Shophouse owners offered more than HK$8,000 per sq ft

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 March, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 March, 2010, 12:00am

The Urban Renewal Authority is offering an acquisition price of more than HK$8,000 per sq ft to flat owners living in two clusters of pre-war shophouses in Mong Kok.

The owners of the shophouses in Shanghai Street will get HK$8,010 per sq ft while residents of shophouses on Prince Edward Road West, part of the flower market, will get HK$9,391.

The authority said the seven valuation firms it appointed to assess the properties were very close in their estimations. It believed the offers were close to the current market situation.

The offer means an owner of a 1,100 sq ft shophouse in Prince Edward Road, for example, would get HK$10.3 million.

Under the authority's plan, which was announced in 2008, the 20 blocks in the two clusters would be renovated at a cost of HK$1.33 billion. The two projects involve 73 ownerships. The owners will have 60 days to consider whether to accept the offers.

For the ground-floor shops, an allowance on top of the market value will be offered to the owners.

The authority confirmed that a special arrangement had been made allowing the seven flower shops to return to the shophouses on Prince Edward West after the renovation. The operators would be given priority to lease the ground-floor shops at market rents after renovation.

The shophouses on Prince Edward Road West were built by a Belgian construction company. They were marketed as 'modern homes' and targeted at middle-class buyers.

The Shanghai Street shophouses, built in the 1920s, have been occupied by shops on the ground floor and residents upstairs, typical of an old commercial street. Uses for the cluster on Shanghai Street have not been confirmed, pending results of public consultations. That project is expected to be completed by 2014, and the Prince Edward Road West project a year later.

Separately, an authority spokesman said 70 per cent of the tenants living in the redevelopment area in Ma Tau Wai Road and Chun Tin Street, which the authority took over after a building collapsed in January, indicated they would move out by the middle of this year, according to a recent survey.

The authority will shoulder the rent of these tenants who opt to move out before their leases expire.