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Property acquisition for Anchor Street / Fuk Tsun Street Project in Tai Kok Tsui to start soon

The Land, Rehousing & Compensation Committee of the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) has resolved today (Wednesday) that eligible owner-occupiers of domestic properties affected by the Anchor Street / Fuk Tsun Street Project would be offered $6,607 per square foot of saleable floor area. The URA will issue offer letters to owners of 74 property interests by the end of this month.

The acquisition offers for domestic properties are based on the Government's Home Purchase Allowance (HPA) policy in which HPA is the difference between the market value of the acquired property and that of a notional seven-year-old flat of similar size in a similar locality. In addition to the market value of the acquired properties, eligible owner-occupiers will receive the full HPA amount whereas eligible owners holding wholly tenanted or vacant domestic properties will receive a supplementary allowance (SA) up to half of the HPA.

A spokesman of the URA said: "In accordance with established mechanism, the URA has appointed seven independent valuation firms for the valuation of the unit rate of the notional seven-year-old flat. The whole process is virtually transparent, open and fair."

Owners will have ample time to consider the URA's offers and to accept them within 60 days after receiving the offers.  Domestic owners will also receive an incidental cost allowance (ICA) as an incentive for them to accept the offers within the 60-day period.  The current ICA for owner-occupied domestic property is $111,000 or $103 per square foot ($1,110 per square metre) of saleable floor area, whichever is higher. For domestic property that is wholly tenanted or vacant, the ICA is $87,000.
 
For non-domestic properties, the acquisition offers to eligible owners will include an ex-gratia allowance on top of the market value.  The allowance for tenanted or vacant non-domestic property is 10 per cent of its market value or one time the government rateable value, whichever is higher.  The allowance for owner-occupied non-domestic property is 35 per cent of its market value or four times its rateable value, whichever is higher. The market value of each non-domestic property is based on the higher valuation of two independent valuation firms appointed by the URA.

Eligible owners and tenants who operate business in the affected shops will enjoy an additional Ex-gratia Business Allowance (EGBA) up to three times rateable value payable at the rate of 0.1 time rateable value for each year of continuous occupation of the premises up to a maximum of 30 years, subject to a minimum amount of $70,000 and a maximum of $500,000. This allowance is intended for alleviating the possible business loss due to redevelopment.

"In accordance with our policy, landlords will not get any additional compensation for terminating the tenancies with their tenants since their eligibility to compensation is based on their tenanted status on the date of freezing survey," the spokesman added.

Upon completion of the property acquisition, the URA will make ex-gratia payment or rehousing arrangement for the tenants concerned, if eligible. The total compensation and rehousing cost is estimated at about $230 million.

The URA will organise a series of briefings for the affected owners, residents and shop operators to explain to them the acquisition and compensation and rehousing arrangements.  It has also appointed an urban renewal social service team staffed by the Salvation Army to provide professional and practical services alongside URA frontline staff for the affected occupants.  Residents and owners who want to make enquiries may also call the URA hotline 2588 2333.

The site covers an area of 726 square metres (about 7,800 square feet) with six buildings built in 1958-1959.  The URA's plan is to redevelop the site into a hotel of about 200 rooms and ancillary commercial facilities with a total gross floor area of 6,534 square metres.  Landscaping with tree planting at the widened pavement around the project will be considered to improve the overall walking environment. Vertical greening is also proposed to provide further visual relief in this densely built-up urban environment.

(ENDS)