The 26 million square metre development area within the Qianhai free trade zone on the southern edge of Shenzhen will become the world’s fourth largest core business centre, according to Cushman & Wakefield. The international property consultant named Qianhai as one of top three cities within the Greater Bay Area to offer substantial property opportunities for investors and developers. The other two cities are Hengqin, on the border between Macau and Zhuhai, and Hung Shui Kiu in the northwestern part of Hong Kong. “Qianhai offers enormous opportunities...With a planned development area of 26 million square metres, the scale of Qianhai is among the largest core business districts (CBD) in the world... about six times the size of Central in Hong Kong,” C&W said in a report. Qianhai would be the world’s fourth largest CBD after London’s 28 million sq metres, Tokyo’s 40 million sq metres and Manhattan’s 60 million sq metres. Between 2013 and 2016, a total of 24 commercial development sites with a combined buildable gross floor area of 3.7 million sq metres were sold in Qianhai. Around 75 per cent of these sites have been designated for office use with the remainder being retail. While there have been some variations in land prices due to sales terms of individual sites, the average accommodation value for the sites sold in 2016 was 48 per cent higher than that of the sites sold in 2014. “Despite such impressive growth, the average accommodation value of 26,918 yuan (US$4,130) per sq metre in 2016 is still 60 per cent less than the average accommodation value of the four commercial development sites sold in non-core areas of Hong Kong in 2016,” the report said. With 70 per cent of Qianhai’s 26 million sq metres allocated for office and commercial use, the city has the potential to develop into the financial or hi-tech and innovation hub of the Greater Bay Area, which comprises 11 cities in Guangdong and Hong Kong. New food options could help put the sparkle on Qianhai To effectively deliver on this vision, the Qianhai free trade zonehas been organised into three key areas focusing on finance, information technology, and logistics and trade. C&W also said Hengqin, bordering on Macau, stands to reap enormous benefits from its designation as a national free trade zone, facilitated by improved access via the Hong Kong -Zhuhai- Macau Bridge and the two cities’ growing status as tourists hubs. “Like Qianhai, Hengqin has generous corporate subsidies on offer, including many specifically targeting Hong Kong and Macau enterprises,” the report said. Corporate income tax rates are as low as 15 per cent in Hengqin. To capitalise on opportunities in Qiahai, Lai Sun Group on Monday announced a collaboration with world-class football club Real Madrid Club de Fútbol to offer an indoor interactive football experience centre in the phase two development of its Novotown project in Qianhai, which is currently in the planning stages. Hong Kong also boasts a number of new areas that hold strong growth potential under the Greater Bay Area plan, including the Hung Shui Kiu New Development Area in the New Territories, C&W said. To help meet medium to long term housing and commercial/industrial needs of Hong Kong, C&W believes the development of Hung Shui Kiu will transform a large area of deserted agricultural land into a next generation new town. “Unlike Tin Shui Wai, which is located next door and developed as a residential enclave in the 1980s, a large portion of the land in Hung Shui Kiu is earmarked for commercial and industrial development with the aim of creating 150,000 new jobs in the area,” it said. Under the current plan, about 2.1 million sq metres of the total development area is designated for office, hotel and retail use and another 4.3 million sq metres is for industrial use. Together with new housing, Hung Shui Kiu will gradually become a major new economic and civic hub in the northwestern part of the New Territories, C&W said.