UGAMM & MUR hold urban renewal talk, hope residents could look ahead and let redevelopment come true

Release time:2022/04/29
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An MUR representative introduces the local area plan for Iao Hon Estate.

For residents to have a better understanding of the redevelopment plan for Iao Hon Estate, the General Union of Neighbourhood Associations of Macau (UGAMM) recently held a community talk about urban renewal at its office in the northern district, inviting Macau Urban Renewal Limited (MUR) representatives to present the local area plan for Iao Hon Estate.


Attendees at the community talk included MUR Board of Directors Chairperson Peter Lam Kam Seng, Vice-Chairperson Leong Keng Seng, Board Member Tam Chi Wai, Senior Architect Nick Chan Hoi Wa and Urban Planner Joyce Tam Hoi Ian, as well as UGAMM Director-General Chan Ka Leong and Vice Director-General Chao I Sam, who also heads UGAMM’s office in the northern district.


The talk, which took place at UGAMM’s Community Centre for the Hipodromo, Areia Preta and Iao Hon Neighbourhoods, attracted about 70 property owners in attendance, whose main concerns were redevelopment costs, land premiums and rental rates for temporary housing, and who were worried it would be difficult for them to bear the redevelopment costs, which could hinder the redevelopment to bear fruit.


Some property owners said that residents in the neighbourhood were advanced in age, expressing concerns about the time it would take for redevelopment, and hoping there could be a flat-for-flat exchange programme. There were also suggestions that the minimum proportion of property owners required to agree to the redevelopment of their building be lowered to 60 to 70 percent so that there is hope for redevelopment to proceed.


In response, MUR representatives said that the company’s role in Iao Hon Estate’s redevelopment project was to co-ordinate and promote, and initiate redevelopment by way of attaining owners’ consent and not acquisition. In order to speed up the redevelopment process, the block of housing whose property ownerships are more complete would be given priority to redevelopment.


The local area plan for Iao Hon Estate will have a three-level underground car park, auxiliary facilities and commercial space. The addition of the car park and commercial space could help offset part of the construction costs, and the value of the buildings would also be increased after redevelopment, and once the demolition process of the existing building is complete, construction of a new building would take three to three and a half years. The size of the existing flats would be used as a reference when designing the new residential unit, and details would be discussed with the property owners. At present, MUR is assisting residents at Iao Hon Estate’s Son Lei House to formally form a property owners’ association to prepare for redevelopment.


UGAMM Director-General Chan Ka Leong said that the association has always been following the redevelopment of Iao Hon and urban renewal, pointing out that issues from older neighbourhoods pose a threat to public safety in the community.


Chan also said that he understood that costs such as rent, moving and construction would incur during the redevelopment process and that these costs are a big issue for residents. However, Chan stressed that the government’s redevelopment project is not for profit, pointing out that property ownership would always remain with the property owners, and when the existing building becomes a new building, the amount of value-added to it would be significant. Chan said he believed banks would be able to offer support and UGAMM would always be there to help, and he hoped that property owners could work with MUR and take the first step for redevelopment to revitalise the old neighbourhood.

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