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The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, and the Chairman of the URA, Mr Barry Cheung, officiating at a ceremony to mark the completion of the Johnston Road project.
60-66 Johnston Road (before preservation)
60-66 Johnston Road (After preservation)

Century-old Cantonese shophouses revitalisd for adaptive re-use

A row of four Cantonese verandah shophouses at the Johnston Road project of the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) in Wan Chai, including a pawn shop formerly known as "Wo Cheong", have been revitalised for adaptive re-use, standing in harmony with the new development in the neighbourhood.

This project exemplifies vividly the possible co-existence of the old and the new in redevelopment if new thinking is adopted.

Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, and the Chairman of URA, Mr Barry Cheung, today (Thursday) officiated at a ceremony to mark the completion of the URA's first redevelopment cum preservation project at Johnston Road.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Cheung said, "The Johnston Road project, being a flagship project of the URA, is located at the heartland of old Wan Chai which is full of historical elements and cultures.  When we set into action to redevelop the area to improve the living environment of residents, we are mindful of the need to preserve buildings of historical value wherever possible.  We endeavour to strike a balance in redevelopment and preservation."

"In addition to preserving four unique shophouses of Cantonese verandah-type and No.18, Ship Street, the project acts as a catalyst to revive economic activities in the neighbourhood," said Mr Cheung.
After six years for planning and renovation, the buildings have now been restored and used as specialty restaurants.

Mr Cheung said, "The Johnston Road project is a milestone of URA in its efforts in redevelopment and preservation, setting a good reference point for future initiatives, in particular its expanded strategy to set aside a sum  of $1.5 billion to conserve some 30 shophouses of historical significance this financial year."

Noting that the URA would give full support to the Development Bureau and its Steering Committee to solicit public views on the way forward for urban regeneration, Mr Cheung called on members of the public to come forward to make known their views on what they would like to achieve in urban regeneration.

To tie in with the strategy review, a series of activities entitled "Towards Urban Regeneration: Version 3.0" featuring a revolving exhibition and keynote seminar will be held at the end of the year to deepen public understanding and discussion of issues involved in urban regeneration.

Mr Cheung expressed his heartfelt thanks to all those who have given support to the URA on the Johnston Road project.  Attending today's ceremony included Legislative Council members, Wan Chai District Council members, URA Board members, government officials, former residents of the Johnston Road project and the joint venture partner, K.Wah International Holdings Limited.