Building homes 'won't affect Kowloon East plans' - RTHK
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Building homes 'won't affect Kowloon East plans'

2021-02-25 HKT 19:53
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  • Building homes 'won't affect Kowloon East plans'
Development Secretary Michael Wong has dismissed concerns that plans to turn five commercial sites in Kai Tak into residential plots will undermine the government's goal of turning Kowloon East into the city's second Central Business District (CBD).

The five plots are expected to generate 5,800 private housing units.

Some of the sites were unsuccessfully tendered, including one that had been bought for HK$11.1 billion by Goldin Financial, which forfeited a HK$25 million deposit and walked away from the deal in 2019, citing Hong Kong's economic and social instability.

"Even without the commercial floor space from the five sites... we will be talking about an increase of 1.3 million square metres of additional floor space in Kowloon East," Wong said at a press conference on Thursday announcing details of the government's land sale programme for the upcoming financial year.

"We do not think that the current studies and the possibility that they will be converted for residential use will affect the future of Kowloon East as our second CBD."

The development secretary added that officials will study if the current transport infrastructure in Kai Tak could accommodate the extra population.

As announced by the financial secretary in his budget blueprint on Wednesday, 15 residential sites will be put on sale in the 2021/22 fiscal year, providing 6,000 new flats in total.

A majority of the plots are in the New Territories. Four are on Hong Kong Island and one is in Kowloon, the former ETV building on Broadcast Drive.

Along with railway property developments, projects under the Urban Renewal Authority and other sites, the government said it hopes to supply 16,530 flats in 2021/22, compared to 13,020 in 2020/21.

Under the land sale programme, three commercial sites will also be up for grabs, including two in Kai Tak.