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Existing view of Larch St/Fir St Project before redevelopment
Most building were built in the 1960's and are in a dilapidated condition
Artist Impression of Larch St/Fir St Redevelopment Project
Existing view of Pine St/Anchor St Project before redevelopment
Most building were built in the 1960's and are in a dilapidated condition
Artist impression of Pine St/Anchor St redevelopment project
Picture featuring a tenant living in a bunk bed in the Pine Street / Anchor Street project.

URA announces $1.41b redevelopment in Tai Kok Tsui

The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) today (Tuesday) announced the implementation of two new redevelopment projects in Tai Kok Tsui at an estimated cost of $1.41 billion to improve the livelihood of about 1,400 residents and speed up the regeneration of the district.

A spokesman of the URA said the two projects, located in Larch Street/Fir Street and Pine Street/Anchor Street, are among the 25 redevelopment projects announced by the former Land Development Corporation in 1998, which are treated with priority in the URA's Five-year Corporate Plan.

There are 24 buildings within the two project sites which lie in close proximity to each other. The buildings have a total of 358 property interests. Most of them were built in the 1960¡¦s and are in a dilapidated condition. The exact number of occupants has yet to be confirmed by a door to door survey launched by the URA but it is estimated that the buildings currently accommodate about 560 households with about 1,400 residents.

Within the total development budget of $1.41 billion, it is estimated that about $660 million or 47 per cent will be required for compensation for property owners as well as rehousing or cash compensation for tenants. The remainder is for construction, interest and other costs.

Tai Kok Tsui, one of the nine target areas of the URA, has already seen the commencement of two redevelopment projects in Cherry Street and Bedford Road in 2002 and 2003.

In addition, the owner corporations of 11 multi-storey residential buildings comprising some 2,100 units in Tai Kok Tsui have joined the URA's voluntary rehabilitation programme to carry out comprehensive repair and upgrading works to their buildings. And more buildings are still signing up for the programme.

"With parallel efforts of rehabilitation and redevelopment, we hope to make Tai Kok Tsui a more pleasant and attractive district to live in before the end of this decade," a spokesman for the URA remarked.

Commenting on the new projects, the spokesman said the Larch Street site and the Pine Street site occupy an area of about 23,700 square feet and 24,700 square feet respectively. The URA's preliminary plan is to redevelop them mainly for residential purpose with some open space for relaxation. Upon completion, the two projects are expected to yield a gross floor area of 361,700 square feet and 73,200 square feet respectively for residential and retail commercial uses. About 4,300 square feet of open space will also be provided at the Pine Street site.

The URA will soon issue acquisition offers to the affected owners for consideration. Owner-occupiers will be offered a Home Purchase Allowance based on the value of a notional seven-year-old flat in a similar locality. Tenants will be offered cash compensation or rehousing after completion of the property transactions which means the URA acquires the status of landlord and is in a legal position to handle compensation matters for the tenants, the spokesman added.

About 130 URA staff were deployed to conduct a household survey today to ascertain the actual number of households and the occupancy status at the two project sites. The URA will arrange six briefing sessions shortly to explain to the affected owners and tenants the acquisition and rehousing arrangements and procedures. Further follow-up sessions will be arranged to answer enquiries from those affected.

An urban renewal social service team staffed by professional social workers of the Salvation Army will provide counselling and practical assistance that the residents may need. For enquiries, residents can either visit the URA's Tai Kok Tsui Neighbourhood Centre at G/F, Bedford Tower, 68 Bedford Road in person or call the URA's Hotline at 2588 2333.

With the implementation of the two new projects, the URA has commenced a total of 19 redevelopment projects since 2002, including six in association with the Hong Kong Housing Society. The total development cost of these 19 projects is estimated at about $15 billion.