URA announces two redevelopment projects
The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) today (Friday) submitted its draft development scheme plan for the Staunton Street/Wing Lee Street project to the Town Planning Board for approval. Simultaneously, it also announced the implementation of a development project in Queen's Road East.
Subject to the Town Planning Board's approval and a geotechnical site feasibility study afterwards, the URA plans to invest about $1 billion to redevelop the 4,460-square metre Staunton Street site into a residential and retail area. The design plan will adopt a "fong" concept of open space which will enhance the attractiveness of the "SoHo" (South of Hollywood Road) area in the neighbourhood. A Sun Yat-sen Memorial Square will also be built to commemorate the history of the site which forms part of the Sun Yat-sen Historical Trail.
The Staunton Street site at present has about 45 buildings that were mostly built in the 40's and 50's and are in a generally dilapidated condition. Based on the 2001 census, it is estimated that there are about 180 households in these buildings but the actual number will be ascertained in a three-day survey by the URA beginning today.
As the proposed redevelopment is the first project to be processed as a development scheme under the URA Ordinance, approval by the Town Planning Board and subsequently by the Chief Executive in Council is necessary before the URA can proceed with acquisition of an estimated total of 87 property interests at the site. It is tentatively estimated that acquisition of the interests and re-housing for the tenants together will cost about $350 million, subject to the results of the survey.
A URA notice announcing the commencement of the project was published in the Gazette today. A site plan and a general description of the project have also been put on display for public inspection at the Information Centre of the URA headquarters in Sheung Wan, its neighbourhood centre in Wan Chai and the Central and Western District Office in Harbour Building in Central.
The Staunton Street and Wing Lee Street site is located in an area with interesting historic and demographic features. Part of the site is the original location of the American Congregational Mission Preaching House where Dr. Sun Yat-sen was baptised in 1883 and also lived from 1884 to 1886. This location is presently occupied by the Bridges Street wet market. Another historic location in the vicinity is the original site of the Queen's College, formerly called The Central School, where Dr. Sun studied for about two years.
"The URA's design plan will aim to reflect these interesting historic features and local characteristics as well as achieve a synergy with the trendy neighbourhood in SoHo," a URA spokesman said.
When redevelopment is completed, the site is expected to provide about 520 residential units, 2,800 square metres of retail area and 855 square metres of open space.
Simultaneously, the URA today also announced the commencement of another smaller redevelopment project located in Queen's Road East near Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai.
The project site has six buildings built in the 40's and 50's and an estimated population of 40 households. The URA began a two-day occupancy survey at this site today to update its records for reference.
The total redevelopment cost is estimated at about $160 million, including about $80 million for purchasing the 18 property interests and re-housing the tenants affected.
When completed, the project is expected to deliver about 50 domestic units with a gross floor area of about 2,800 square metres and a number of retail units with a gross floor area of about 490 square metres.
To ensure that the affected owners and tenants fully understand their rights and obligations, a series of briefing sessions will be held for them shortly. Pamphlets will be distributed and a hotline enquiry service (2588 2333) will also be provided.
In addition, an urban renewal social service team will provide counselling and practical assistance to residents in need of help.