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Urban problem - urban renewal
$30b Kwun Tong city center revamp begins
The Urban Renewal Authority has kicked off its biggest-ever project - the long-awaited HK$30 billion redevelopment of Kwun Tong town center.
The URA started a three-day so- called ``freezing survey'' Friday of the estimated 4,500 residents of the area who will be offered compensation and rehoused.
Compensating owners and rehousing affected residents is expected to cost the URA at least HK$13 billion, representing nearly 44 percent of the total redevelopment cost.
The remaining cost of the proposed residential-commercial project includes construction costs and other fees.
Regeneration of Kwun Tong town center on the 5.3-hectare site bounded by Hong Ning Road, Mut Wah Street, Hip Wo Street and Yue Man Square was first announced in 1998, when the URA was still called the Land Development Corp.
Completed in the early 1960s, the existing 24 blocks of buildings have a total of 1,860 residential units and 300 shops.
URA district development director Joseph Lee King-chi said in a media briefing Friday that an application for the redevelopment project will be made to the Town Planning Board in about three weeks' time.
He said the URA has carried out four rounds of public consultation in the past two years, gathering a large number of public views and suggestions.
``We are incorporating a lot of the suggestions into the final plan and design, which will be ready for submission soon,'' he added. He said the project would pose a formidable challenge to the URA in all aspects of urban renewal.
``Our greatest concern is to ensure that the residents' and shop operators' rights to compensation and rehousing are fairly looked after and, at the same time, that every effort is made to help them overcome any family or personal problems that may occur.''
``We also have to ensure that, as a town center providing daily necessities of life, such as transport and medical services, to the 600,000 people of Kwun Tong, the place will go on functioning throughout the acquisition and redevelopment period,'' Lee added.
The URA will host briefing sessions for residents and shop operators to explain to them what will happen in the weeks and months ahead with regard to the statutory process of town planning approval, before acquisition can begin.
Surveyors said the URA will also start inviting private developers to take part in the project if it gains planning approval and completes land purchasing, rehousing and compensation.
The Christian Family Service Centre, meanwhile, has taken up the task of establishing an urban renewal social services team to provide help and support for affected residents.資料來源： wisenews