URA overhaul to open up To Kwa Wan waterfront - RTHK
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URA overhaul to open up To Kwa Wan waterfront

2022-10-07 HKT 13:12
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  • URA overhaul to open up To Kwa Wan waterfront
The Urban Renewal Authority on Friday announced plans for To Kwa Wan that it says will better connect the area and open up its waterfront, as it revealed that the owners of some properties affected may be given the chance to get involved in the development instead of selling up.

The two redevelopment schemes, which are expected to conclude by 2033, will cover an area of 217,000 square feet at sites in Ming Lun Street and Ma Tau Kok Road and at To Kwa Wan Road and Ma Tau Kok Road. Buildings affected include scores of tenements and two industrial buildings.

Lawrence Mak, the URA's general manager for planning and design, says the work will help create space for a 20-metre wide waterfront promenade that will link up with the Kai Tak Development Area.

The authority also plans to reserve space between the two development sites for a waterfront plaza with on-street dining and shops that it hopes will make it easier for people to walk between To Kwa Wan Road and the promenade.

"These two open spaces could actually connect the old urban areas to the waterfront and provide a lot of amenities, areas and visual and ventilation benefits to the community," Mak said.

The authority says almost 3,000 residents in about 1,400 households will have to move out, while 100 shops and 90 industrial users will also be affected.

Officials say the redeveloped area will provide some 2,200 new flats.

The URA says the revamp is likely to be extra challenging because it involves units in industrial buildings, which have proved tricky to acquire in the past.

"We were facing some owners holding many interests; they were not willing to sell their properties to the URA," said Kelvin Chung, a general manager for acquisition and clearance.

He says the authority is looking into a new approach; instead of seeking to buy the properties, it may allow owners to take part in the redevelopment themselves.

The URA will set criteria for these owners to join the project, including the number of industrial units they hold in the area, he added.

URA officials say they believe it will cost more than HK$10 billion to buy up all of the properties covered by the two redevelopment projects.