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The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) (15 March 2024) commences the Sai Yee Street / Flower Market Road Development Scheme (YTM-013 Scheme) and proceeds with the relevant statutory planning procedures in mid March. 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).

The YTM-013 Scheme is implemented under the 2011, 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 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.

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 and four smaller sites, 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. 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.

Specific planning recommendations of YTM-013

1) Construction of an “Urban Waterway” as a “blue-green feature” to build up community vitality and create synergy with the Flower Market

To materialise the concept of “Urban Waterway” between Boundary Street and Nathan Road as recommended in the YMDS, a Waterway Park of not less than 8,800 square metres will be built to provide leisure and recreational space for the public.

The Park, with the “Urban Waterway” as the axis, will serve as a “connector” to link up the nearby recreation facilities. Through integrating the landscape design, outdoor space layout and the proposed pedestrian connections, the Flower Market, the Mong Kok Stadium, the Tai Hang Tung Recreation Ground and the multi-purpose complex will be connected to draw the pedestrian flow, large-scale sports events, and recreational activities together so as to energise the community and create an attractive leisure and recreational hub.

The Scheme proposes to relocate the community nursery to further enhance the connectivity and integration between the Waterway Park and the surrounding facilities. A pedestrian bridge across Boundary Street and connecting to Tai Hang Tung Recreation Ground will also be built at the proposed multi-purpose complex to link up the segregated recreational facilities in the Flower Market area.

To align with the “Shining City Project” proposed in the Policy Address and amplify the ambience and characteristics of the Flower Market, flowering trees and colourful shrubs will be planted in the Park to create a “flower appreciation hotspot” for public enjoyment. This will not only create a synergy with the Flower Market but also enhance urban beautification.

2) “Single Site, Multiple Use” to meet the community needs and promote diversified and cohesive development

The “Single Site, Multiple Use” model will be used for the diversified and mixed development in Site B with the construction of a multi-purpose complex, residential units, a hotel or an office tower. The multiple-purpose complex will be relocated with upgraded facilities. It will also become the permanent address of the Yau Tsim Mong District Health Centre in the future. The complex will also make available new facilities for government and community use, subject to the confirmation of the requirements by relevant Bureaux/Departments and the financial/operation arrangements. This will optimise the use of land and maximise the planning benefits.

On-street retail units under the recommended themes of floristry or gardening and sports will be set up in the podium of the complex so as to upgrade the hardware and promote the development of the Flower Market. These retail units together with the adjacent sports facilities and events to be held at the Mong Kok Stadium will scale up the development of the relevant businesses. The on-street portion facing Sai Yee Street will be set back to allow more product display space for the shops, thereby improving the current operation model in the Flower Market and enhancing the pedestrian environment.

To address the traffic issue, the project will provide underground carparks with 500 ancillary parking spaces and approximately 220 public parking spaces to alleviate the shortage of metered parking spaces in the Flower Market area and the situation of illegal parking, as well as pedestrian-vehicle conflicts in the Flower Market precinct. It will also provide about 10 additional loading/unloading bays to facilitate the operation of some flower shops. The entrance and exit of the carpark at Site B will be located on Boundary Street, reducing the traffic load in the Flower Market area.

3) Adopting an integrated approach to create the “Third Street” of the Flower Market and boost street vitality

Through an integrated approach in urban renewal by ways of redevelopment, preservation, revitalisation and rehabilitation, along with place-making initiatives, the ambience and street vitality will be strengthened, which will in turn further promote the development of the Flower Market.

The URA will apply the “linked-site” approach to transfer the development potential from small, scattered sites that are challenging and inefficient to redevelop individually in the project to Site A1 to enable a larger scale mixed development to optimise urban renewal opportunities and amplify planning benefits.

Site A2 to A5, located between Prince Edward Road West and Yuen Ngai Street, will be redeveloped into public open spaces with low-rise facilities for gathering and commercial activities. Additionally, the back lane linking Flower Market Road and Yuen Ngai Street will be transformed into the “Third Street” of the Flower Market. Opportunities will be created to “open up” the existing buildings’ back facades along the lane to increase retail display frontages. Together with the URA’s existing preservation and revitalisation project at Prince Edward Road West, this urban renewal integrated approach will draw pedestrian flow, boost street vitality, and reinforce the historical and local characteristics of the Flower Market.

Project Programme

In accordance with the Urban Renewal Authority Ordinance, a URA notice announcing the commencement of the YTM-013 Scheme can be found in the Gazette published on 15 March.

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.

The entire project is estimated to be completed by 2035/2036.

Source of Information and Picture: Official Website of Urban Renewal Authority

Complimentary copies available to members of the following associations:

The Hong Kong Construction Association
Macau Coustruction Association
Hong Kong General Building Contractors Association
Hong Kong Institute of Utility Specialists
China Hongkong Society for Trenchless Technology Association
Hong Kong Construction Materials Association Limited
Contractor's Authorised Signatory Association
Hong Kong Construction Machinery Association