SkyscraperCity banner

1 - 20 of 112 Posts

104,049 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Formerly an industrial area, Kowloon Bay is emerging as a secondary financial district. Located in the eastern part of Kowloon, there have been numerous redevelopments and new skyscrapers have popped up in recent years. This thread will keep track of projects happening in this exciting part of town.

Location :

Examples of Redevelopments :

Stock of the Bay
12 December 2005
Hong Kong Standard

Defying the laws of physics, if not of real estate, Hong Kong is a city with more than one "core." Every few years, it gives birth to a new one, and the honor, in this first decade of the 21st century, belongs to Kowloon Bay.

Forget Central. Forget Causeway Bay, Quarry Bay and Taikoo Shing. A district that was once mostly factories and warehouses abutting the old Kai Tak airport is where the commercial real estate industry is currently pursuing its holy grail, "Grade A" office space.

In Kowloon East as a whole, the amount of office space is expected to grow 70 percent between now and 2010, making it a match, accommodation-wise, for Tsim Sha Tsui East. By that time, Kowloon Bay alone will be home to 5.7 million square feet of Grade A premises, said Simon Smith, senior director of research at property consultant Savills.

It will be several years before established core areas produce any significant quantities of new office supply. This is being fully reflected in prices. At Two IFC, Central's most prestigious address, for instance, rents have reached a prohibitive HK$100 per square foot per month.

"It's very difficult to find fresh sites in core areas these days," said Smith.

The concept of Grade A space is rather nebulous, referring to buildings with the basic modern conveniences such as elevators, air-conditioning and telecoms ducts, regardless of location.

Not all Grade A office space is created equal, however.

"We do not see top-tier financial institutions moving out of Central," Smith stressed, but there is strong demand for premises in Kowloon Bay from manufacturers, trading companies and back-offices of banks.

The analyst said Kowloon Bay faces no real threat from International Commerce Centre, a 2.5 million square foot monster now under construction in West Kowloon. It is wooing a different target group, composed of bigger multinationals, lawyers and accountants.

Strictly speaking, this is Kowloon Bay's second makeover. The first came at the start of the 1990s when a number of the featureless, low-rise factory bunkers the district was famous for yielded their places to dual-vocation buildings designed for tenants who needed both industrial and office premises.

Sino Land started the trend with its Metro Centre One in 1991, followed the next year by Kerry Properties with the first phase of Enterprise Square. The two developers remain the driving force in the district.

Despite the district's proximity to Kai Tak, developers appear unconcerned about what will become of the former airport lands. Whether Kai Tak, according to the various proposals now circulating, is given over to a cruise ship terminal, a mega-stadium, housing, green space, or all of the above, it will be years _ and many political controversies _ before any of it begins to affect Kowloon Bay.

The focal point of the current transformation is Kerry's Enterprise Square 3, opened last year. A silvery, cylindrical building of 41 stories, it's the architectural standout of the district, especially after dark when the anchor tenant _ the international garment chain Esprit _ switches on its huge red neon sign.

Right next door, Kerry is building Enterprise Square 5, incorporating a 1.1 million sqft retail complex called MegaBox and 500,000 sqft of office space, due for completion in 2007.

Across the street, private developer Glorious Sun has a 680,000 sqft office building under construction.

Behind it, preparation work is under way for a 710,000 sqft office tower for another private builder, Manhattan Realty. Part of the same cluster is Sino Land's new 600,000 sqft office and retail complex, where work is just beginning. Sino purchased the land at a hotly contested government auction in February, forking out a generous HK$1.82billion, nearly three times the government's minimum asking price. Sino chairman Robert Ng, who said the district could easily become as big and diversified as Tsim Sha Tsui East, revealed that the company might also locate a five-star hotel on the same site.

Several streets away, the six-story Sing Tao Building was sold in July to a private developer for HK$370 million. It will probably be demolished to make way for a 500,000 sqft commercial building.

Even if all of these projects are not enough to satisfy the hunger for new offices, there are two Kowloon Bay lots totaling 667,000 sqft on the government's current application list of land that may be sold to developers, said Kenny Suen, managing director of consultant Vigers Asia Pacific.

There's talk as well that a site earmarked for a hotel with gross floor area of 855,480 sqft may be added to next year's list.

It can only be a matter of time before more owners of buildings whose functions don't necessarily fit with the concept of an office district decide to cash in on the land boom.

Though its owner denies having any immediate plans, the Kowloon Motor Bus depot is considered a good candidate for redevelopment. Conveniently enough, the bus company is 33 percent owned by Sun Hung Kai Properties, one of Hong Kong's two largest developers.

The Oriental Daily News building has similar potential. The newspaper moved its main operations to a new plant in Tai Po earlier this year.

