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February 1, 2010

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Demolition man changes sides

AN expert on forced demolitions was hired to stall a demolition in Beijing until a tenant could get reasonable compensation.

Lu Daren had made 9 million yuan (US$1.32 million) in the past 12 years handling forced demolitions for a developer, but became the guardian angel of a restaurant owner whose premises near the iconic National Stadium were about to be demolished for a new development, reported Guangzhou-based magazine Southern People Weekly.

He was about to move to Australia when he accepted Qin Rong's offer - 1,000 yuan a month plus accommodation and 2 percent of the compensation - to stall the demolition of her restaurant next to the Anzhenmen Station.

Qin had signed a three-year lease with a sub-landlord in 2008 and spent nearly 500,000 yuan setting up the restaurant.

But the sub-landlord told her in September the place would be flattened and she would get only 350,000 yuan.

Qin said she wouldn't accept the deal and advertised for somebody willing to guard her restaurant 24 hours a day.

Lu, experienced with all the tricks of developers, thwarted all attempts to demolish the building and in December started a protest to raise public support.

The landlord and developer agreed to negotiate and finally promised Qin fair compensation before it went to court.


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