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Demolition shops in the dark

[ 2009-10-19 12:44]     字号 [] [] []  
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Shopkeepers along extension sections of Olympic subway Line 8 say they do not know if the government will continue with its planned demolition of their stores.

When the government first revealed its plan to extend the subway, it asked the shops to be torn down by mid July. Now three months past the deadline, many businesses are still there.

Owners of popular cafes, restaurants and stores in central Beijing told China Daily’s METRO that developers last contacted them about their plans two months ago.

Bar owner Wang Haiyan said she had no idea of what will happen to her café Advance with Time. The café is in the planned demolition zone in the bar district Nanluoguxiang.

"The coffee shop and our neighbors have moved and their houses are empty, but nobody has told us whether to leave and when," she said.

Despite this, the latest draft for the subway expansion released by the Beijing municipal commission of urban planning at the weekend said extensions of Line 8 will go ahead unchanged. The extensions will sit on the central north-south axis of Beijing, which is aligned through Gulou, or the Drum Tower, the Forbidden City and Tian'anmen Square.

The plan will affect shops in the neighborhoods near Nanluoguxiang, the National Art Museum and Wangfujing.

Rumors emerged in late July that developers would pay 300,000 yuan ($44,000) for each sq m of floor space, but the government soon denied it.

Shopkeepers said the final compensation should be about 30,000 to 50,000 yuan, based on current relocation compensation in Beijing.

Owner of popular noodle shop Yellow River Water near the National Art Museum yesterday said the developers agreed to cover the costs to build a new shop outside the new station.

"I'm looking forward to a renovation with the subway project going on. But now, it seems the government has changed their mind and we may not have to move," said the owner, who declined to be named.

A woman shopkeeper of Bear Taro, a shop also near the museum, said most shops were reluctant to move.

"Now many people enjoy coming here to buy books, DVDs and creative items," she said. "The place will not be the same without the small shops."

The subway developers said the 10.1 billion yuan extension project is to be completed by 2013. It will add 12 new stations linking the Olympic Central area stations with central Beijing,

Four more subway lines will also be completed by 2012 to boost Beijing's public transport, according to the government plan. This includes Line 9 connecting Beijing West Railway Station with the downtown as well as the extensions of Line 10, which will help ease traffic in southwest parts of the 3rd Ring Road.

(英语点津 Julie 编辑)

Demolition shops in the dark

About the broadcaster:

Demolition shops in the dark

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.