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Existing view of Lee Tung Street/McGregor Street project before redevelopment.
Night view of Wan Chai district. The red-dotted line earmarked the boundary of the redevelopment project.
Rear lane of the buildings are full of debris
A lot of the buildings are covered with squatter huts on the rooftop
A goldsmith at Queen’s Road East
Three pre-war buildings at 186-190 Queen’s Road East will be conserved
The external outlook of a pre-war building.
A whet on the rooftop of a pre-war building
The external outlook of a pre-war building.
A wooden door and tile of a pre-war building full of traditional style
Photograph shows the bustling streets in Wan Chai.
Photograph shows the bustling streets in Wan Chai.
Artist’s impression of the proposed pedestrian precinct in the Lee Tung Street/McGregor Street project.

URA announces $3.58 billion project in Wan Chai

The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) today (Friday) announced the implementation of a $3.58 billion renewal project in Lee Tung Street/McGregor Street in Wan Chai, which is its largest project so far.

The Lee Tung Street project, together with three other on-going redevelopment projects of the URA in the surrounding area, will regenerate the Wan Chai old town into a new precinct of leisure, shopping, residential and commercial activities.

Commenting on the project, URA's Executive Director of Planning and Development, Mr. Andrew Lam, said: "The site covers an area of about 8,900 square metres in the heart of Wan Chai. Taken together with our other projects in Johnston Road, Tai Yuen Street and Queen's Road East, it has the potential of creating an activity hub bringing a new life to the old town."

Upon completion in late 2009, the project will be a residential commercial development with about 340 square metres of public open space and 3,170 square metres for the provision of community facilities, including a residential care home for the elderly and a day care centre.

A feature of the project is the transformation of Lee Tung Street into a pedestrian precinct to help enliven shopping and commercial activities in the area.

Another feature is the conservation of three pre-war traditional style shop-house buildings at nos. 186-190 Queen's Road East, which are fast becoming extinct in Hong Kong.

"With this important project, we hope to plan and design in such a way that it exemplifies the URA's holistic approach of 4Rs, namely redevelopment, rehabilitation, revitalisation and preservation. We aim to improve the environmental and traffic conditions in the area whilst preserving the local character and enhancing its attractiveness as a shopping and leisure district," Mr. Lam added.

At present, there are 54 buildings in project area. They are generally over 40 years old and several are pre-war buildings. Many are in dilapidated condition and the rooftops of almost all the buildings are covered with squatter huts.

It is estimated that the project will involve 647 property interests, with about 930 households and 2,000 residents.

"We will make offers of acquisition to the owners as soon as possible, to be followed by rehousing or compensation for the residential tenants when we have formally acquired the properties," Mr. Lam said.

The cost of property acquisition and tenant rehousing or compensation is estimated at about $1.73 billion, excluding the cost of construction and interest.

The Lee Tung Street project is among 25 announced by the former Land Development Corporation in 1998, which are presently accorded priority in the URA's Five-year Corporate Plan.

This brings the total number of URA redevelopment projects to 12 in the past 21 months, including one undertaken in association with the Hong Kong Housing Society. The total financial commitment for the 11 projects undertaken solely by the URA amounts to about $9.78 billion.

A team of 180 URA staff began a four-day occupancy survey today to ascertain the actual number of households and occupancy status at the project site.

The URA will arrange 20 briefing sessions shortly to explain to the affected owners and tenants the acquisition and rehousing arrangements and procedures.

An urban renewal social service team staffed by professional social workers will provide counselling and practical assistance that the residents may need. For enquiries, residents can either visit the URA's Wan Chai neighbourhood centre in person or call the URA's Hotline at 2588 2333.