Sino Land Markets 2 New Office Bldgs In Wong Chuk Hang
HONG KONG – A pair of office properties developed by billionaire Robert Ng’s Sino Land has entered the market even though competition for occupants among local office landlords intensifies amidst a record-high office vacancy rate, reported Bloomberg on Tuesday afternoon (22 March, SGT).
The two commercial properties are located in Hong Kong’s non-core areas in a bid to capture demand for more affordable workspaces outside of traditional districts like Central. One of them is Landmark South in Wong Chuk Hang, a former industrial district that’s 15 minutes by car from Central.
“A lot of private wealth-management companies are very interested in this place,” said Sino Land’s Director for asset management Bella Chhoa, who added that many of these firm’s staff also live close to the area.
While financial firms post their front-line employees in Central or Wan Chai, they will likely assign their back-end staff in cheaper office space to save on costs, “so that’s another advantage that we have,” she noted.
Moreover, Sino Land revealed that the savings are significant as office rents in Hong Kong’s non-core areas, like Wong Chuk Hang, are around 50 to 70 percent less expensive compared to those in Central.
Completed in July 2022, Landmark South currently has an occupancy level of around 38 percent and the developer expects the rate to hit 50 percent in H1 2023.
In addition, the new commercial property has attracted tenants from the art industry, with three galleries already committing space, including Tang Contemporary Art. The Hong Kong Arts Development Council is also slated to move in. Collectively, the art galleries make up 20 percent of the space leased. Interestingly, the building is equipped with a gondola that can handle artwork deliveries thanks to its 600-kilogram load capacity.
Meanwhile, the amount of vacant upscale office space in Hong Kong reached a record high of 13 million sq ft last month, with more new office buildings entering the market in Central and other primary commercial areas. As a result, Hong Kong landlords are increasingly jostling for office tenants, especially as financial firms slash jobs and reduce costs.
For instance, it was reported earlier this month that BNP Paribas plans to relocate the lion’s share of its employees in the city from Central to Quarry Bay on the eastern part of Hong Kong Island in an attempt to cut expenses.