Changing face of West Kowloon's and TST's skyline
Developers take every opportunity to expand their presence amid major infrastructure developments
West Kowloon’s and Tsim Sha Tsui’s skyline has changed dramatically with the construction of numerous high-rise residential and commercial towers.
Infrastructure developments such as the West Rail and the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) add fuel to the momentum while developers seize every opportunity to expand their presence.
Home prices continue to rise in West Kowloon and Tsim Sha Tsui. The largest residential project launched this year has been Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) and MTR’s Cullinan West, being builtabove West Rail’s Nam Cheong station.
Estate agents estimate that nearly 1,000 units of Cullinan West have sold since its launch, with prices ranging from HK$20,000 to HK$34,000 per square foot. The MTR says Cullinan West will provide more than 3,400 units on completion.
Michael Tse, sales director for Kowloon at Midland Realty, says the sale led to a buying frenzy among upgraders and investors. “The next phase of Cullinan West is expected to go on sale in a couple of months and it will continue to set a barometer for residential prices,” he says. “Home prices in West Kowloon are likely to rise another 10 to 15 per cent.”
A SHKP spokesman says Cullinan West is being developed in three phases and will comprise a 300,000-sq-ft shopping mall. The first phase involves 1,050 flats comprising one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units.
He says Cullinan West and Imperial Cullinan at Olympic station, and The Cullinan at Kowloon station, also developed by SHKP, will be residential landmarks in West Kowloon while residents will benefit from integrated railway connections.
SHKP has units at The Cullinan and Imperial Cullinan up for sale. In September, a 1,377-sq-ft high-floor unit in The Cullinan, sold for HK$82.58 million or HK$59,977 per sq ft.
The most expensive residential properties in West Kowloon and Tsim Sha Tsui are at Kowloon station. Besides The Cullinan, popular residences are The Arch and The HarbourSide, and The Waterfront and Sorrento – all next to the International Commerce Centre.
The completion of the MTR Tung Chung Line and Airport Express was a catalyst for the developments above Kowloon station and in Olympic station and West Kowloon. Major projects around Olympic station include Central Park, Island Harbourview, Park Avenue, and One Silversea, The Long Beach, Imperial Cullinan and Hampton Place on the waterfront.
In Tsim Sha Tsui, residential supply remains limited. Major completed residential projects have been The Austin and Grand Austin built by Wheelock Properties and New World Development at Austin station and The Masterpiece by New World on Hanoi Road. A 1,974-sq-ft unit at The Masterpiece sold for HK$98.7 million or about HK$50,000 per sq ft.
There is no major residential supply in the district. The New World Centre redevelopment near the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade will primarily be an office/hotel project and will include several hundred serviced apartments for leasing.
West Kowloon Cultural District provides another boost for future development. The cultural district is taking shape gradually on the waterfront with the latest collaboration with the Palace Museum to develop the Hong Kong Palace Museum. Other major facilities to be completed include the Xiqu Centre, the M+ Museum, the Lyric Theatre Complex, the Freespace and the Art Park.
XRL is expected to be operational by the end of 2018. The proposal for implementing the co-location clearance arrangement at the West Kowloon station of XRL looks set to streamline passport control and ease the commute between Hong Kong and the mainland.
Tse says the XRL factor will attract local and mainland buyers to residential properties at Kowloon station.
James Au-yeung, deputy regional sales director for West Kowloon at Centaline Property Agency, says the sale of Cullinan West is likely to attract high prices. “Second-hand owners are firmer in asking selling prices for their properties as optimism prevails,” he says. “Other than the Cullinan West sale, new supply in West Kowloon over the next couple of years will be mainly small-scale or single-block projects.”
Cheung Kong and Urban Renewal Authority are redeveloping old properties in Hai Tan Street, Kweilin Street and Pei Ho Street, near Nam Cheong station, in a project with more than 800 flats.
A large tract of residential land on the waterfront of Cheung Sha Wan, next to Nam Cheong station, is on the government’s land sale application list that will be up for grabs once developers show their interest. The site has a developable floor area of nearly one million sq ft. Kenneth Ko