Tseung Kwan O serviced apartments 'a trend-setter'
Sun Hung Kai Properties believes its latest upmarket serviced apartment project in Tseung Kwan O will set a new benchmark for rents in the area.
Located above the Tseung Kwan O MTR station, the 176-unit serviced apartment tower Vega Suites will be launched this month for monthly rents of between HK$45 and HK$50 per square foot.
The project is located in a non-traditional business district and will be targeted at young business executives, SHKP says.
'Our rentals will set a new benchmark in the area, as Vega Suites will be the first serviced-suite boutique hotel in Tseung Kwan O,' said Belinda Kuan, deputy general manager of Signature Homes, the luxury-residential leasing arm of Sun Hung Kai Properties. At present, she said residential rents in the area ranged from HK$12 to HK$19 per square foot.
Vega Suites will be offered to tenants on leasing terms ranging from one month to 12 months.
SHKP says the interior fittings are of the same standard as its two other luxury serviced-apartment projects - Four Seasons Place Hong Kong, at IFC in Central, and Harbourview Place in Kowloon. Average rents at Four Seasons Place are HK$85 per square foot, while at Harbourview Place they are HK$75 per square foot.
Kuan said recent lay-offs in the financial sector had not affected SHKP's leasing contracts.
'Our clientele has changed in the past several years. Previously, the finance sector accounted for 50 per cent of our leasing portfolio, but that is now down to 30 per cent, as tenants from other industries such as trading, consultancy and logistics have increased,' she said.
Mainland customers make up 18 per cent of the total, up from less than 5 per cent several years ago. Customers from the United States and Hong Kong each account for 16 per cent, and 15 per cent come from Europe.
Vega Suites is part of an integrated-development complex that includes luxury residential project the Wings, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express hotels, and a shopping mall called PopCorn.
Both hotels and the serviced apartments - which are above the Holiday Inn Express - will open in October. Flats at The Wings will be ready for occupation by the end of this year.
Demand for the upmarket serviced apartments would be boosted by the government's plan to transform Kowloon East into Hong Kong's second core business district, Kuan said.
Last year, the government announced that a second financial centre - double the size of Central - would be established in an area that includes Kwun Tong, Kowloon Bay and the former Kai Tak airport site.
Kuan said the office area in Kowloon East had increased from just six million square feet in 2002 to its current 15 million square feet, and this total would increase further to 26 million square feet by 2017.
Kwun Tong is just an 11-minute commute from Vega Suites, and Central just a 20-minute commute, she said, and the area had great potential for development.
'We are targeting young business executives of all sectors who want a trendy lifestyle,' she said.
There are 17,000 serviced apartments in Hong Kong, 10 per cent of which are targeted at the high-end market, 15 per cent of which are mid-priced, and 51 per cent of which are aimed at the mass sector. The remainder were 'boutique-style' Kuan said, and Vega Suites was priced between the upmarket and the boutique-style niches.
When SHKP launched Four Seasons Place in 2005, average monthly rents were just HK$50 per square foot. Today, rents range from HK$82 to HK$103 per square foot, she said.