Kowloon East has emerged in recent years as an alternative office and retail option for occupiers in Hong Kong. With the development now underway in Kai Tak, however, the area is entering a new phase with the potential to see it transformed into a new major business and lifestyle hub. Kai Tak will leverage both the continuing development of nearby Kwun Tong and Kowloon Bay, as well as a distinctive new range of office and retail spaces that hold several unique advantages for occupiers.
With limited new office and retail developments set for completion in the next couple of years, now is the perfect time for investors to explore the potential opportunities and exciting future prospects of the area.
A place to work, shop, live, and play
According to Eric Chong, Associate Director of Research at Cushman & Wakefield Hong Kong, “Kai Tak is going to attract multinational companies to relocate even their front offices from core and other non-core office areas in Hong Kong. There will be a plethora of high-spec single-ownership buildings, making Kai Tak the area with the second highest concentration of sizeable Grade A offices in Hong Kong.”
The planning vision of the Kai Tak Development (KTD) is to become a vibrant, attractive, and people-oriented community across Victoria Harbour. The KTD project will interlink six sub-districts (or precincts) through a distinctive open space and connectivity system. The principal precincts will include Kai Tak City Centre, Kai Tak Sports Park, Metro Park, Runway Precinct, Tourism and Leisure Hub, and South Apron Corner.
George Mak, Chief Engineer of Kai Tak Development at the Civil Engineering and Development Department of HKSAR Government, shared that “the KTD aims to showcase a quality living environment through a green web of sustainable developments. In other words, its aim is to ultimately become a heritage, green, sports and tourism hub for Hong Kong.”
An alternative central business district
People today want to be able to choose where and how they work. Connectivity, flexibility, and easy access to amenities have become essential for corporate workers. “Under the comprehensive planning, Kai Tak is going to be a dynamic hub, an alternative to the traditional CBD that will offer a new kind of high-quality working experience,” says Nigel Barnes, Vice President of Network Development, Asia Pacific at International Workplace Group.
Rommel Lau, Director at Nan Fung Development, adds: “We envision Kai Tak to have offices across a big park, besides a river and next to an MRT station. It is going to be a unique CBD in Hong Kong. Together with nearby cultural and leisure facilities under construction, the whole area will attract start-ups and creative enterprises.”
Another benefit that the new project will bring is that travel time from Kai Tak to other parts of Hong Kong will be greatly shortened, thanks to the city’s new transportation infrastructure. This will make Kai Tak a perfect Hong Kong centrepoint to meet the demands of work, shop, live, and play.
“In the future there will be no talk of front-office and back-office. There will only be new, quality office for occupiers and commercial facilities that will meet the needs of all. We must think out of the box to see the future of Kai Tak,” commented LK Lam, Senior Director at New World Development.
According to government plan, Kowloon East has the potential to provide additional commercial/office gross floor area (GFA) of about 4.2 million square meters (sq m), with about 1.8 million sq m coming from Kai Tak Development.
Brenda Au, Head of Energizing Kowloon East Office, HKSAR Government, commented that “under the Energizing Kowloon East initiative, which aims to create another core business district for Hong Kong– CBD2, Kowloon East is transforming and re-emerging as an important economic center.”
As John Siu, Managing Director at Cushman & Wakefield Hong Kong sums up: “Kai Tak Development is a huge and highly complex development project with the largest available land fronting Victoria Harbour. It offers opportunities to provide quality living and working environment. What’s more, KTD seeks to support sustainable development in the area. This is very much a place where occupiers should look for ‘What’s Next’.”
Insights for this piece were collected at the latest Cushman & Wakefield Occupier Seminar, held in Hong Kong. For more information on future events contact Cecilia Szeto.