Trend & Insights

Why Sheung Wan is becoming a thriving business hub

theDesk Strand 50 - Sheung Wan MTR - transportation hub
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Sheung Wan is one of Hong Kong’s most iconic neighborhoods, and emblematic of the unique contrasts that define the city. From towering buildings to bustling streets with vendors selling dried seafood, the area seamlessly blends the old with the new. As one of the oldest neighborhoods in Hong Kong, it offers a diverse mix of unique residential buildings, office spaces and commercial outlets that have evolved and changed with the neighborhood over the years. The area is certainly a destination for many, and especially a favorite of Hong Kong’s expat community. However it’s not just a great area to stay, but also to work, with residents enjoying a relaxed vibe and unique balance of live, work and play.

Decentralizing Hong Kong’s CBD

The rental price for commercial space in Central has continued to soar, rising at 16.5% year over year. This trend is having a decentralizing effect on Hong Kong’s Central Business District (CBD), and is leading to development in other areas such as Sheung Wan. Redevelopment projects are breathing new life into the business environment of Sheung Wan, giving people more access to modern, quality large floor plan spaces. Over the past few years, we’ve seen more and more companies feeling the pressure of the real estate market and moving out of Central, seeking greener pastures. The difference in cost can be stark, with rents in Sheung Wan as much as 48% lower per square foot than Central location. As companies continue to decentralize as a result of rising costs, the shift is fueling growth in areas like Sheung Wan. Not only can people pay less, but they can also gain access to more amenities and a more culturally dynamic neighborhood around their place of work.

As one of the first districts settled in by British, Sheung Wan is amongst the most developed areas in Hong Kong. For over a decade, a multitude of different corporations have been establishing their offices in the district.

A thriving community

Business considerations aside, Sheung Wan offers something unique in Hong Kong. The area was one of the earliest places to be settled after Hong Kong became a British colony in 1842, with both Chinese and Westerners making it their home. Over the years it turned into a thriving commercial area with a long history of local businesses and traditions. Just walking down the sidewalk you will see the streets lined with exotic wares, set against the backdrop of a modern glass tower. What this means is that the local community is thriving, and always within reach. Many existing tenants in Sheung Wan have a long history there and are firmly rooted in the fabric of the neighborhood, ready to meet and mix with new people coming in. In a place where new meets old and east meets west, inhabitants will always find opportunities to meet new people and collaborate, whether you’re an entrepreneur, expatriate looking for a strong community, or a larger company looking to find new growth opportunities.

A place to live and work

Sheung Wan is a nexus for Hong Kong, offering a bit of everything. In fact, some inhabitants might not feel the need to leave, living, working and finding entertainment all within the confines of the district. Along with the development of new office space, Sheung Wan has also seen exciting new retail projects, such as the opening of PMQ in the former Police Married Quarters. The neighborhood is famous for its cafe culture, meaning office workers are sure to find something of interest during breaks or if they need a place to have a meeting over coffee. This also makes it a great place to live, with a plentiful selection of apartments that are more affordable than Central or Mid-Levels. Pedestrians rejoice, the neighborhood is also very walkable: just 10 minutes to Central, meaning it’s close to clients and partners as well as the neighborhood’s additional options for shopping and food, or to Shun Tak Centre and the Hong Kong-Macau Ferry. Whether you live in the area or commuting to and from, Sheung Wan has a relaxed and open feeling that’s wholly unlike other business districts in the city.

Site for future development

Currently Bonham Trade Centre, the property will be renamed to Strand 50 with effect from September 1, 2019, is one of the office properties owned by Sunlight REIT.

Sheung Wan has a long entrepreneurial history, and that mentality is set to continue with the development of new projects creating fresh opportunities for residents and business people alike. Sunlight REIT, a real estate investment trust with diversified portfolio of 11 office and 5 retail properties in Hong Kong, describes, “There are many new office properties in development along with a rise in boutique hotels, allowing space for the expansion of businesses. Together with Sheung Wan’s strategic location, walking distance to Central, it’s a place where modern metropolis and age-old traditions mix, making it an ideal environment for business and leisure.” This trend will only continue over the next five years, with a projected ~1 million square feet of new office space being added, and further development along the district’s waterfront, carving out a new area in Hong Kong for business innovation to thrive.

Learn more about Sheung Wan: Stories behind the heart of Hong Kong: Sheung Wan

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