HK$1.6b redevelopment project planned for To Kwa Wan

HK$1.6 billion plan to redevelop run-down block of flats follows suggestion from owner

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 April, 2014, 12:41pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 April, 2014, 6:43am

A nine-storey building on To Kwa Wan Road will be redeveloped into a new block with 150 flats if more than 80 per cent of the building owners agree with a proposal by the Urban Renewal Authority.

The 1,200 sq metre site at 68A to 70C involves 129 property interests, 240 households and eight ground-floor shops.

If given the go-ahead the redevelopment would be the authority's ninth demand-led project in which the authority redevelops a site at the request of owners.

Lawrence Mak Chung-kit, the authority's general manager for planning and design, said living conditions in the building were "unsatisfactory". There were also unauthorised structures, rooftop buildings and subdivided units in the building, erected in 1960.

After development, the area would provide 150 flats, 150 sq metres of commercial space and 830 sq metres of land for government, institution and community use, Mak said.

He estimated the project would cost HK$1.6 billion. A two-month window was opened yesterday for the public to voice opposition before the authority issues conditional acquisition offers to the owners.

Flat owner Cheh Hui, 74, who initiated the redevelopment, said he was confident that the plan would receive support from more than 80 per cent of owners.

He said the building was old and run-down and he found it hard to climb the four flights of stairs to his home every day.

"I twisted my ankle the other day as I went down the stairs," he said.

"I will definitely move to a flat with lifts after I receive the compensation."

He said acquisition companies had approached the owners in 2010 and 2012, offering HK$7,000 to HK$9,000 a sq ft but they did not accept the offers because they were too low.

Mrs Ho, living on the ninth floor, welcomed the plan. Concrete blocks sometimes fell off the walls and water seeped into the flat through broken pipes and the rooftop.

A 250 sq cm piece of concrete fell off just two days ago and it was fortunate that no one was hit, she said.

The project is part of the third round of the authority's demand-led scheme.

The first project in the round started in December on Kai Ming Street, To Kwa Wan, and two more are expected to start later this year.

Authority director Ian Wong Wai-kuen said he expected the project to make a slight loss.

He said the other eight projects were continuing, and he did not know whether these would make a loss.

The authority's board of directors had established a group to study the future of demand-led projects.