High-rise office and hotel blocks with shops at lower levels will dominate Kwun Tong town centre after a decade-long redevelopment, Urban Renewal Authority managing director Billy Lam Chung-lun said yesterday. Speaking at the launch of a two-month public consultation on the design of the redevelopment, Mr Lam stressed the design was intended to make the 'risky' project attractive to property developers. The latest estimate is that the redevelopment of the town centre will cost about HK$30 billion - with half of this going on the resumption of property rights. It has been dubbed the most expensive and complicated project the authority has handled. Its profit will be 6 to 7 per cent. 'The profit margin is going to be slim and if there is any property downturn, we will be in trouble,' Mr Lam said. The project will be built in phases and the authority wants to start buying properties after it obtains Town Planning Board approval next March. There will be five residential blocks between 30 and 40 storeys at the northern part of the town centre, providing 2,000 flats. Yue Man Square will become a park and a pedestrian area surrounded by government facilities, shops and offices. But the authority refused to disclose the height of the office blocks and the exact proportion between residential and commercial development. Also, it has not decided how to tender the massive project to developers, which part of the Kwun Tong town centre will be redeveloped first, or when the first phase will be completed. Kwun Tong's redevelopment was announced in early 1998 by the Land Development Corporation. It was passed on to the authority when it was set up three years later, following the dissolution of the corporation. The 5.3-hectare project includes Yuen Wah Street bus terminal and the area bordered by Hip Ning Road and Kwun Tong Road. The redevelopment will affect 24 buildings and 1,635 property rights. About 5,000 people and 300 shops will be affected. The authority invited three architecture consultants to come up with three concept plans for the public to comment on. They are Wong & Ouyang (HK), MLA Architecture (HK) and WDA Group. 'We are not asking the public to choose one among the three,' Mr Lam said, adding they wanted people to comment on the various elements so the authority could improve it. Ng Mei-kam, an associate professor teaching urban planning at the University of Hong Kong, had reservations about the plan. 'I understand the authority alone cannot resolve the problem. I hope the government will look at Kwun Tong and Kai Tak redevelopment from a holistic perspective,' she said. 'Kai Tak has 199 hectares of land and it will house only 80,000 people.