• URA commences the first urban renewal project under Yau Mong District

    18 March 2024

    The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) today (15 March 2024) commences the Sai Yee Street / Flower Market Road Development Scheme (YTM-013 Scheme) and proceeds with the relevant statutory planning procedures. The YTM-013 Scheme is the first urban renewal project launched in Yau Tsim Mong District following the completion of the District Study for Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok (YMDS). It fulfils the target, as stated in The Chief Executive’s 2023 Policy Address, that the URA will commence the redevelopment project of the “Nullah Road Urban Waterway” in Mong Kok East in the coming five years.

    The YTM-013 Scheme is implemented under the 2011 Urban Renewal Strategy, adopting a “planning-led, district-based” urban renewal approach. It will materialise the Development Node of “Nullah Road Urban Waterway” in Mong Kok East as proposed in the YMDS with the construction of an “Urban Waterway” and a Waterway Park as a new “blue-green feature” to rejuvenate the image of Mong Kok. Riding on the characteristics of the Flower Market, it also aligns with the planning theme of shaping Mong Kok East into an “Exuberant Commercial District” enriched with social, leisure and recreational and shopping attractions.

    Director (Planning and Design) of the URA, Mr Lawrence Mak (right), and General Manager (Acquisition and Clearance) of the URA, Mr Kelvin Chung (left), announce the commencement of Sai Yee Street / Flower Market Road Development Scheme in Mong Kok East.

    Covering a total site area of about 29,320 square metres, the YTM-013 Scheme comprises two main sites. Site A is composed of a larger site (A1) and four smaller sites (A2-A5), involving 23 buildings aged from 64 to 76 years. The four smaller sites are scattered around the Flower Market in the vicinity of the URA’s Prince Edward Road West/Yuen Ngai Street preservation and revitalisation project. These four sites are at strategic locations despite their relatively lower redevelopment potential. Site B covers an area with several existing Government facilities and segregated leisure spaces, such as Boundary Street Sports Centre No. 1 and No. 2, Boundary Street Recreation Ground, Sai Yee Street Children’s Playground and Boundary Street Nursery.

    At the media briefing today, Mr Lawrence Mak, Director (Planning and Design) of the URA, said, “After decades of development, the planning provisions, supporting facilities, and infrastructure around Sai Yee Street and Flower Market Road are no longer able to meet the development needs of the district. Through replanning and restructuring of land use, and a flexible mixed-use development model, the Scheme will implement the Development Node of ‘Mong Kok East — Urban Waterway’. Adopting an integrated approach in urban renewal by ways of redevelopment, preservation, revitalisation and rehabilitation, the Scheme aims to enhance the environment of the Flower Market area while facilitating its future development. The area will be transformed into a vibrant landmark in Mong Kok East with social attractions.

    The URA also aims to leverage the Scheme to address some local issues including aged recreational facilities with segregated functionality and spaces, lack of cohesive leisure and resting spaces, as well as traffic congestion and chaos in the Flower Market area.”

    Currently, various recreational and sports facilities such as the Tai Hang Tung Recreation Ground and Boundary Street Recreation Ground are available for public use in the area of the Flower Market, the north of Boundary Street, Sai Yee Street, and the Flower Market Path. However, these facilities are either divided by Boundary Street or fenced off without convenient pedestrian network in between. The Boundary Street Nursery situated between Flower Market Road and Flower Market Path separates the sports facilities from the Flower Market and Mong Kok Stadium, thus hampering the connectivity, accessibilities and synergies of the facilities. Also, the two sports centres in Site B were built 48 and 37 years ago, the facilities of which will need to be upgraded.

    The open space along Flower Market Path is enclosed by fences and flower beds and is only taken as pedestrian walk between Flower Market Road and Boundary Street. The remaining open space is also interspersed among the facilities, some of which are adjacent to the refuse collection point and public toilet. The existing planning, therefore, is unable to create synergy with the Flower Market and hampers the development of the area.

    There is also a need to improve the traffic and pedestrian environment in the Flower Market area. The problem of inadequate parking spaces has led to severe illegal parking. The issue of insufficient public loading/unloading bays has also given rise to loading/unloading on road sides, thus blocking the pedestrian walkways and forcing pedestrians to walk on the roads. Such a planning design is unable to meet the present and future development needs of the area and stifles the further development and the vibrancy of the Flower Market.

    Apart from redevelopment through the necessary replanning and restructuring, the URA leverages on the Scheme to further promote building rehabilitation and preventive maintenance for the purpose of blending old and new. Related measures include facilitating the establishment of owners’ corporations for “three-nil buildings”, providing additional one-off subsidies to owners on top of existing building rehabilitation subsidy schemes, and promoting the “joint building management” model.

    In accordance with the Urban Renewal Authority Ordinance (URAO), a URA notice announcing the commencement of the YTM-013 Scheme can be found in the Gazette published today. The URA’s preliminary proposal is to provide about 103,900 square metres of gross floor area for building around 1,350 residential units. Government, Institution or Community facilities will be provided, together with a Waterway Park with not less than 8,800 square metres, public open space of 8,200 square metres, including an 11-a-side soccer pitch, as well as underground public carparks with 220 public parking spaces and 10 public loading/unloading bays.

    As amendment of the Outline Zoning Plan of the district will be involved, the URA will submit two draft Development Scheme Plans to the Town Planning Board (TPB) on or before 18 March 2024. All related information will be made available by TPB for public inspection. Full details are available on the notice in the Gazette.

    Starting today, URA staff will conduct freezing survey within the Scheme area to ascertain the actual number of affected residents and the occupancy status. At the media briefing, Mr Kelvin Chung, General Manager (Acquisition and Clearance) of the URA, remarked that the URA would start the acquisition of property interests and make compensation/rehousing offers to eligible tenants in accordance with the policy prevailing at the time when the approval to implement the YTM-013 Scheme is granted by the Chief Executive in Council.

    Mr Chung added that the URA will provide assistance to owners and tenants through different means, including briefing sessions, policies pamphlets, Smart Tips and detailed explanations by individual case officers, to mitigate their doubt after commencement of the Scheme. Besides, the URA will remind the owners that compensation/rehousing offers will be based on the conditions recorded in the freezing survey and no extra allowances will be provided to the owners for any changes in the occupancy status after the survey, including repossessing of rented property for self-use, vacating tenants from the property, or renting the unit to new tenants.

    Following the commencement of the Scheme, the URA will conduct briefing sessions covering the planning procedure and the URA’s prevailing acquisition and compensation arrangements. The URA will also assign case officers to contact the affected households and business operators to explain the acquisition, rehousing and compensation policies and the implementation timeline of the Scheme.

    An urban renewal social service team comprising professional social workers of the Salvation Army has been appointed by the Urban Renewal Fund to provide assistance for owners and occupants in need. The social service team can be reached at 3586 3095. Affected residents can also visit the URA Headquarters in person, call the URA’s Hotline at 2588 2333 for enquiries, or visit the URA website at www.ura.org.hk for information about the project.


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