Occupancy rates climb as firms prize better facilities

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 September, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 25 September, 2009, 12:00am

Manhattan Place, a flagship office building in Kowloon Bay developed by Manhattan Realty, has continued to draw tenants looking for competitively priced Grade A office premises in secondary business locations.

Philip Lau Chor-hing, leasing manager of Manhattan Development, a unit of Manhattan Realty, said Manhattan Place had experienced a further increase in occupancy rate with commitment from a diverse mix of business organisations during the second and third quarters of this year.

'Rental continued to climb steadily upwards during the two quarters under review. The achieved rental for our office premises has reached about HK$21 per sqft while the occupancy rate is over 80 per cent,' he said.

According to Lau, most of the newly leased floors have been taken up by multiple-floor or whole-floor tenants and the remainder have special characteristics to attract different users.

For example, the sixth floor has a garden of more than 10,000 sqft which, he said, was ideal for companies in need of an open area for organising functions such as cocktail receptions, press conferences or shows.

Apart from the sixth floor, he said all remaining floors available for lease were above the 40th floor.

Those floors had large windows with panoramic harbour views and were sought by multinational corporations.

Manhattan Place, at 23 Wang Tai Road, has a total floor area of 700,000 sqft on 36 office levels, with a retail podium on the first floor. Standard floor plate is 20,860 to 21,180 sqft.

While the landlord declined to reveal details of its tenants, property agents said multinational companies moving into the building included AXA, Konica Minolta, Carrier Hong Kong, Arcadia Group and UA Global Sourcing.

Lau said Manhattan Place offered a good and cost-effective choice for office relocations, having attracted multinational companies looking for Grade A offices at competitive rents. But there was no sacrifice in the building quality and management standard.

It made business sense that a successful entrepreneur should be cost sensitive, especially when the global economy was facing an uncertain future, he said. 'We believe that multinational companies will be more conservative in renewing their office leases in traditional business areas and are more willing to relocate to offices with more competitive rents in new business districts,' he said.

'Manhattan Place should be high on the shortlist of multinational companies looking for offices in new business districts for relocation or setting up new headquarters.'

While enjoying the benefit of lower rental costs, tenants would appreciate the outstanding quality and Grade A provisions of Manhattan Place, Lau said.

The building has integrated building infrastructure with high floor area efficiency and super high-speed lifts to ensure minimal waiting and travelling time.

Lau said all of the office floors offered panoramic sea views and the contemporary design brought comfort, luxury and style to the workplace.

'Integration of natural light into architecture creates a main lobby flooded with daylight. All lobbies also have large glazing which brings in the natural light to create a more natural and comfortable environment,' he said.

'In the near future, the sky garden on the 23rd floor will be open to provide tenants with a city oasis and a place for enhancing the workplace environment and interpersonal and business relationships.'

He added that the building was supported by high-quality management services to ensure prompt response to tenants' needs and requests.

Compared with other business areas, such as Kwun Tong, he said the traffic in Kowloon Bay was less congested.

Cars and taxis can pull up outside Manhattan Place, so tenants and their clients and associates can appreciate this additional convenience and comfort.

The building also has an integrated car park for use by tenants and visitors.

The future of Kowloon Bay is looking positive, inline with the fast-changing transformation of East Kowloon.

Lau said the completion of Manhattan Place, coupled with other commercial and hotel developments under way in Kowloon Bay and the government's proposed redevelopment of the Kai Tak airport site, would help transform East Kowloon into a new business hub.

'A proposed covered footbridge system will also ensure all-weather access from Manhattan Place to Kowloon Bay MTR station and neighbouring developments. All these changes will further enhance the image of Manhattan Place as a benchmark in East Kowloon,' he said.

Lau said the landlord had been carefully screening companies to create a mix of high calibre tenants in Manhattan Place as part of its drive to help the district's development as a new business hub.

'The overall market remains uncertain but we are confident that our tenants receive high value.

'They will feel secure and comfortable in their work environment so that they can focus on what really matters most - their businesses,' he said.