Why Hong Kong flower market florists are worried about a redevelopment plan

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With an investment of over HK$1.6 million, Adrian Lai and his partner Tiffany Ha ventured into Hong Kong’s century-old flower market last November. “We were optimistic about its business prospects – all shops here are street-front shops, and the pedestrian traffic is bustling,” Lai told HKFP in Cantonese.

While Lai has been an entrepreneur for years, Ha is good with cut flowers. The young couple in their 30s opened a shop at the junction of Sai Yee Street and Prince Edward Road West, which showcased blooms and greenery from all over the world: mainland China, the Netherlands, South Africa, Ecuador, and New Zealand.

Thanks to the city’s free market and free port, the flower market flourished over the decades as the economy grew. With 122 ground-floor shops currently spanning four streets, it is often listed as one of the world’s most famous flower markets.

So Lai was shocked when, just four months after they opened their business, a huge redevelopment scheme for the flower market district was announced by the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) in mid-March. It proposes the demolition of 22 low-rise buildings which accommodate 35 ground-level shops and 12 upper-level shops, and the acquisition of much public land to build high-rise residential buildings, commercial blocks and a waterway park.

Read more at hongkongfp.com

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