To the world Hong Kong holds extortionate rents. Don’t question it it just is. As rents become so expensive in neighbourhoods, people and businesses are forced to look for cheaper real estate elsewhere. That’s where the creative stereotypes come in; they are the trendsetters of finding the new ‘up –and-coming’
Wong Chuk Hang is in amidst of gentrification, defined as a shift in urban community towards wealthier residents and businesses which results in investment by the local government. The area certainly attracts businesses such as art galleries and printer studios where you can find lower rents, high ceilings with loft-like spaces. In recent years, it has seen a number of top private kitchens, fitness spaces, high-design shops call Wong Chuk Hang its new home.
As land in Hong Kong is becoming scarce, areas around Wong Chuk Hang are indeed a blank development canvas to the already well-built up rest of the island. The major expansion of the MTR lines; a mass transit rail connecting South Island Line (East) where Wong Chuk Hang will introduce its MTR station in 2015 which will run from Admiralty – South Horizons- Ocean Park then to Wong Chuk Hang and Lei Tung on the end. It’s no rumor undeniably; Wong Chuk Hang is set to flourish in the coming years with Hong Kong top developers already diving into the space ready to make way for commercial developments.
The government has received numerous applications in converting old factory buildings into new shiny offices and 2 hotels which has been approved by The Town Planning Board. Henderson Land, Cheung Kong, K Wah Group and Sun Hung Kai Properties each has an office project (opengov, 2013) all situated on Wong Chuk Hang Road opening soon for businesses to move in averaging around 120,000- 300,000 square feet floor areas.
Currently, Wong Chuk Hang is cheaper per square foot than other industrial districts that have become popular in Hong Kong such as Kwun Tong. But being based on Hong Kong Island just makes it seem that bit more favorable to new tenants both the local and international market. Chief Executive of Hong Kong Leung Chun-Ying is behind the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC) which will see a present industrial building offering ‘concessionary rental rates” to young artists.
So what can we learn from this? Simply, don’t judge a book by its cover. the grimey streets of Wong Chuk Hang might just be the future success of Hong Kong in property redevelopment. And it has indeed, caught the eyes of many.