90% of Pearl Horizon buyers registered for replacement flats 

Out of the 2,128 buyers of the failed Pearl Horizon private residential project, 1,932 have applied for the rights to purchase replacement apartments, Macau Urban Renewal Ltd., a publicly-owned entity, confirmed at a press conference yesterday.

The press conference was held to provide updates to the public about the progress of the replacement apartments for the Pearl Horizon project. The government retrieved the land concession for the project in January 2016, because the developer had failed to complete construction work within its 25-year concession.

The registration period for replacement apartments to be built by the government-backed company ended on August 16. Macau Urban Renewal received nearly 2,000 applications with the help of the Municipal Affairs Bureau, and 12 submitted their applications directly to the company. Those 12 applicants had not legally registered their Pearl Horizon purchase.

Among the received applications, 1,716 have been accepted and 216 suspended. The suspended applications were due to ongoing lawsuits between the buyers and the government.

If they win their lawsuits and receive compensation from the government, they will no longer have the right to purchase the replacement units.

They also have the right to withdraw from the lawsuits. If so, they will need to notify the company with legal documents from the Court within 10 days of their withdrawal. They can then revive any applications for replacement units.

The company expects the replacement units will be built in three years. They will be built in the form of private residential projects. As such, the development will include parking lots and a clubhouse.

The development will be built after the construction plan is approved by the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau. The approval process is expected to take about half a year, explained Lam Kam Seng, the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Macau Urban Renewal, but he could not make a promise “for a third party.”

The replacement units will be similar in size to the pre-sale units of the original Pearl Horizon development. The difference between both will not exceed 5%, Lam advised.

Lam was also asked about the future renovation of old districts. Chief Executive-elect Ho Iat Seng has stressed the importance of this project.

The government’s proposal is to gather all existing residents at a particular building, then offer them temporary accommodation and finally let them return to their newly built residences: taller, brighter, better.

The area of each apartment will be about the same as their existing ones, just that the buildings will be taller, with modern facilities.

In addition, the quantity of rebuilt units will be the same as in the old buildings. The urban renewal company, after all, is not a company for profit.

“The owners should be very happy about it. They get a newer [apartment] with an elevator by forgoing an older one,” Lam said, but added that construction costs will be borne by the owners.

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