Only 39 per cent of 647 owners have accepted the URA's offer of compensation to clear the way for redevelopment Most residents and shop owners on Wan Chai's Wedding Card Street have refused to sell their property for redevelopment to the Urban Renewal Authority. With less than 24 hours left for residents to reply to the authority's offer, only 39 per cent of the 647 affected owners have agreed to sell their properties. The authority has no breakdown on how many of those who have accepted are residents, business operators or landlords. It admitted that its buyout of Wedding Card Street - properly known as Lee Tung Street - posed 'a very difficult situation for the authority'. But an authority spokesman said it was not the project with the lowest response rate. He said the authority would continue discussions with residents and shop owners but it would be useless to keep talking with those who repeatedly rejected their offers. If the shop owners ultimately do not agree to move, the URA can apply for the compulsory resumption of their properties. The authority offers owners compensation which is the equivalent of a seven-year-old flat in the district, which would equate to $4,079 per square foot in Wan Chai. The Wan Chai District Council asked the authority to extend the deadline and continue negotiations with all affected people, but the request was rejected. Wan Chai district councillor Mary Ann King Pui-wai, whose constituency includes Wedding Card Street, said she would like to see the street preserved. The demolition of Wedding Card Street is part of a $3.58 billion project to transform an ageing part of Wan Chai into a leisure, shopping, residential and commercial precinct. But the project met with strong opposition from many residents, shop owners, architects, planners and district politicians. They said it was pointless to bulldoze a busy and well-maintained corner of Wan Chai and build another commercial and shopping district with no character. Some have also accused the authority of failing to offer adequate compensation and have formed a concern group, which has petitioned district councillors and filed a complaint to the Legislative Council. Chin Kam-piu, a shop owner and a core member of the concern group, said: 'We are happily doing business here. The authority comes in and says they want to redevelop this place. Whether we like it or not, we have to move.' The group wants the authority to give everyone the option to accept compensation or be allowed to stay in the area, either in the new development or preserved sections of the street. It has also demanded a flat-for-flat and shop-for-shop compensation approach similar to two other authority redevelopments in Wan Chai. Ms King said: 'It is one of the few remaining streets of the 1960s. This is a very unique street and it has witnessed the changes of Hong Kong in the past decades. It is our cultural identity. 'The authority can't build cultural identity with billions of dollars. It comes from the people and with the passage of time.'