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Hai Tan Street/Kweilin Street and Pei Ho Street project in Sham Shui Po will begin property acquisition

The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) would issue offer letters to owners of 389 property interests affected by the Hai Tan Street/Kweilin Street and Pei Ho Street project in Sham Shui Po in two weeks.  The Land, Rehousing & Compensation Committee of the URA Board has decided today (Wednesday) that eligible owner-occupiers of domestic properties would be offered $5,297 per square foot of saleable floor area.

The acquisition offers for domestic properties are based on the Government's Home Purchase Allowance (HPA) policy in which HPA is the difference between the market value of the acquired property and that of a notional seven-year-old flat of similar size in a similar locality. In addition to the market value of the acquired properties, eligible owner-occupiers will receive the full HPA amount whereas owners of tenanted and vacant domestic properties will receive a supplementary allowance (SA) up to half of the HPA.

A spokesman of the URA said: "In accordance with established mechanism, the URA has appointed seven independent valuation firms for the valuation of the unit rate of the notional seven-year-old flat."
For a building in single ownership, it is valued either on its existing use value plus relevant allowances for shops and domestic units in the building or on its redevelopment value plus 5% as ex-gratia allowance, whichever is higher.
Apart from cash compensation, the URA has decided to extend the "Expression of Interest in Purchasing Arrangement" pilot scheme to this project so that owner-occupiers of domestic properties can express to the URA their interest in getting an opportunity to purchase a new flat in the new development at market price when the project is offered for sale. This is designed for those who will have a need to move back to the same location for personal reasons such as to maintain their social networks.

The URA spokesman said affected owners will have ample time to consider the URA's offers and to accept them within 60 days after receiving the offers.  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 $111,900 or $98 per square foot ($1,055 per square metre) of saleable floor area, whichever is higher. For domestic property that is tenanted or vacant, the ICA is $87,700.
For non-domestic properties, the acquisition offers to eligible owners will include an ex-gratia allowance on top of the 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.

Eligible shop owners who occupy the shops and shop tenants will enjoy an additional Ex-gratia Business Allowance (EGBA) up to three times rateable value (roughly equivalent to 36 months' rent) payable at the rate of 0.1 time rateable value for each year of continuous occupation of the premises up to a maximum of 30 years, subject to a minimum amount of $70,000 and a maximum of $500,000. This allowance is intended for alleviating the possible business loss due to redevelopment.

Upon completion of the property acquisition, the URA will make ex-gratia payment or rehousing arrangement for the tenants concerned, if eligible. The total compensation and rehousing cost is estimated at about $1.4 billion.

The URA will organise a series of briefings for the affected owners, residents and shop operators to explain to them the acquisition and compensation and rehousing arrangements.  It has also appointed an urban renewal social service team to provide professional and practical services alongside URA frontline staff for the affected residents.  Residents and owners who want to make enquiries may also call the URA hotline 2588 2333.

Covering a total area of about 80,000 square feet and three adjourning sites, this development scheme, which was approved by the Chief Executive in Council in June this year, will be the largest of all the redevelopment projects in Sham Shui Po commenced by the URA or jointly with Hong Kong Housing Society since 2002.  Upon completion, which is expected to be in 2014, the projects will deliver about 534,400 sq.ft. of residential floor space and some  106,900 sq.ft. non-domestic space.