The Kowloon skyline will change dramatically when the International Commerce Centre is completed in 2010, becoming the third-tallest building in the world. At 118 floors, the 484-metre ICC will tower over Hong Kong's tallest building, Two IFC, by more than 60 metres and will look down on the Kowloon peninsula. Along with the rest of the Union Square development, which it is part of, the ICC is set to attract five-star corporate tenants and transform how the area is viewed from a residential perspective. Dave Siu Wing-koon, assistant general manager for leasing with Harbour City Estates which manages Gateway Apartments in nearby Tsim Sha Tsui, believes the ICC and other new high-rises can only benefit the local economy. 'We view the ICC and Union Square developments as extremely positive to further increase the office and residential status of Kowloon and Tsim Sha Tsui in particular,' Mr Siu said. 'We expect the developments will create new demand for accommodation and benefit the Gateway Apartments greatly.' The Gateway Apartments, housed in the Harbour City Gateway Towers, already a landmark above the China Hong Kong Ferry Terminal, offers a panoramic vista across Victoria Harbour to Hong Kong Island and beyond. It has 499 furnished apartments that range from studio units to deluxe three-bedroom and penthouse suites, with the added bonus of top-quality client services that have attracted professionals since it opened in 1999. If you add service quality with cost, room size, location and membership of the Pacific Club, with close to 140,000 sqft of leisure and exercise space, it has proven to be an ideal place to set up home. Several multinationals have put the Gateway Apartments on their preferred short-list for expatriate housing and they account for more than 50 per cent of the lease. 'Aided by the overall improved sentiments of Hong Kong's economy, the serviced apartment sector has performed strongly,' Mr Siu said. 'Multinational corporations have recruited a significant number of executives to the region, particularly within the banking and finance sector.' The Wharf Holdings-owned company expects decentralisation away from Central to continue, along with the need for cost-conscious businesses to find alternative executive accommodation that matches their high standards. Mr Siu said the Gateway Apartments consistently ranked among the finest serviced apartments in Hong Kong. 'Our reputation for impeccable service quality is well established, and the large number of return guests is testimony to our ongoing efforts to provide residents with the ultimate living experience,' he said. Mr Siu said the knock-on effect from this and the construction of Union Square and other sites had already resulted in an influx of new corporate clients looking to rent at the Gateway. He believed this trend would continue after the new offices were completed. 'We expect demand from multinational financial and professional firms in the new developments that can afford the premium apartments,' he said. 'Kowloon and Tsim Sha Tsui in particular have gained tremendously in popularity in recent months. Potential residents have realised that Kowloon offers much better value for money than Hong Kong Island and, as a bonus, the view from this side of the harbour is much better.' Rooms at the Gateway are available in a wide choice of style and furnishings, with spacious bathrooms, fully-equipped kitchens, fine artwork, 'tailored childrens' bedrooms', home theatre systems, LCD TVs with 102 channels and broadband internet access. Penthouse suites, two of which have been renovated recently, offer the additional luxury of a jacuzzi and Nespresso coffee machine, while secure private parking facilities and exclusive high-speed private lift access are available. Residents also enjoy a Bulgari welcome pack and full access to the nearby Pacific Club, with facilities such as a swimming pool, golf driving ranges, tennis courts, aerobics room and one of the largest gyms in the city. It is close to the Star Ferry, China Hong Kong Ferry Terminal, and the Tsim Sha Tsui MTR and KCRC stations, and access was recently further improved with the implementation of daily shuttle bus services to Central and Admiralty. It is also on top of a retail paradise. 'Convenience of shopping is unsurpassed at the Gateway Apartments,' Mr Siu said. 'The vibrant Harbour City offers 600 retail shops, including most international brands from fashion and lifestyle to watches and jewellery and essential supplies from City'super.' Mr Siu said the apartment sector had seen tremendous growth in recent years and he was confident it would continue and that the complex would thrive as a result of its professionalism, service quality and adaptability. 'There has been a huge inflow of investments to capture a slice of this fast-growing market,' he said. While the ICC and other developments at Union Square are poised to change the skyline in Kowloon, Mr Siu said he was confident they would not affect the Gateway Apartment's position in the luxury residential landscape.