URA announces advanced commencement of the Kai Ming Street demand-led redevelopment project
The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) today (Thursday) announced the advanced commencement of a demand-led redevelopment project at 41-51 Kai Ming Street (odd nos) in To Kwa Wan, the first of several projects under the third-round demand-led pilot scheme selected and scheduled for implementation in its 2014/15 Business Plan.
Speaking at a media briefing session this afternoon, the Managing Director of the URA, Ms Iris Tam, said the arrangement to advance this project was made after giving special consideration to the fact that the Buildings Department has issued demolition orders to the owners of 45, 47, 49 and 51 Kai Ming Street today.
"We understand that if the project is to commence in our next financial year as scheduled, property owners affected by the demolition orders will be put in an extremely difficult situation. The URA, as is always taking a people-first approach, therefore proposed to advance this project to this financial year, which has been endorsed by the URA Board and approved by the Financial Secretary," said Ms Tam.
She stressed that advanced implementation of the project is taken because of the unique circumstances involved and that for the project to be a success, the concerted effort of all property owners concerned is indispensable.
"Whether the URA will continue to implement this project after today's freezing survey depends on the fulfillment of two conditions, same as other demand-led projects selected for implementation," she added.
The two conditions are:
- Owners of not less than 80% of undivided shares of each lot in the project site accept the URA's conditional acquisition offers and sign the legally binding sale and purchase agreement within 75 days after URA has issued the conditional acquisition offers; and
- The granting of authorisation by the Secretary for Development for the URA to proceed with the project.
If any of the two conditions is not met, the project will not proceed further.
In accordance with Section 23 of the Urban Renewal Authority Ordinance, URA notices announcing the commencement of the project is published in the Gazette today, to be followed by a two-month publication period. The URA will then consider written objections received during the publication period.
About 50 URA staff members have been deployed to conduct the freezing survey to ascertain the actual number of households and the occupancy status of the properties within the project site.
Covering a site area of about 500 square metres, the six street numbers within the project area are located at Kai Ming Street in To Kwa Wan. The buildings were built in 1957, ranging between six to seven storeys in height and are mostly in poor or varied conditions.
Some 64 households are likely to be affected by the redevelopment project, involving about 49 property interests.
The URA will arrange a public meeting tomorrow evening to explain to the affected owners and tenants the planning approval procedures and the prevailing acquisition and compensation arrangements for demand-led projects.
"We shall issue conditional offers to the property owners soonest possible after the two-month publication period. The offers will be valid for 75 days," said Ms Tam.
"If the 80% threshold is fulfilled and the project is approved by the Secretary for Development within the specified time frames, the URA will then complete the acquisition with owners and offer to the eligible domestic owner-occupiers the flat-for-flat option. If not, the project will not proceed any further," said Ms Tam.
The URA's current proposal is to redevelop the project to provide around 72 residential units of small to medium size, some 300 square metres of commercial area and 450 square metres of Government/Institution and Community facilities.
The total development cost for the project is estimated at about $600 million at current prices.
During the two-month publication period, a site plan delineating the boundary of the project plus a general description will be put on display for public inspection at:
- the URA's Ma Tau Wai Neighbourhood Centre, Shop A, Ground Floor, 428 Ma Tau Wai Road, Kowloon;
- the Public Enquiry Service Centre of the Kowloon City District Office, LG/F, Kowloon City Government Offices, 42 Bailey Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon; and
- URA Headquarters, 26/F, COSCO Tower, 183 Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong.
An urban renewal social service team staffed by professional social workers of The Salvation Army, which has been appointed by Urban Renewal Fund Limited, will provide counselling and practical assistance that the residents may need. The contact number of the social service team is 3586 3095.
Such information is also available on the URA website at www.ura.org.hk.