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Johnston Road (Before)
Tai Wong Street West (Before)
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Invitation for Expression of Interest for Johnston Road Project

The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) today (Friday) invited estate developers to provide an expression of interest (EOI) for the joint development of the Johnston Road project in Wan Chai, the first site successfully cleared since the URA launched its urban renewal programme in March 2002.

The project covers a site area of about 21,200 square feet at the junction of Johnston Road and Ship Street, which is a prime location in Wan Chai. It is the first of six project sites for which the URA plans to invite joint venture partnership for development within this year.

The project is expected to deliver a commercial podium of about 28,000 square feet and a residential block of about 190,000 square feet floor area upon completion in 2007.

The URA's Executive Director of Development and Planning, Mr Andrew Lam, said: "Wan Chai is one of our nine target areas of urban regeneration. Since the Tai Yuen Street and Lit Chit projects that were undertaken by the Land Development Corporation in the 90's, the Johnston Road project is another major step to regenerate the aging district."

The EOI exercise is intended for gauging the interest of private developers in joint venture partnership with the URA. The private sector partner is expected to be responsible for the costs of design, development and marketing, as well as the conservation of five historic buildings.

The historic buildings include a row of four Cantonese terrace-style buildings, which are a fast disappearing species in Hong Kong, and a four-storey shop-house with pre-war architectural features, which will be conserved and refurbished for commercial usage.

Tai Wong Street West within the project area will be partially pedestrianised and revitalised for public leisure and enjoyment.

"We hope to use the Johnston Road project and other URA projects nearby to regenerate Wan Chai old town into a new precinct of residential, leisure, shopping and commercial activities whilst retaining buildings of historic architectural value as long as they are structurally sound and viable for refurbishment."

"The overall concept is to apply the URA's 4Rs approach, i.e. redevelopment, rehabilitation, preservation and revitalization, so as to achieve a holistic result," he said.

Parties interested in the Johnston Road project are expected to indicate their professional competence and financial capability to undertake the development in accordance with the requirements and criteria set by the Authority.

Submissions should be returned to the URA Headquarters at 10/F Low Block, Grand Millennium Plaza, 181 Queen's Road Central, before noon on March 8, 2004.

A selection panel under the URA Board will shortlist the qualified parties and invite them to submit a formal tender for the development. It is expected that the tender exercise will take place in the near future.

Apart from the Johnston Road project, the URA plans to invite EOIs and tenders for five more joint venture development projects later this year. The sites are located at Yeung Uk Road, Tsuen Wan; Cherry Street, Tai Kok Tsui; Fuk Wing Street/Fuk Wa Street and Po On Road/Shun Ning Road, Sham Shui Po; and Reclamation Street, Mong Kok.