficulties walking. He hoped the compensation would be enough for him to move to a better place with lifts in the same district. He added that he was approached by a few acquisition companies but he was not tempted by their offers. One of the companies, the Richfield Group, offered him over HK$2.7 million for his flat of over 700 sq ft.

Richfield chief executive officer Celia Wong said the company's plan to acquire the area was cancelled as a result of the authority's action.

"We intended to offer a higher price to residents, but now we will shift our plan to other districts," she said.

Ms Wong said no flats had been acquired.

An authority spokesman said it was not the first time it encountered private acquisition plans. When it did, it usually acquired the properties from the acquisition company at market price.

Leung Lai-chong, who lives in a rooftop flat, will receive little compensation compared to other residents because her flat is an illegal structure. She said the conditions in her flat were unbearable during summer and typhoon seasons, but she was worried the compensation would not be enough for her to rent another flat in the district.

Wong Sing, who sells funeral paper offerings in the area, welcomed the redevelopment. He said his business was losing money. "I can retire if the compensation is enough for the rest of our lives," Mr Wong said.

141,081 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·






141,081 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Coupons fail to spark interest in URA poll
6 May 2009
South China Morning Post

Urban Renewal Authority chairman Barry Cheung Chun-yuen, who this year started its first study into the impact of redevelopment projects on residents, said an offer of supermarket coupons failed to encourage participation in the survey.

"The study tried to locate residents and identify the problems they were facing," Mr Cheung said.

But he said the pilot study, which included a survey of people who previously lived in old buildings in Sham Shui Po's Hai Tan, Kweilin and Pei Ho Streets, had encountered challenges.

Of the 784 households affected, only about 10 responded to the survey. Among those, some elderly residents complained that their living expenses had risen since they had moved out.

"A supermarket coupon was sent out to those who participated in the survey," Mr Cheung said. "Still, they showed little interest."

The authority is considering offering other incentives to residents.

"We will continue the study," he added. "The next one will be in Kwun Tong."

Ho Hei-wah, a member of the government's steering committee on urban renewal strategy, said tracking studies were important for improving the renewal process.

"The authority needs figures to prove whether it has done a good job or not," he said. "A tracking study will tell whether residents live a better life after going through the redevelopment process."

Wong Chun, a watch repairer affected by a Tai Kok Tsui redevelopment project, said business had fallen by 40 per cent since his shop was moved from a tenement building to a small shopping mall.

He said he hoped the authority would learn from his experience and improve the planning of future renewal projects.

"I used to give my wife HK$10,000 a month and still have savings for yum cha and betting on horses," he said. "Now I can only give her HK$6,000 and have no savings at all."

Mr Wong said he had lost his customers, who used to live in the tenement buildings but had now moved to other districts.

"In the old days, car owners would stop by and ask me to fix a watch for them because our shop was close to a road," he said.

141,081 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Family facing eviction finger URA for lack of housing
31 December 2009
South China Morning Post

A family who have received their landlord's order to move out of their rented home in Sham Shui Po staged a protest yesterday, saying the Urban Renewal Authority failed to provide accommodation after announcing a redevelopment project on their site.

Io Chengpou and his wife Li Chunfang, tenants of a flat at 69 Shun Ning Road for seven years, were told to leave by their landlords, named Lam and Lau, who sought a court order to evict them. The couple live with their two daughters and pay about HK$2,000 a month for the 200 square foot flat.

They refused to leave and were supported by about 30 people, including other tenants. After hours of protest, court bailiffs called Io to say they were not coming.

Li said: "The problem is that the URA doesn't recognise our status as tenants. It is not that the landlord doesn't have a right to evict us."

She said she did not want the cash allowance provided by the authority, but a public housing unit - an offer available only to those who can live there until the URA starts acquiring the properties from owners.

The URA is waiting for the government's approval of the redevelopment, announced in June, in order to start property acquisition and hand out compensation. A survey done right after the announcement registered the names of owners and tenants, including the couple's.

However, as soon as the survey was done, the landlord asked the family to leave, giving one month's notice. This means they will not be eligible for the public housing offer.

Li said the authority had declined to accept their status as tenants and turned them away on three occasions. "URA knows there is a legal loophole, but it is not doing anything about it," she said.

A URA spokesman said it was in no legal position to arrange for public housing as the government had not approved the project. He said the tenancy records collected in the survey were for reference only.

The URA, however, has doubled the relocation allowance - meant for tenants who are asked to leave by the landlord before their tenancy expires - for about 10 residents, including the couple. The money is equal to 10 to 19 months of their rentals.

It is unknown why the landlord, who could not be reached for comment, wants to evict the tenants even though, according to the URA, the move will not benefit him financially.

141,081 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
市建局順寧道項目 收購呎價6297元
22 April 2010


Redevelopment expropriation cost = HKD 6297/square foot
Will send redevelopment notices by month-end and owners have 60 days to consider. Project expected to complete in 2016-2017.




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