Kai Tak flat-for-flat offer fails to excite

Only two owners have expressed interest, but Urban Renewal Authority remains confident

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 April, 2013, 5:38am

The Urban Renewal Authority says it is optimistic its flat-for-flat compensation offer at a new Kai Tak estate will be popular.

That's despite the fact that only two owners affected by nearby redevelopments have expressed interest in the scheme in the past two years.

Owners are hesitating because there are still years to go before they will see it [the Kai Tak estate] completed

"Owners are hesitating because there are still years to go before they will see it [the Kai Tak estate] completed. I'm confident that it will become much more popular when they see the green designs and when it's closer to completion by 2016," said Iris Tam Siu-ying, the authority's managing director.

The flat-for-flat scheme, set up in 2011, gives those displaced from old buildings the choice of a flat in the new development or nearby, or opt for financial compensation. The aim is to preserve long-standing communities.

As the flats are priced according to the market, owners affected by redevelopments would have to take a smaller flat, or pay the difference to live in a bigger one.

They will also have to find interim accommodation while the new flats are completed.

The authority said two owners affected by redevelopments in Sham Shui Po had expressed interest in taking a flat in Kai Tak, an estate that will offer 484 flats in three high-rises and a low-rise suitable for elderly residents.

The HK$2.4 billion project, designed by Secretary for Environment Wong Kam-sing, who is also an architect, has been given a provisional platinum rating by the Hong Kong Green Buildings Council. Flats are designed with cross-ventilated, double-glazed windows to reduce room temperature, and 30 per cent of the estate is taken up by green areas.

The rooftop, which has communal recreational facilities, has solar panels and wind turbines to provide the energy for public lighting. The design is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 700,000 kg, equivalent to planting 30,000 trees, and electricity tariffs by HK$1 million a year.

Meanwhile, the authority's new board members will be announced today. Chairman Barry Cheung Chun-yuen is expected to stay on for two more years. Stanley Wong Yuen-fai and Timothy Ma Kam-wah are expected to join the authority.