New transport links mean the Kowloon office district could be positioned as an extension of Hong Kong’s CBD.
Today, Hung Hom is a commercial district on the edge of the Kowloon East regeneration, but in five years time it could come to be seen as an extension of the Central and Admiralty business districts and thus part of Hong Kong’s CBD.
The district has two major office developments: Cheung Kong Property’s The Harbourfront and Wheelock & Co’s One HarbourGate complex, which together will provide more than 2m sq ft of office space once construction of the latter and extension of the former is completed.
The Shatin to Central link will connect Hung Hom directly to Admiralty station by 2021, with a journey time of five minutes; Central will be accessible in 10 minutes.
This link, together with the extension of the Kwun Tong line and the new Whampoa station in Hung Hom, which is due to open later this year, will place Hung Hom conveniently for access from Kowloon, New Territories and Hong Kong Island.
Major occupiers have already seen the potential in Hung Hom. Wheelock has already forward-sold the East Tower at One HarbourGate to the Cheung Kei Group for HK$4.5bn, following the record transaction last year of the West Tower to China Life Insurance, also concluded by Savills.
With two large PRC corporates set to take space in the area, others are bound to follow and a substantial number of parking spaces and harbour views will particularly appeal to Mainland companies.
Supporting the new office space will be a new Kerry Hotel, by Shangri La Group, due to open in Hung Hom later this year. The choice of the Kerry Hotel brand is telling; it was launched by Shangri La in 2011 as a new brand for hotels in Shanghai and Beijing. Its presence in Hong Kong suggests the hotels group expects Mainland guests.
Savills expects Hung Hom’s retail scene will get an upgrade with new supply in the One HarbourGate complex, offering low-rise two to three storey buildings suitable for upscale retail, dining, events, or even co-working offices.
With the completion of the MTR extension and the imminent growth generated by the two One HarbourGate towers, Hung Hom could resemble a horizontally-developed ICC and form a major new Grade A office location for Hong Kong, which serves as the middle point between East and West Kowloon.
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