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Executive Director (Planning & Project Control) of the URA, Iris Tam (left), Chairman of the URA, Barry Cheung (second left), Managing Director of the URA, Quinn Law (second right), and Director (Acquisition & Clearance) of the URA, Joseph Lee, witness a key milestone of the URA’s first demand-led redevelopment project.

URA’s first demand-led redevelopment project in Sham Shui Po achieves major breakthrough

The first demand-led redevelopment project of the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) in Sham Shui Po has achieved a major breakthrough with more than 80 percent of the owners agreeing to sell their properties to URA within the 60-day offer period expiring today (Monday), said the Chairman of the  URA, Mr Barry Cheung.

At a media conference this afternoon reviewing the implementation of the pilot scheme on demand-led projects, Mr Cheung said the stipulated 80 percent threshold for the project was attained after much hard work by both the property owners and the frontline staff of URA in the past two months.

"We are extremely pleased to see that this project, the first being initiated by the owners, is taken forward so that residents' living environment could be improved as they have hoped for," he said.

The URA issued conditional acquisition offers to owners of 58 property interests at 229A-G Hai Tan Street in Sham Shui Po in early July. Eligible owner-occupiers of domestic properties affected by the demand-led project have been offered $8,830 per square foot of saleable area, which is the unit rate of a notional seven-year old flat. The prevailing property acquisition policies for the URA-initiated redevelopment projects are also applicable to this demand-led project.

Mr Cheung said: "Now that we have reached the stipulated 80 percent threshold, it means that the project can be advanced further pending the subsequent authorisation of the project by the Secretary for Development."  Once the said authorisation is given, the Authority will proceed with the project at full speed, he added.

The Sham Shui Po project at 229A-G Hai Tan Street is 483 square metres in site area. The URA's initial proposal is to redevelop it to provide around 70 residential units of small to medium size, including some at the lower levels for the in-situ Flat-for-Flat Scheme. It is tentatively scheduled for completion by 2017/18.

An urban renewal social service team of the Salvation Army has been appointed by the Urban Renewal Fund Limited, which is set up separately from the URA in line with the current Urban Renewal Strategy, to provide assistance to residents in need.  The contact number of the social service team is 3586 3095.

Meanwhile, a total of 34 applications have been received for the second round of the demand-led redevelopment project (pilot scheme) by the deadline for submissions last Friday (31 August 2012).   

Mr Cheung said: "We are also pleased to see that the pilot scheme, having been introduced for a year, is well received among many property owners.  There is now better understanding of the eligibility criteria, which could be reflected from the quality of submissions."   

The applications will go through a screening and scoring process. In the next couple of months, the URA hopes to be able to select suitable projects for inclusion in the 2013/14 Annual Business Plan, which will be subject to the approval of the URA Board and the Financial Secretary.