SWIRE Properties says it is powering ahead with its major developments in Taikoo Place and the group is predicting that it will reach completion stage right on deadline. According to Maisie Shun Wah, manager of group public affairs, the company was benefitting from a shift in tenants away from Central, and a search for top quality properties at lower rentals. ''This is like another Admiralty,'' she said. ''Taikoo Place is becoming very popular.'' According to one property analyst, the property industry shared Swire's bullish stance about the region. But, not so long ago, Hong Kong East was a bleak industrial zone. Commented the property analyst: ''Basically, it is the area Swire was located for its shipping and transportation activities way back at the turn of the century. 'It has, basically, been transformed because of the MTR and the access that gave it. ''It has definitely had an impact on the development potential there, especially with the way rents are in Central recently.'' According to Ms Shun Wah, progress at two of the major projects for Tai Koo Place - Dorset House and Hong Kong Telecom Tower - were right on schedule and the company was also bullish about letting the space. She said: 'The two projects are scheduled to be finished by the end of the year and tenants are expected to move in by the beginning of next year.'' Property analysts believe it is not just the rent increases in Central which have boosted the relative attractiveness of Hong Kong East; surges recently in the rental levels in Wan Chai and Causeway Bay have also seen companies scrambling for space and developers such as Swire Properties doing brisk business. According to a property analyst, Swire won its competitive advantage the hard way. ''Swire is a very good developer and it was able to phase the developments in progressively to meet market demand,'' he said. ''From a purely personal perspective, the project speaks for itself. It's well managed and well built and has generated a great deal of demand.'' Looking at another aspect of the Taikoo Place development, Ms Shun Wah said that when the South China Morning Post moved out of its building in 1995, redevelopment would begin. She said: ''People are moving out of Central and are looking for high quality property at lower rentals. They are finding these properties to be very attractive.'' Dorset House and Hongkong Telecom Tower, when they come on the market, will provide 1.23 million square feet of Grade A office space. Dorset House boasts 39 storeys and 488 000 square feet. Committed tenants include ICI and Bank of America. Hongkong Telecom Tower is 42 storeys tall and boasts just over 550,000 sq ft of lettable space.