Mei Foo Sun Chuen
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|Mei Foo Sun Chuen|
Regular blocks of Mei Foo Sun Chuen
|Literal meaning||Mobil New Village|
Mei Foo Sun Chuen or simply Mei Foo (美孚) is a large private housing estate in Lai Chi Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Mei Foo Sun Chuen was the first private housing estate in Hong Kong and at the time of completion, the 99 tower complex was considered the largest private housing development in the world, accommodating some 70,000 – 80,000 people in 13,500 apartments.
Mei Foo Sun Chuen was built in eight stages from 1965 to 1978 on the reclamation formerly used for petroleum storage by Mobil (now part of ExxonMobil) in Hong Kong (Mobil's Chinese trading name in Hong Kong is 美孚; Mei Foo). The development was conducted by Mei Foo Investments Limited, a subsidiary company of Mobil Oil (Hong Kong) Limited.
At the time of building, the government was tackling the serious squatter hut problem by constructing public resettlement estates for citizens without homes (especially those displaced by the Shek Kip Mei fire). Mei Foo Sun Chuen was conceived to meet the housing needs of Hong Kong's middle-income families, an emerging and growing group at the time. At the time, a flat in Mei Foo cost around HK$40,000.
The residential complexes of Mei Foo were considered "grand" for the standards at the time they were built; every flat offers a balcony, at least two rooms and one bathroom. The apartment sizes vary from 600 to 1,800 square feet (56 to 167 square metres). Every apartment complex has a 24 hour uniformed, unarmed security force. Entry to a residential block requires an entrance code, which changes periodically.
Mei Foo Sun Chuen has several schools, medical clinics, beauty salons, newspaper kiosks, supermarkets, shopping arcades, restaurants and food markets within its vicinity, making it area very convenient for residents. The private secondary schools in particular are formerly notable for academically poor students (The schools in Hong Kong are divided, based on academic achievements into 3 categories. The aforementioned schools are in the third category and are deemed to have less than satisfactory performances.) However, as education policy change, some schools have evolved into multicultural ones.
The once largest owners' corporation with legal status in Hong Kong, The Incorporated Owners of Mei Foo Sun Chuen – Stage I, was formed in 1997. The founder of the corporation, Yiu Chi-Wai, served as the Chairman of the Management Committee from 1997 to 2000. The other seven stages' owners' corporations were also formed during the period.
Mei Foo is on the crossroad between Kowloon and Tsuen Wan. It is also considered part of the west border of urban Kowloon. Kwai Chung Road and Lai Chi Kok Bridge are the major roads in the area. A major bus terminus is located under the Kwai Chung Road underpass. serving as a terminus for multiple bus routes. The MTR rapid transit railway services Mei Foo Station is connected to the Tsuen Wan Line, completed in 1982, and to the West Rail Line, operational since 2003. Alternate forms of public transport like minibuses and taxis also service the estate.
In 2009, the new Route 8 tunnels opened near Mei Foo, providing a much more direct road link to the eastern New Territories.
- DBS Bank Safe Deposit Box Destruction Incident (2 October 2004)
Lai Chi Kok Park
The Lai Chi Kok Park is a large public area near the estate, stretching along the Kwai Chung Road motorway. The park, mainly built on reclaimed land, contains a children's playground, a public swimming complex, an indoor sports centre, an outdoor running facility, a traditional Chinese garden, basketball courts, squash courts, soccer fields, tennis courts and a skate park.
The indoor sports centre has squash courts, basketball courts, ballet studios and badminton courts.
The swimming facility is quite large. It contains 3 training pools, 2 main pools (one 1.2m-1.4m, the other 1.4m-1.9m in depth), two children's pools, and a diving pool.
The Mei Foo skatepark is the largest skatepark in Hong Kong and also the most visited. It contains two half pipes and several quarter pipes, single rails and fun boxes. Most of the ramps are above 6 ft (1.8 m). The skatepark has been visited by various professional skateboarders such as Chris Haslam, Terrell Robinson, Mike Peterson. My Little Airport, a local indie band, made a song about it.
A collection of photos pertaining to Mei Foo Sun Chuen is shown below:
- Mei Foo (MTR)
- List of buildings and structures in Hong Kong
- List of areas of Hong Kong
- Wong Tung & Partners
- Mei Foo Ferry Pier
- Chan, Chi-kau, Johnnie Casire, "Community development and management of private sector housing estates in Hong Kong", University of Hong Kong, August 1995
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mei Foo Sun Chuen.|
- S.K. Hui, A. Cheung, J. Pang, "A Hierarchical Bayesian Approach for Residential Property Valuation:Application to Hong Kong Housing Market", International Real Estate Review, 2010 Vol. 13 No.1: pp. 1 – 29
- Yu, Pui-kwan, Robin, "A study on quasi-public space in large scale private residential development, case in Hong Kong", University of Hong Kong, 2007