Shaw Brothers’ Movietown studio complex in Hong Kong’s Sai Kung district is being transformed into a residential enclave, a decade after production ceased at the birthplace of Chinese kung fu films once dubbed Asia’s Hollywood. The complex on Clear Water Bay Road will be redeveloped into a project with 1.05 million square feet (97,548 square metres) of usable space, featuring 14 three-storey villas and 23 apartment buildings that stand between six and 11 floors each, recreational facilities, a club house and a car park, according to the city’s Buildings Department. The development is estimated to cost between HK$3.8 billion (US$485 million) and up to HK$4.5 billion, excluding the premium paid for the land, according to Martin Wong, director of research and consultancy for Greater China at the property consultancy Knight Frank. “Given its heritage nature, the project is expected to have a strong market appeal,” Wong said. “This type of project is rare in the market, as there is a higher hurdle for redevelopment from the planning and technical perspective.” Movietown, constructed in 1961, was the crown jewel of Shaw Brothers Studios , which was one of Asia’s largest film producers in its heyday between the 1970s and 1990s . Spread across 46 acres, the site featured 23 buildings used as offices, production sets and movie-editing studios, as well as accommodation for cast and crew. Founded in 1925 by three brothers, Shaw Brothers popularised the kung fu movie genre, with an archive of more than 1,000 titles including such classics as the 1967 One Armed Swordsman and the 36th Chamber of Shaolin in 1978. The brand was a household name in Hong Kong, with fans among the global Cantonese-speaking Chinese diaspora. Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino professed himself a kung fu movie buff, citing Bruce Lee’s films and Shaw Brothers classics as his muse. Like the rest of Hong Kong’s once-booming movie industry, the studio struggled with soaring production costs, competition from Hollywood and mainland China’s emerging studios and rampant piracy of its films. The company shifted its focus towards television through Television Broadcasts Limited ( TVB ), Hong Kong’s dominant terrestrial broadcaster. The company was reorganised in 2011, and renamed Clear Water Bay Land, while the movie business was renamed Shaw Studios and moved to a new location in Tseung Kwan O in 2005. Movietown, abandoned and dilapidated, was classified by Hong Kong’s Antiquities and Monuments Office in 2015 as a Grade One Historical Structure, the city’s highest award by the government body. Fosun Group, the Shanghai-based owner of Club Med chain of holiday resorts, paid HK$1.5 billion in 2014 for the Movietown site from Shaw Studios. The takeover reflected the growing interest among developers to transform locations and buildings with heritage listings into modern housing or commercial projects, aiming to use the prestige associated with these sites to enhance their own brand cachet. In China, Shui On ’s Xintiandi project, redeveloped from traditional shikumen homes, has been established as one of modern Shanghai’s landmarks, setting the trend for similar heritage-linked sites elsewhere. Recent projects in Hong Kong with a preservation element include New World Development’s State Theatre in North Point, Jessville in Pok Fu Lam and Kowloon Development’s plan to build high-rise flats at the site of the former St Joseph’s Home for the Aged in Clear Water Bay.