Date
21 August 2017
Ten high-ceilinged tenement houses on the 600 block of Shanghai Street will be preserved. Photo: HKEJ
Ten high-ceilinged tenement houses on the 600 block of Shanghai Street will be preserved. Photo: HKEJ

URA to spend HK$200 million reviving 10 tenement houses

The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) is spending HK$200 million to preserve and revive a row of tenement houses in Mong Kok, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Tuesday.

The buildings on Shanghai Street, built in the Guangzhou style in the 1920s, will be turned into Cantonese tea houses, cafés, dim sum restaurants and traditional corner stores.

The project, which was initiated in 2008, is likely to make a loss and requires exemptions from the Buildings Department to change the usage and structures of the properties.

The block of 14 tenement houses, a common form of dwelling in the city before the introduction of public housing in the 1950s, occupies 600-626 Shanghai Street.

Among the buildings, 10 were built in the 1920s, each three to four stories tall. They were listed as Grade II buildings by the Antiquities Advisory Board in 2010 and will be preserved. The other four, built in the 1960s, will be demolished.

The Guangzhou-style buildings feature large balconies and high ceilings.

It is rare for the URA to preserve so many tenement houses in a single renewal project, said Cheng Po-hung, honorary adviser to the Hong Kong Museum of History.

The URA plans to keep the existing plot ratio of five times the site area, instead of increasing it to the 10 times permitted.

Construction is expected to start this year and finish by 2019.

Translation by Vey Wong

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