WHARF'S state-of-the-art 1.2-million-square-foot Gateway towers looks set to rival Times Square as tenants move to snap up space in the Tsim Sha Tsui development, according to Chris Reilly of Richard Ellis. Gateway had already secured 18 tenants, he said, but was unwilling to say who they were. However, it is understood that Texas Instruments and Sony Electronic Devices, one of Japan's largest corporations, have signed on the dotted line, each for 40,000 sq ft. They could start to fit out their new premises as early as March. Mr Reilly said Times Square was filled in eight to nine months and ''it looks as though the Gateway development could go equally as quickly. Certainly in a year's time''. Mr Reilly is associate director of commercial property of Richard Ellis which is sole agent for Gateway. He said there were many other well known companies who were committed to space or about to commit themselves. ''We are also in discussion with a most prestigeous company based in Central which is looking to move in,'' he said. One of these companies would occupy 60,000 sq ft and many others were committed to 10,000 sq ft. This week, Wharf will hold a ''topping out'' ceremony to celebrate the completion of Gateway phase one, even though only 25 floors of the 36-storey development are completed. The remaining 11 floors will be finished by the end of June in phase two. Mr Reilly said multinational companies had been expressing interest in Tsim Sha Tsui, which was not usually associated with large corporations. The Gateway has sparked considerable interest in property circles because it was considered by many to be the Tsim Sha Tsui equivalent of Exchange Square in Central. Mr Reilly predicted that projects like The Gateway would change the face of the district. ''Previously, Tsim Sha Tsui catered in the main to trading companies. All they needed was four walls and a couple of phone lines,'' he said. However, Tsim Sha Tsui rents, at half of what companies expected to pay on Hong Kong island, were forcing large companies and multinationals to consider moving.