Pavilia Farm III towers to be demolished over blunder

Property developer New World Development on Thursday says two of its residential blocks at a highly-popular complex under construction in Tai Wai will have to be torn down and rebuilt, after they failed concrete strength tests.

In a statement, New World said the concrete of some walls at the two towers in the third phase of ‘The Pavilia Farm’, did not meet the requirements of the approved design.

It said Towers One and Eight will have to be demolished and rebuilt, adding that it has ordered its contractor, the Hip Seng Group of Companies, to fully investigate what went wrong. The entire project management team has also been sacked.

The property developer said the project’s completion date will have to be pushed back by around nine months, as it apologised to almost 850 buyers affected by the delay.

It said the buyers will be given the option of either carrying on with their deals or terminating them, and will be compensated either way.

The property giant also stressed that five completed blocks at Pavilia Farms’ two other phases are safe and have passed all the necessary tests.

But some of the owners of these flats, including a woman surnamed Chan, are still worried, saying the developer must disclose all of its investigation findings.

“This news is quite shocking to say the least. New World has always had a pretty good reputation and that’s why we chose Pavilia Farm to invest in. They would really have to salvage their public image in this case, by for example publishing a transparent report detailing the causes, the impact and also disclose any other problems known to them,” Chan told RTHK.

“While it is definitely commendable for them to compensate the flat owners, in my view that’s not enough. We need to know similar incidents wouldn’t take place anymore, especially when similar incidents would have a far-reaching impact on future price levels of the flats and also the safety of workers and residents there”.

Meanwhile, the MTR Corporation – the joint-developer of The Pavilia Farm – also expressed deep concern over the construction blunder.

“We are highly concerned about this issue and have requested the developer to submit a full investigation report and carry out appropriate follow-up actions to ensure the relevant buildings meet the requirements of the approved design as well as to take into consideration the interests of affected purchasers”, the railway giant said.

The Buildings Department, for its part, said it has launched its own probe into whether the Buildings Ordinance had been violated.

In a statement, it said it was first notified of failed test results of concrete samples involving Tower Eight last month, and had ordered work to be suspended pending another set of tests.

The department learned earlier this week that similar problems emerged at Tower One, where construction also had to be halted.

The Pavilia Farm project, which consists of three phases involving seven residential blocks, has been a major hit with Hongkongers and sparked a buying frenzy due to its prime location above Tai Wai MTR Station.

Flats put up for sale there since late last year were snapped up within days. Prices for the latest batch at The Pavilia Farm III started at HK$7.4 million, or HK$18,760 per square foot.
Last updated: 2021-07-08 HKT 18:15