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K. Wah International wins URA's Johnston Road project

The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) today (Thursday) announced that a wholly owned subsidiary of K. Wah International Holdings Ltd., Union Profits Ltd., has won the joint development contract for its Johnston Road project in Wan Chai in a public tender exercise.

The project site occupies a prominent location of about 21,200 square feet in Johnston Road at its junction with Ship Street. It is the first site successfully cleared since the URA commenced acquisition work in March 2002 for a series of redevelopment projects. It is also an important part of the URA's effort to regenerate the older part of Wan Chai.

The project is expected to yield about 190,000 square feet of residential floor area and about 28,000 square feet of commercial retail area upon completion in 2007.

The project also features the conservation of five pre-war buildings of historic value to Wan Chai. Four of them, fronting Johnston Road, are a row of four-storey, Cantonese terraced-style buildings which are a fast disappearing species in Hong Kong. The remaining one is a four-storey shop-house in Ship Street that is typically reminiscent of Hong Kong's live-and-work arrangement of a family business before the 1960's

K. Wah International is one of 14 property developers who tendered for the joint venture project. Based on the recommendations of a tender review panel appointed by the URA Board, members of the Board agreed that the offer made by K. Wah International has met all the tender requirements and, at the same time, represented the best benefit to the project.

A URA spokesman said that the primary factors in assessing the tenders were the overall benefit to the project, the development design and its revitalising impact on the neighbourhood. Proposal for conservation of the 5 pre-war buildings was also an important factor for consideration.

The spokesman said the Authority was pleased to have the opportunity of entering into a joint venture with K. Wah International, which has solid experience in delivering quality estate development in Hong Kong.