SDEV visits Yau Tsim Mong District (with photos)

     The Secretary for Development, Mr Michael Wong, today (December 11) visited Yau Tsim Mong District to see the preservation and revitalisation project at Prince Edward Road West and Yuen Ngai Street and met with members of the Yau Tsim Mong District Council (YTMDC).

     Accompanied by the Chairman of the YTMDC, Mr Chris Ip; the District Officer (Yau Tsim Mong), Mrs Laura Aron; and the Managing Director of the Urban Renewal Authority (URA), Mr Wai Chi-sing, Mr Wong was briefed by the General Manager (Planning & Design) of the URA, Mr Lawrence Mak, on the preservation and adaptive re-use of 10 pre-war verandah-type shophouses along Prince Edward Road West and Yuen Ngai Street to learn more about the historical background and development of the project.

     Located at the Flower Market, the 10 shophouses were built in art deco style in the 1930s and make up one of the longest remaining rows of pre-war verandah-type shophouses in Hong Kong. The URA has preserved all of the buildings and only refurbishment and restoration works were carried out. Renovation has now completed and all of the units have been rented out. Ground floor shops are predominantly florist and horticulture supply premises while the upper units accommodate various commercial and cultural uses. One of the buildings is managed and operated by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service after refurbishment. It has been revitalised into a social enterprise-run lifestyle hub featuring a wide range of community arts and cultural activities as well as interest classes for the elderly.

     Mr Wong was shown by Mr Mak the key preserved architectural features in and outside the shophouses, including the façade of the building cluster, original floor tiles, staircases and windows. He also visited some social enterprises to learn about their business operations.

     "In the process of urban renewal planning, it is important to be able to preserve and reflect the local character and history of the district. Upon revitalisation, the building type of the shophouse cluster has been preserved. It also ties in with the role of the Flower Market as a hub of flora and horticulture businesses since the last century. It is a blend of old and new elements which has retained the unique community identities and injected vibrancy into the district," Mr Wong said.

     Mr Wong then met with YTMDC members to listen to their views and suggestions on the work of the Government and they exchanged views on district issues.

Ends/Monday, December 11, 2017
Issued at HKT 17:12