MIPIM Asia 2011 - Hong Kong reaches out to new CBD - in Kowloon

The Hong Kong government’s planning chiefs have set up new offices to drive forward a project which will secure the long-term regeneration of east Kowloon and simultaneously take the pressure off the island.

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Director of the planning department Jimmy Leung joined two private developers to outline the ambitious proposals at the Asia’s World City briefing at #mipimasia yesterday. He said that pressures on Hong Kong island and an almost ‘saturated’ Central Business District had led to rising prices and rental in offices and residential, so it was time to look elsewhere in order to maintain Hong Kong’s position. The project, called Energising East Kowloon, involves the creation of some 4 million sq m of floor area as a new Central Business District to alleviate the lack of space on Hong Kong Island. ‘Our strategy is very simple – it’s called CBD2’ said Leung, which stands for Connectivity, Branding, Design and Diversity. The scheme involves redeveloping the former Hong Kong airport, Kai Tak, moving a 1 hectare complex of government offices currently in Wan Chai by 2014, conducting work on former industrial areas in adjacent Kwun Tong and Kowloon Bay and potentially creating a new monorail system. It will include serviced apartments, shopping areas and marinas as a vibrant, 24 hour area, said Leung.

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Meanwhile, the 40 hectare West Kowloon Cultural District will also shift the centre of gravity for the city as a new mixed use area which will include new office space along with new high speed rail links into the Territories. ‘It will be a new high speed hub’, said Leung.  ‘With all of this we hope we can cater for growth for years to come.’

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Associate director at Sino Land, Hong Ping, said office developments were already ‘mushrooming’ with the new development, while general manager for office leasing at Sun Hung Kai Properties King Wai Lo added that green regulations and refurbishments are ‘definitely on our agenda.’

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