URA begins property acquisition of Fuk Tsun Street project in Tai Kok Tsui
The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) today (Friday) issued acquisition offers to owners affected by the Fuk Tsun Street / Pine Street project in Tai Kok Tsui, where some 300 residents are living in three dilapidated residential blocks built in the 1950s and 60s.
A total of 80 property interests are affected by the project. Owner-occupiers of domestic properties will be offered $4,131 per square foot on a saleable area basis. They will have ample time to consider the URA's offers and to accept them within the next 60 days.
"According to the Government's policy approved by the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council in March 2001, owners who actually live there will receive a home purchase allowance on top of the market value of the properties concerned. The total compensation amount will be the value of a notional seven-year-old flat of average quality in Tai Kok Tsui," a spokesman of the URA said.
In addition, an incidental cost allowance (ICA) will be offered as an incentive to owners of domestic properties, which serves as a subsidy for the removal and various other expenses normally incurred in the purchase of a replacement flat. For this project, the ICA for owner-occupied domestic property is $ 95,000 or $1,025 per square metre (about $95 per square foot) on a saleable area basis, whichever is higher, whereas for domestic property that is tenanted or vacant, the ICA is $72,500.
Landlords of tenanted or vacant flats, who have apparently no immediate need for a replacement home, will receive a supplementary allowance equivalent to half of the home purchase allowance in addition to the open market value of their properties.
Following practices for previous projects, the URA has appointed seven independent valuation firms for the valuation of the unit rate of the notional seven-year-old flat. The lowest and highest valuations are eliminated before averaging the remaining five as the final unit rate for calculating the offers.
The spokesman said this broad-based and objective method of valuation has proved to be well accepted by most owners in previous projects.
For non-domestic properties, the acquisition offers will include an ex-gratia allowance on top of the open 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.
It is estimated that the total cost of acquisition and rehousing is about $220 million. Together with the construction, interest and marketing cost for the future development, the total expenditure will be about $350 million.
In keeping with its aspirations for quality urban living, the URA intends to apply a strong element of greening and provide setback in the building design. Greening will also be carried out all around the perimeter of the project along the pavement on all sides that will be specially designed to match the ambience. Conceptually, the theme is to produce a small architectural "oasis" to help brighten up the surrounding area.
With a site area of 5,800 square feet, the project is expected to bring about a residential block of about 70 units with a small provision of about 8,650 square feet for shops.
Following the issue of purchase letters, the URA will hold briefing sessions next week to explain to the owners and tenants the URA's acquisition and compensation/rehousing arrangements. Residents can also contact the URA's Neighbourhood Centre at 68 Bedford Road, Tai Kok Tsui or call the URA hotline at 2588 2333 for any enquiry they may have.
The Authority has also commissioned an urban renewal social service team staffed by professional social workers of the Salvation Army to provide counseling service and practical assistance to residents who may encounter personal or family problems.