The Hong Kong International Trade and Exhibition Centre has long been a disappointment to its owner, Hopewell Holdings. The building, opened in 1996 to provide exhibition and meeting space as well as offices, had an occupancy rate of only 60 percent, according to its latest annual report. Hopewell now aims to turn it into an entertainment destination with total floor area of 600,000 sqft.

And Henderson Land, the No 3 developer in town, is in talks with the government about converting Big Star Centre, opposite the Sing Tao Building, into a 10-story hotel with 296 rooms.

To buy office space in Kowloon Bay now costs anywhere from HK$2,600 to HK$3,200 per square foot, up 40 percent since the start of the year, said Suen. Office rents in the district have climbed almost 16 percent to HK$12- $16 psf per month.

While industrial rents in the district are up 7.3 percent on average to HK$8- $11 psf per month, Midland Realty says the industrial buildings farthest from the Kowloon Bay MTR Station command only HK$5-$7 psf.

"Clearly, if I owned an industrial building in Kowloon Bay, after seeing those figures I would knock it down and put up a commercial building in its place," Suen said.

The population of the areas surrounding Kowloon Bay certainly seems sufficient to support big retail developments such as Kerry's MegaBox.

Suen said Kowloon Bay is a catchment area for nearly three million people. It's estimated there are 100,000 jobs in the district already, a figure that should rise to 120,000 by 2008 as new office buildings open.

"There's a demand for shopping centers for personal spending and office needs," he said.

One problem that could slow the pace of Kowloon Bay's development is inadequate public transportation.

The Kowloon Bay MTR Station is linked to the MTRC's own Telford Plaza commercial complex, but there are no subterranean walkways to connect it with other buildings. Bus stops are sparsely located, and some of the biggest office buildings in the district are at least a half-hour walk from the subway.

The Hong Kong Economic Times recently reported that five developers, including Sino, Kerry and Hopewell, would like to form a partnership with the MTRC to build an elevated light rail system to link their developments with Kowloon Bay Station.

Lam Chan, MTRC projects communications manager, said none of the developers had submitted any proposals yet. The transit operator carried out a preliminary study of the district, according to its 2003 annual report, but Lam said the report had been shelved. Any new transport initiatives will have to be coordinated with the overall planning for the area, he added.

Suen of Vigers believes the developers are still haggling over the proposed route of the light rail line and how to divide up the costs of the project.

The analyst said that, well before light rail becomes reality, there will be a network of footbridges, similar to what exists in Central, to connect Kerry's buildings, notably the MegaBox retail complex, with Telford Plaza and the MTR.

A transitional neighborhood such as Kowloon Bay is bound to produce some stark contrasts before the new finally overwhelms the old _ what Savills' Smith, in the jargon of the industry, calls "interface problems."

For example, both the sleek office towers being built by Glorious Sun and Manhattan Realty will initially stand cheek by jowl with the peeling paint and crumbling masonry of the Yip On Factory Estate, which was built by the Housing Authority in the 1970s.

Suen said the authority may return the land to the government to allow for redevelopment, or heed suggestions to put the buildings to other uses, as "creative arts villages," for example.

104,049 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Rents expected to fall as crisis deepens overview
Analysts warn of downward pressure on market as the global financial meltdown forces firms to curtail expansion plans

10 October 2008
South China Morning Post

The deepening global financial crisis has turned the tide of Hong Kong's office leasing market, with increasing concerns that the pace of business expansion will slow and demand for offices will fall.

Office leasing continued to post strong performance in the first eight month of this year with impressive rental growth, but sentiment has turned more negative since the financial meltdown deepened over the past few weeks.

Property consultants expect to see a consolidation in the finance sector, particularly investment banks, while office rents will probably head south, and the amount of vacant space will increase in the coming year.

Simon Lo Wing-fai, director of research and advisory with Colliers International, said grade A office rents had rallied by 21 per cent between January and August this year. Central saw a 19 per cent rise in rents while Tsim Sha Tsui recorded a 25 per cent rise during the period.

He said the fallout of Lehman Brothers was a bearish sign and the dramatic changes of the global crisis in September had prompted office tenants to curtail their expansion plans. "Supply of space in the secondary market remains thin at present and there will be no major new developments in core areas at least in the next two years. However, a potential rise in vacancies in the secondary market will be the key uncertain factor," he said.

"The whole finance industry is headed for consolidation and companies will be lured to areas with inexpensive property alternatives. In general, rents are predicted to fall by 10 per cent in the next 12 months."

The shortage of new supply in Central will probably provide a cushion for the core business district to go through the market downturn. In decentralised locations, such as East Kowloon, where new supply is abundant, the situation will be much more challenging.

Gavin Morgan, regional director and head of Hong Kong markets at Jones Lang LaSalle, said the volume of office leasing activity had slowed in the past couple of months after a strong rally in the first half of this year,

While there had not been any dramatic change of company strategy on office leasing so far, the development of the global crisis would continue to be a key concern, he said. "The volume of leasing activity will be slower in the second half of this year and we expect transactions to continue to slow into next year," he said.

