Authorities deny that astronomic amounts of compensation are being given to those currently being evicted from Nanluoguxiang, according to an article in today’s Beijing News.
Behind the blue construction barriers that obscure much of the south end of Nanluoguxiang – a traditional Chinese alley filled with small shops, bars and hostels – much of the picturesque architecture has already been flattened. Shops and bars within the demolition area are currently offering discounts and promotions, with a sign seen yesterday offering drinkers “one last night of craziness.”
According to authorities, buildings are being pulled down to make way for the construction of a new subway station. Due to be completed in 2012, the development is part of the planned extension of Line 8, which will connect the National Art Museum in the south and Huoying (Line 13) in the north.
The Beijing News article is a response to earlier reports and rumours that suggest that occupants of buildings earmarked for demolition were to receive as much as 300,000 yuan per square meter in compensation (average property prices in Dongcheng District are around 10,000 yuan per square meter).
“Compensation above 100,000 yuan per square meter?” said a spokesperson for the planning department yesterday, “That’s impossible.” According to the official, demolition and evictions were progressing smoothly, and average compensation would be more like 50,000 yuan per square meter. Payment of compensation would shared by the Dongcheng District Government and the subway construction company.
However, despite official optimism, some businesses within the demolition area are showing no signs of closing, and media reports have indicated that evictions are not going to plan. According to People’s Daily Online, 20 occupants are yet to reach agreements over compensation. The report goes on to claim that the authorities, having entered into negotiations, may begin to forcibly evict occupants that are demanding exorbitant levels of compensation.
On a happier note, The Peking Order would also like to wish Ned’s – an Australian bar located half way up Nanluoguxiang – a very happy 1st birthday! Close friends of this blog, the owners made the right decision when selecting the venue for Ned’s. If it was not for the fact that a deal to rent premises at the south end of the street fell through at the last minute, tonight’s anniversary party could well have been the final piss up before the bulldozers roll in!