Developers have decided that “Avenue Walk”, a controversial shopping mall redevelopment in Wan Chai, will change its name to “Lee Tung Avenue”, which is closer in relation to its former name “Lee Tung Street”.
Thomas Wu, managing director of developers Hopewell Holdings, reportedly announced the decision on Monday though did not explain the reasoning behind the move.
Lee Tung Street, originally known as Wedding Card Street by locals, was renowned for its small businesses which published and manufactured wedding cards and other wedding items.
It was cleared out and demolished in 2007 for a redevelopment project headed by the Urban Renewal Authority. Hopewell Holdings and Sino Land won the tender to redevelop the area in 2009 – it now comprises of residential and commercial sectors.
Few wedding product shops on the street were able to remain, partly due to rising rental costs.
In June 2013, the Urban Renewal Authority announced the new name, Avenue Walk (囍歡里), of the redeveloped mall. The Chinese name was a pun on the phrase “I love you”, as a nod to its plan to continue selling wedding related products. The name resulted in widespread criticism.
Ada Wong Ying-kay, former chair of the Wan Chai District Council who helped Lee Tung Street residents and businesses to negotiate just compensation before the redevelopment, said the name “reflected Hong Kong people’s bad taste.”
The project is due to open in early 2016.
Update 9:25am October 27: an earlier version of this article reported the new name to be “Lee Tung Street”; the correct name is “Lee Tung Avenue”.