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Colliers Hong Kong Twenty Minute City

Forecasting the property market in a more connected post-2030 Hong Kong Wan Chai, West Kowloon Shatin and Tuen Mun are among the brightest spots to watch out for

Hong Kong, 10 April 2019 - Future improvements in the highway and rail transportation network and other major new commercial, cultural or infrastructure features are poised to transform Hong Kong into a more connected “twenty-minute city”, greatly impacting the property market in the post-2030 future. A new forward-looking Colliers Hong Kong study has deployed sophisticated analytics to identify specific areas in Hong Kong that are likely to benefit from this improved connectivity moving forward. Authored by Colliers International senior consultant Andrew Ness, the post-2030 study also identifies potential long-term values and opportunities for investors and occupiers.

Behind the sophisticated GIS analytics we used in this study are other analytical tools that permit us to track a wide number of competitive features across selected grids in Hong Kong’s property market. The presence or absence of these features are crucial to companies in making investment or locational decisions,” said Andrew Ness, Senior Consultant, Strategic Market Intelligence, Colliers International Hong Kong.

 “Apart from identifying which areas are positioned to benefit most from future connectivity, our new study goes one step further to envision what catalytic effects are likely to occur between sub-districts within larger urban areas as they become better connected. It is on this basis that we predict which underperforming areas to date are likely to become more energized with a transformative effect in Hong Kong, and how the synergies unleashed by growing connectedness with Guangdong will support a shift in Hong Kong’s positioning vis-à-vis the Greater Bay Area,said Nigel Smith, Managing Director, Colliers International Hong Kong.

The emergence of nine key hubs

In assessing the impact of future connectivity on the city, Colliers has identified nine key emerging hubs that are set to continually develop throughout Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, the New Territories & Islands District.

Hong Kong Island: Admiralty and Tamar turning into a super hub of offices, retail and rail transport

Admiralty and Tamar - On Hong Kong Island, Admiralty and Tamar will take on more of the dominant CBD position presently enjoyed by Central. Major new interlinked commercial buildings such as the redeveloped Hutchinson House, Murray Road Car Park, Queensway Plaza, and High Court Building will contribute to this boost, while Admiralty in particular will continue to evolve into a super station once it is served by the East Rail Extension provided by the Shatin Central Link (SCL) Phase II. The North Island Line, formed by meeting the Tung Chung Line and Tseung Kwan O Line in the new, directly linked Tamar Station will also create more opportunities with additional waterfront stations, namely Exhibition and Causeway Bay North.

Wanchai - The opening of Exhibition Station will also help Wan Chai further strengthen its position as a major convention, exhibition and hospitality hub. Relocation of government offices currently housed in Immigration Tower, Revenue Tower and Wanchai Tower will be key in transforming the district, as these former sites are re-developed into a large-scale mixed-use office, exhibition and hospitality complex. The added development of Hopewell Centre II and its 1,000 key hotel will also better link Wan Chai north and south with a series of interconnected tunnels and footbridges.

Central and Western - While Admiralty and Wan Chai transform, Central will retain its character as the primary centre for the financial industry, while also enhancing its position as the high-end leisure and consumption centre. Stimulated by the opening of Tai Kwun, the future completion of the New Central Harbourfront Site 3, the revitalization of Central Market, and the decongestion of Connaught Road will help further propel Central’s development. Along with incremental future efforts to pedestrianize Des Voeux Road Central, Central’s transformation will have a knock-on effect on Sheung Wan and Sai Ying Pun, further upscaling Western district.

Eastern - Stimulated by the impact of the Central Wanchai Bypass on the Eastern District waterfront, three distinct new commercial nodes are taking shape in the larger Eastern District. The first new commercial/residential node, in the North Point/Fortress Hill harbourfront area, is emerging around Henderson Land’s AIA Tower, which is being extended to include a new Grade A Office development at 218 Electric Road. In addition, alongside the existing hospitality cluster at the North Point Ferry Terminal, a new luxury residential node is taking shape, centred around major new developments such as Victoria Harbour by SHKP.

With the Eastern District Council’s most recent approval of the Island Eastern Corridor Boardwalk scheduled for completion in 2025, a new pedestrian link will be formed between the emerging North Point hub and the mature Quarry Bay commercial cluster. This new connectivity is opening the door to a number of new waterfront developments, such as a commercial complex by Pacific Concord Holdings. This, in turn, is situated on the outer periphery of the second hub, which takes as its core the re-energized Taikoo Place. The complex’s redevelopment has stimulated the regeneration of several immediate sites, such as Tai Hung Fai and New World Development’s King’s Road office developments.

Redevelopment of Taikoo Place has also opened the door to the redevelopment of industrial properties in nearby Shipyard Lane. The collective regeneration of this industrial cluster is making Island East more accessible to nearby Taikoo Station, and conceivably leading to development of One Island East II.

