URA commences second redevelopment project in the third round of demand-led pilot scheme
The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) today (Friday) announced the commencement of the second demand-led redevelopment project under the third round of the pilot scheme which is scheduled for implementation in the Authority's 2014/15 Business Plan. The project, located at Nos. 68A - 70C To Kwa Wan Road (even number), is the ninth demand-led project commenced by the URA since the introduction of the demand-led pilot scheme in 2011.
Speaking at a media briefing session this morning, General Manager (Planning & Design) of the URA, Mr Lawrence Mak, said among the 51 applications received in the third round, four projects which have fully met the selection criteria have been chosen for inclusion in the 2014/15 Business Plan of the Authority.
Last December, the URA commenced in advance the project at Kai Ming Street in To Kwa Wan under the third round after giving special consideration to the fact that demolition orders have been issued by the Buildings Department to some of the owners. The other two demand-led projects in the third round are expected to commence later this year.
Covering a site area of about 1,200 square metres, this demand-led project comprises seven street numbers of buildings, which were built in 1960 and are nine storeys in height. The building conditions are varied and there are unauthorised building structures and subdivided units, and the living condition is considered unsatisfactory.
The project affects a total of 129 property interests. It is estimated that there are about 240 households and eight ground floor shops. The actual number will have to be confirmed in a freezing survey conducted by the URA today.
Although the URA has commenced the project today, Mr Mak cautioned that whether the URA will continue to implement it after the freezing survey depends on the fulfillment of the following two conditions:
- 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 agreements within 75 days after the 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, and one month after the gazettal of the authorization if there is no appeal or after the dismissal of all appeals.
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.
Also speaking at the briefing session, Director (Acquisition & Clearance) of the URA, Mr Ian Wong, said about 70 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.
The URA will arrange a public meeting next week to explain to the affected owners and tenants the planning 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 Mr Wong.
"If the 80% threshold is fulfilled and the project is approved by the Secretary for Development and appeals are dismissed 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 Mr Wong.
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).
Such information is also available on the URA website at /.
An urban renewal social service team staffed by professional social workers of The Salvation Army, which has been appointed by the Urban Renewal Fund, will provide counselling and practical assistance that the residents may need. The contact number of the social service team is 3586 3095.
The URA's current proposal is to redevelop the project to provide about 7,800 square metres of residential floor area for about 150 residential units of small to medium size. It will also provide some 150 square metres of commercial area and 830 square metres of Government/Institution and Community facilities. The project is tentatively scheduled for completion by 2020/2021. The total development cost for the project is estimated at about $1,600 million at current prices.