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19 Jan 2011

HK$200M Earmarked by The Link REIT for Total Upgrading of Facilities to Meet New Standards of Barrier Free Access


(19 January 2011 ‧ Hong Kong) The Link Management Limited ("The Link") will upgrade all of The Link REIT's facilities under the Best Practicable Principle, at a budget of HK$200M, to comply with the standards set out in the Buildings Department: "Design Manual: Barrier Free Access 2008"and other associated requirements. To be commenced soon this year, the programme will be rolled out in 3 phases with anticipated completion of the last phase in 2016 (footnote 1).

The total upgrading of the BFA facilities will particularly benefit persons with disabilities, the elderly, people with other physical limitations, pregnant women and families with young, through the provision of accessible lifts, vertical platforms, tactile guide paths, accessible customer service counters, ramps, Braille layout plans and accessible toilets etc.

All the 8 properties recommended by the Equal Opportunities Commission for improvements of BFA facilities, including 6 shopping centres (Tai Wo, Tai Hing, Fu Tung, Tsz Wan Shan, Siu Sai Wan, Oi Man) (footnote 2) and 2 car parks (Kwai Hing, Tsz Lok), most of the works will have been completed in March 2011.

KT Poon, Director (Corporate Communications) of The Link, said, "The 180 properties owned and managed by The Link were built many years ago with some of them being over 30 years old. Since acquiring these properties and taking over the management in 2005, we have been progressively improving the BFA facilities at these locations through large-scale Asset Enhancement Initiatives and regular maintenance works.

"We have appointed BFA expert Mr Joseph Kwan (footnote 3) as our Access Advisor. Mr Kwan will review the characteristics of each of the properties and advise us of the best practicable solutions. That will ensure the improvement works will be done much more comprehensively and efficiently. Before the works start and in the course of implementation, we will keep close liaison with the Equal Opportunities Commission and Housing Department etc., and consult relevant bodies including organizations for the disabled to better understand their actual needs."

KT Poon added, "We will inform the public regularly our programme progress, respond to their enquiries and, through periodic communication, build consensus in providing the best practicable facilities and services for the community at large.

"For properties with intrinsic limitations or physical difficulties which cannot be upgraded to the latest barrier free standards, we will do our best to help those in need by means of operational measures.

"The Link will also revamp its website with widely-used web accessibility software tools to facilitate browsing by people who are visually impaired or physically disabled (such as neuromuscular impaired). It will also be our pleasure to sponsor venues for hosting of activities to promote social integration. We are planning to organize "The Link Social Integration Day" to facilitate more interaction between the disabled and the community, hoping to build a friendlier and more socially integrated society."


1 Please refer to the attached leaflet for details of The Link's "Barrier Free Access" facilities upgrading programme, the schedule and latest status.
2 Oi Man is currently under the Asset Enhancement Project, and the 'Barrier Free Access" facilities will be installed in 2012 as part of the enhancement works.
3 Biography of " Barrier Free Access" expert Mr Joseph Kwan
Architectural Expert & Access Consultant in Universal Design & Accessibility 
- 20 years of experience focusing on accessibility and disability. 
- Ex-Committee Member of various government consultation committees on accessibility and transport for the disabled, including the Rehabilitation Advisory Committee - Subcommittee on Access.
- Former consultant of United Nation - Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific, advising the United Nation on the Non-handicapping Environments and Barrier-free Tourism of the Asia Pacific Region.
- Member of the ISO (International Standards Organization) Working Group on the preparation of the standard on the "Accessibility and the Usability of the Built Environment".

(From left to right) K T Poon, Director of Corporate Communications, Joseph Kwan, Access Advisor, Michael Lo, Head of Operations, Christopher Wong, Assistant General Manager – Compliance & Tenancy Works, announced the details of The Link's total upgrading of facilities to meet new standards of barrier free access

(From left to right) K T Poon, Director of Corporate Communications, Joseph Kwan, Access Advisor, Michael Lo, Head of Operations, Christopher Wong, Assistant General Manager – Compliance & Tenancy Works, announced the details of The Link's total upgrading of facilities to meet new standards of barrier free access

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Photo: accessible customer service counter

Photo: accessible lift

Photo: Braille layout plan

Photo: ramp
Euromoney Real Estate Awards 2013 Best Investment Manager in Hong Kong 2015 Institutional Investor Most Honored Company in Hong Kong 2015 The Asset Triple A Awards Property Investor of the Year DJSI Asia Pacific FTSE4Good GRESB Green Star 2014 Hong Kong Awards for Industries: Customer Service Grand Award Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme