Despite the rain and the gloomy skies, the neighbourhood suddenly looks brighter…
This six-floor walk-up probably dates back to the 1960s-70s. Normally, if a developer acquires a whole building like this, they knock it down and build a 40-floor block in its place – even if it’s a thin ‘pencil’-type structure. But if memory serves, you can’t do that on certain lots (this one is at the end of a cul-de-sac, which might be the reason).
Around three years ago, the coarse blackened concrete and rusty window frames disappeared behind netting. Since then, workers have been in to do renovation occasionally for no more than a few weeks at a time. Maybe the owner is short of funds, or simply isn’t in a hurry.
Now the shroud has come off, and we see a gleaming new exterior – a slight art-deco effect with a ziggurat on the roof (top of stairwell and access to roof, I guess). And much bigger windows than before.
I haven’t had a proper snoop, but there’s no sign of an elevator being installed, so it presumably remains a walk-up. I would guess it originally had two 300 sq ft (max) apartments per floor. Are they now studios, or knocked together to create one flat per floor (or subdivided into micro-coffins)? Does the owner plan to sell units, rent them long-term, or let them out as AirBnB? Have his calculations been affected by the unforeseeable changes Hong Kong has been through since he began the project?
On more pressing national-security matters – that PLA video goes Village People’s Army. And while their backs are turned…
Get your VPNs ready, people, as I’m sure we will soon come under the “protection” of the great firewall of China …
It looks as though the top floor is undivided. And since the staircase appears to be at one thin end of the rectangle, rather than in the middle, it looks as though the other floors may also be undivided.
There has been a number of building makeovers recently triggered by planning restrictions or the developer biding his time until he can acquire the entire block for a mega project.
What is difficult for some to understand is the money bug that drives property owners to wring out the very last cent from their buildings instead of looking after them while living very comfortable on the revenue they generate.
I calculated that I alone have paid for my building as it was acquired decades ago. But the owners refused to lower rents for tenants in financial difficulties so a number were forced to move out.
Regrettably even the possibility that they might become victims of Covid and not live to enjoy their spoils has not prompted rent seekers to adopt a more generous mindset.
Los Bitchos (discovered vis the link) is now the soundtrack of the afternoon; probably intionext week too
(comment not related to today’s posting)
The government exempts the PRC experts from quarantine so they can come in and fix the problems caused by the large categories of persons (estimated to be 200,000) the government exempted from quarantine after the epidemic was fixed by implementing quarantine for Hong Kong visitors.
Who knows the definition of insanity?
In case you missed it:
“The Hong Kong Police Force systematically harassed, physically assaulted, unlawfully arrested and detained humanitarian medical workers treating the injured at the sites of demonstrations. Equally concerning were patterns of abuses in ambulances and even in hospitals in the pursuit of law enforcement objectives.”
Not that biglychee misses much, I must add.
This morning, just before lunch, there was a knock-knock on my door. Very uncommon, unless they were Jehovahs on Sunday morning. Two blue-shirt popo were standing there and I thought, ‘Okay, that’s it. They got me. I will spend the rest of my life in a dungeon of the Chinese Gestapo in Shenzhen.’ However, it turned out that the two young men, who were perfectly polite, were looking for a missing person. They showed me the picture of the ‘missing person’ and when I told them I didn’t recognize that person, they left, but not before asking my first name (‘Mike’).
So were they really looking for a ‘missing person’ and is my first name really ‘Mike’? Find out in the next episode of ‘Dragnet’.
It would seem that HKPF are on a charm offensive – uploading photos to Facebook of ever-so helpful officers assisting cardboard collectors with their trolley loads and pushing a presumably-stalled minibus. Looks like they are trying to convince us that they could not possibly be guilty of any excessive or vindictive force against anyone since they are such nice guys.
Well, they won’t convince me until they give us a PLA/Korean boy band-style music video.