Weekend Property

Red-hot residential hub: convenience of Island East is telling factor in transformation of one-time dockyard

Landmark office redevelopment, Central-Wan Chai bypass, North Island MTR line and the North Point promenade enhancement project are positive indicators for property sales and lettings

PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 August, 2016, 1:23pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 August, 2016, 2:10pm

Island East has morphed into a major commercial hub from its previous life as a dockyard. Since the establishment of Taikoo Place and Taikoo Shing, it has become a residential location of choice for those seeking to benefit from the convenience of inner-city living and proximity to major commercial districts.

As a residential area, Island East can be broken down into North Point, Braemar Hill and Taikoo Shing, while Shau Kei Wan and Chai Wan are closer to the east end of the island. Across North Point and Shau Kei Wan, there are at least nine residential projects that are expected to deliver 2,200 homes in the next few years.

Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) is marketing residential projects off-plan in North Point and Shau Kei Wan. The first phase of the 133 Java Road project, which has been named Victoria Harbour to reflect its harbourfront location, will comprise five blocks offering 355 units, including units in a mix of sizes, up to four bedrooms, and special units. It is expected to be completed in June next year.

Victoria Harbour is part of a mixed-use development, featuring two, 18-storey hotel blocks and a large-scale shopping complex Harbour North. Comprising approximately 220,000 sq ft of retail space, Harbour North will house 120 to 130 retail shops, SHKP says. Victor Lui, deputy managing director of SHKP, says the company is awaiting presale consent on the Victoria Harbour project, which he expects to go on sale in the final quarter.

SHKP has also released the first batch of 130 units at the twin-tower, 650-unit Lime Gala project at 1-3 Church Lane. Apartments range from 281 sq ft to 889 sq ft (studios to three-bedrooms), in addition to special units from 874 sq ft to 1,279 sq ft.

Nan Fung’s redevelopment project, Island Garden, at 33 Chai Wan Road, is also waiting for presale consent. It has approximately 457,600 sq ft of gross floor area and will provide about 470 units, mainly two- and three-bedrooms, in four residential towers.

On the heels of the sale of The Pavilia Hill, partners New World Development and Peterson Group are expected to market another upmarket North Point project, Fleur Pavilia, later this year. It will comprise 611 units, mainly three- and four-bedroom family apartments.

By the end of July, only four units and seven special units out of the 358 units at The Pavilia Hill remained available for sale, according to Ico Lam, an associate sales director at estate agent chain based in North Point.

Elsewhere, CK Property’s Oil Street mixed-use project will comprise seven towers, six of them mixed-use blocks in which apartments and hotel rooms will be built, and a pure hotel building. There will be about 400 apartments. Construction began in March last year, according to Buildings Department (BD) records.The project is expected to be completed by 2018. The developer has not indicated when the residential units will go on sale.

In early August, Henderson Land Development suspended the sale of the first batch of 20 units at the Parker 33 project (234 units) at 33 Shing On Street, Shau Kei Wan. It was speculated that the developer would cut the discounts previously offered or directly mark up the prices on improved market sentiment.

Near Quarry Bay, Henderson Land Development has another redevelopment project at 852-858 King’s Road and 21-39 Mansion Street in the pipeline, according to its 2015 annual report. The developer is also expected to market a 128-unit project at 1-5 Yuet Yuen Street, privately owned by chairman Lee Shau-kee, in a few months’ time. Construction on the Yuet Yuen Street site started in April, according to BD records.

Wing Tai Properties Development has a project under construction in Shau Kei Wan. Located at the intersection of Oi Kan Road and Oi Tak Street, the project occupies a 5,128 sq ft site with 46,100 sq ft of gross floor area.

Kitty Ngan King-fung, director of sales at the company, confirms that 80 flats, including studios, one-bedrooms, two-bedrooms and special units at 300 to 1,200 sq ft, will be built on the harbourfront site by the end of 2018.

In early July, Swire Properties announced the latest design plans for its Taikoo Place redevelopment, which it says will transform its Quarry Bay base into a major business and commercial hub.

In collaboration with architects and design firms, such as Hugh Dutton Associés, Gustafson Porter and Wong & Ouyang, the two new office towers to be built, along with the existing cluster of eight office towers in Taikoo Place, will be connected by elevated walkways and surrounded by landscaped gardens with cascading water features and additional alfresco dining areas.

One Taikoo Place is expected to be completed in 2018, followed by the second building, Two Taikoo Place, in 2021, according to the developer.

Together with the landmark office redevelopment, the completion of the Central-Wan Chai bypass, North Island MTR line and the North Point promenade enhancement project are all viewed as positive for residential property sales and lettings.