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Sai Yee Street Project in Mong Kok begins property acquisition

The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) today (Tuesday) issues offer letters to owners of 175 property interests affected by the Sai Yee Street project in Mong Kok. Eligible owner-occupiers of domestic properties will be offered $7,012 per square foot of saleable floor area.

A spokesman of the URA said: "The acquisition offers for domestic properties are based on the Government's Home Purchase Allowance policy, whereby eligible owner-occupiers would receive an offer equivalent to the market price of a notional seven-year-old flat of similar size in the locality. The unit rate applicable for the project was decided by an established mechanism, through which seven independent surveyor firms have been appointed for valuation."

The latest total development cost of this project is estimated to be $4.56 billion, of which acquisition and rehousing cost is about $3.1 billion.  
Apart from cash compensation, the URA has decided to extend the application of the "Expression of Interest in Purchasing Arrangement" pilot scheme to owner-occupiers of domestic properties in this project. As for eligible shop owners who occupy the shops and shop tenants, apart from those terms based on the usual acquisition policy of the URA, they will also enjoy an additional Ex-gratia Business Allowance.

For the existing operators of sports retail business, whether they are tenants or owners, if they choose not to receive the Ex-gratia Business Allowance, they can take part in a "Local Sports Shops Arrangement" whereby they will be given priority to lease a retail unit after project completion at the then market rent for an initial term of three years.

Affected owners will have ample time to consider the URA's offers and to accept them within 60 days.  Owners will also receive an incidental cost allowance (ICA), where applicable, as an incentive for them to accept the offers within the 60-day period.  The current ICA for owner-occupied domestic property is $109,500 or $105 per square foot ($1,135 per square metre) of saleable floor area, whichever is higher. For domestic property that is tenanted or vacant, the ICA is $85,900.

Upon completion of the property acquisition, the URA will make ex-gratia payment or rehousing arrangement for the eligible tenants concerned.