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August 17, 2009

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Collapse compensation closer

A REALISTIC compensation package for owners of the residential building that collapsed in Shanghai's Minhang District on June 27 moved a step closer over the weekend after a crucial set of figures was released by the developer of the complex.

The firm made public the asking prices for unsold apartments in the complex a day before the accident.

On June 26, prices of the 90 unsold apartments in Lotus Riverside complex varied from 14,380 yuan (US$2,104) to 18,790 yuan per square meter according to each apartment's size and location, Shanghai Meidu Real Estate Co said in a statement on Saturday.

On June 27, Building 7, an unfinished 13-story project in the complex, collapsed and killed a worker.

Critical point

The accident has been blamed on improper earth removal and the excavation of an underground garage next to Building 7, according to a government report.

Seven people involved with the developer, builder and project supervisor were placed under arrest last week.

"The company has been asked by the government, after house owners' requests, to publicize the sales price of the entire complex," Meidu said in the statement.

"But our records only have the prices of unsold apartments."

Compensation talks for Building 7 were at a critical point, affected buyers said.

The complex consists of 11 buildings of 13 stories, with apartments ranging from 66 to 128 square meters.

Up to 489 of the estate's 629 apartments had been sold by the time of the collapse.

Demolition of the toppled building was completed last Thursday.

Real estate giant Vanke was appointed to take over further construction and sales of the remaining buildings on July 31.

The market prices of the remaining buildings will be evaluated by a government-authorized party, the Shanghai Urban Real Estate Appraisal Co Ltd, and are scheduled to be released on Friday.

An online platform will be established to facilitate communications between all parties involved in the affair.


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