The third Eastern District hub is focused on the revitalisation of Chai Wan, which is the only remaining area in Eastern District with a substantial concentration of industrial buildings.  Attractiveness of repositioning these properties for alternate commercial use will spur emergence of Chai Wan as a satellite area and back office location for Taikoo Place. Improved connectivity ushered in by completion of the Central–Wan Chai Bypass is also positively impacting on predominantly residential Sai Wan Ho and Shau Kei Wan, with URA having launched one mixed use residential regeneration project in each area, respectively.

Kowloon: Formation of the new Jordan area node and the future development of CBD2

West Kowloon - Colliers forecasts that the sale of sites around West Kowloon Station will pave the way for large-scale property developments, turning the area into a potentially vibrant new office and commercial hub. A new 3.3-million square-foot West Kowloon Station commercial complex will be linked directly to Elements Shopping Mall and indirectly to the ICC tower. By the time the complex comes on stream, the 13 arts and performance venues within the West Kowloon Cultural District will also be largely completed. These combined with the huge rail hub comprised of the Airport Express, Tung Chung Line, Guangzhou–Shenzhen–Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) and the Tuen Ma Line will create a new breed of commercial centre - a multi-faceted Jordan area node that attracts companies, particularly those that frequently use the XRL. This sizeable concentration of rail transportation infrastructure, cultural and performance facilities and commercial property developments will also work to accelerate regeneration and revitalization activities in nearby Yau Tsim Mong district.

Kowloon City and CBD2 - Greater connectivity will also be instrumental in energizing Kowloon East (often known as CBD2), with completion of four major rail projects and four highways. The coming completion of SCL Phase 1 in 2021 will make greater Shatin and Ma On Shan more accessible to Kowloon City, Kwun Tong, and Wong Tai Sin – a significant development, as Shatin District contains approximately one tenth of Hong Kong’s population. The SCL Phase II will also more readily connect these neighbourhoods to MTR serviced areas in Hong Kong Island. The completion of Route 6, of which Central Kowloon Route, Trunk Road T2, Tseung Kwan O – Lam Tin Tunnel (TKO LTT) and Cross Bay Link are sub-sections, within the next six years will also greatly ease connection between Yau Ma Tei, Kwun Tong, Kowloon City and Wong Tai Sin to Tseung Kwan O, LOHAS Park, Tiu Keng Leng and Lam Tin - effectively opening up several new suburban business commuting destinations for CBD2.

Completion of the East Kowloon Line in 2026 will also connect more remote public housing clusters in Choi Wan, Shun Tin, Sao Mao Ping, Po Tat and Po Lam. The Environmentally Friendly Linkage System (EFLS) is forecasted to foster a more connected Kai Tak Development Area, enabling the possibility of fast movement between three major development and industrial revitalization areas within CBD2.

The coming completion of the To Kwa Wan and Song Wong Toi metro stations has already sparked a wave of urban regeneration in To Kwa Wan Ma Tau Wai and Hung Hom led by the Urban Renewal Authority (URA). Fast-tracking the upscaling of these closely proximate neighbourhoods, these regeneration projects cater to the more affluent segment of the workforce in the future, expanded CBD2.

New Territories and Lantau: Potential emergence of a business and tech hub in Shatin and the evolution of Tuen Mun and North Lantau

Shatin - Colliers notes that Shatin also represents an important area with its growing linkage to CBD2 and Ma On Shan, as well as the potential emergence of a new Ma Liu Shui business and tech hub. After the commissioning of SCL Phase I, Shatin (East Rail Line), Wu Kai Sha and Shek Mun (Ma On Shan line) stations will all be situated along the newly formed Tuen Ma line. Each of these three station areas are expected to emerge as attractive back office and residential locations.

The future reclamation of Ma Liu Shui could also open the door for a massive new Ma Liu Shui business district and science park. Colliers cautiously forecasts the potential of this to create a CBD that Shatin has heretofore lacked, but notes that it is unlikely to occur prior to the post-2030 period due to the technical complexities and lead time required to implement the reclamation. At the same time, the effort is likely to receive a boost from completion of the Lok Ma Chau Loop, within a more medium term time scale, for which master planning and utilities infrastructure design has already commenced.

Tuen Mun and Hung Shui Kiu - Citing other growth areas in the New Territories, Colliers predicts that the semi-isolated status of Tuen Mun will change permanently by 2021 as housing estates in Butterfly Bay, Tuen Mun Town Centre and So Kwun Wat become more desirable, with much improved accessibility to and from the district, on the back of the completion of the Tuen Mun–Chek Lap Kok Link (TMCLKL). Launched for construction in 2013, commissioning this highway tunnel system will help access to and from the airport and is likely to accelerate the redevelopment of the River Trade Terminal, transforming the entire Tuen Mun waterfront area which is still currently dominated by heavy industrial uses.

Lantau North - The completion of the third runway at HKIA by 2024 will create conditions that will spur growth of New Territories West and the transportation hub in the outlying islands. Colliers forecasts substantial growth in residential and commercial requirements, driven by the anticipated increase in the number of people at work at the future expansion of the airport. This phenomenon will be underpinned by more planned links to the MTR and three additional metro stations along the North Lantau Coast, paving the way for further development of the Tung Chung New Town East Extension, Tung Chung West Extension and a potential new residential hub at Siu Ho Wan.