Mr Morgan expects overall office rents to stabilise in the remainder of this year and to record declines next year while vacancy rates will go up. East Kowloon is expected to face more downward pressure in particular because of the large supply of new buildings up for lease in the district.

It is estimated that more than 2million sqft of grade A office space is being added to East Kowloon this year. They include Sino Group's Exchange Tower in Kowloon Bay, Windsor Properties Landmark East in Kwun Tong and Manhattan Realty's Manhattan Place, also in Kowloon Bay. Landlords are willing to offer competitive rental packages to attract tenants to their new developments.

Gilbert Wan Pui-bun, associate director of research at CB Richard Ellis, said the worldwide business environment had become more difficult as the United States economic problems spread to other countries, such as Britain and Australia.

In light of the tough market conditions, some large banking institutions had already begun to restructure their use of office premises in Hong Kong and moved some operations to decentralised locations, he said.

"We expect a consolidation in the office leasing market, which will be followed by a decrease in rental next year. Given the nature of the leasing business, however, there will probably not be any drastic rental correction," he said.

"Rents will fall at a measured pace and vacancy rates will rise steadily. Across the board, office rents are expected to see a 10 per cent drop in 2009.

"East Kowloon's abundant supply has already become a battlefield for developers and landlords while rents in the district may slip by 10 per cent before the end of this year and by a further 15 per cent in 2009."

Mr Wan said it made sense to see a market consolidation after the strong rally over the past few years, and this would pave the way for the office leasing sector's healthy development in the longer term.

He also said the China factor would continue to benefit Hong Kong while multinational companies were eager to build their operations in the city to tap the growing opportunities in the region.

"Despite the global economic slowdown, China is able to achieve a relatively strong GDP growth. Also, Asia is still regarded by multinational companies as a key driving force for their business growth," he said.

Mr Morgan said the longer-term prospect remained positive for Hong Kong's office leasing market because of the city's role as a gateway to the mainland.

"International companies continue to see Hong Kong and Asia as their future business growth engine, and this part of the world is expected to recover faster from the economic slowdown," he said.

104,049 Posts
Discussion Starter #4

(industrial to commercial conversion - new skyscraper to be 136.45m tall with 30 storeys)



該項目已在興建中,根據已批准的建築圖則,可建至172.75米 、地積比11.996倍及95.3%覆蓋率(就已建13米高的平台計算)。申請人指出,若全速興建,物業本年底便可以達到172.75米,不過因應規劃署的要求,工程已減慢。



104,049 Posts
Discussion Starter #5








104,049 Posts
Discussion Starter #13

104,049 Posts
Discussion Starter #14





104,049 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
2 December 2008



2,588 Posts
If I remember right, MTR Corporation has its Headquarters RIGHT BESIDE the Telford Plaza shopping mall...........but I'll check it again:

MTR Headquarters Building, Telford Plaza,
33 Wai Yip Street, Kowloon Bay

A short walking distance from Kowloon Bay Station "Exit A1".
The main Reception Lobby is Level 2 Podium

I went there last time (in 2007) to this gaming place called "Virtual Zone" up on the 6th floor..........because I wanted to play Beatmania IIDX haha:lol:


However, when I went there for the first time, I noticed one thing:
The train station there (Kowloon Bay Station)...........had no security barriers. I was kinda surprised that all the other train stations (TST, Central, Airport train, Tung Chung line, Disneyland, etc.) has the security barriers..........yet strangely, for this train station, there were NO SECURITY BARRIERS AT ALL. And yet, I read the press release stating that the installation of security barriers in all 51 stations were completed in year 2005. Yet when I went there in May 2006, that station had no protection at all.......

Strange and puzzling indeed.......considering that MTR Corporation headquarters is just right beside that train station (which made me think that they give priority to the train station closest to them or something). I hope though that this hasn't inspired or led anyone to commit suicide by jumping on the rail tracks. Jisatsu Saakuru (Suicide Circle) ~Hong Kong version~??? I hope not for everyone's sake.....

On the plus side though, the fare to Kowloon Bay is DAMN CHEAP (compared to other destinations).

HK$6 per person x 6.23 pesos = 36 pesos. While going to Admiralty costs slightly more than that (yet the distance is shorter). I guess that's probably why they didn't install any doors or protection yet (because they charge uber low prices for it):lol:

Anyways, maybe by next year (2009), MTR Corp would install the security barriers/barricades over at their home train station in Kowloon Bay. It's just walking distance from the the HQ building to the station area itself so I guess it can be done before the decade ends.

That would be neat IMHO :)

104,049 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
16 January 2009




因應節日栽種時花 定期義賣



104,049 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
英皇重建東方新聞大廈 近40萬呎商廈 料年中獲覆補價
1月6日 星期二 05:05



荃灣英皇娛樂廣場 翻新後加租


1 - 20 of 112 Posts