Introduction to Kai Tak – The Next Rising Star in Kowloon

Posted: Jul 10 2017Last Updated: Jul 10 2017
10 July 2017 - Kai Tak transitioned from a grass strip airfield serving the British RAF, to a world-renowned airport that served the city of Hong Kong from 1925 to 1998. Kowloon, where Kai Tak is located, had strict building restrictions in order to ensure flight safety. Buildings were low rise and schools were fitted with double glazed windows to reduce noise pollution. Back in those days, it was not uncommon to see a Boeing 747 fly overhead as you were waiting for a bus in the area, most people had to cover their ears to protect themselves from the ear-splitting roar. Kai Tak airport was retired on 6 July 1998 and its development plan was made official in 2007. What is happening to Kai Tak today, 10 years later? 
Property Development
With The Kai Tak Development (KTD) launched officially in 2007, a lot of careful and strategic planning has been going on behind the scenes over the last decade. Hong Kong property development is naturally one of its most important features in the plan and includes residential, commercial and recreational zones.
Pressing demand for housing in the densely populated city puts the estimated supply in Kai Tak under the spotlight of the plan. Originally, 30,000 housing units catering to 90,000 residents were expected, with 13,368 of these units allocated to public housing targeted at individuals or families with lower income. With surging demand from the growing population, the plan hopes to catch up and eventually provide 50,000 housing units for 130,000 people, thereby crowning the area as the number one new housing provider in Hong Kong. 
Before the end of 2016, three developers completed a total of 2,999 flats in One Kai Tak (Phases I and II), K. City and Vibe Centro. According to the Hong Kong Property Review released by the Rating and Valuation Department, Kai Tak is expected to have 3,766 new flats built in 2017, and 4,882 in 2018. This represents 22% of 17,120 new flats expected to be completed across Hong Kong for 2017 and 25% of the 19,530 new flats in 2018. The figures appear to exhibit steady growth and are encouraging for homebuyers. Commercial development within the area is also a highlight of the plan as the government hopes to transform the former world-renowned airport into a leading commercial district (CBD2), incorporating commercial businesses, tourism, as well as the local community with housing and its own infrastructure.
Location, Transport & Facilities
Kai Tak is situated right beside Kowloon City and neighbours the sheltered waters of Victoria Harbour. Upon completion of the Shatin to Central Link (SCL), Kai Tak will be within arm’s reach of the Island side, significantly reducing the commute time for those who end up residing here.
The New Territories will also be more easily accessible as Kai Tak will officially become the centre point between the two areas. There are also numerous existing bus routes available that make the area highly accessible. Road traffic is expected to ease upon completion of the Shatin to Central Link (SCL). 
Within the heart of everything, Kai Tak will never be boring as it is surrounded by food and entertainment venues. Neighbouring Kowloon City is known as ‘Little Thailand’ and serves authentic Thai food and many other cuisines from Asia and around the world while San Po Kong’s modern shopping centres showcase all the latest trends.
Potential Growth
Despite being highly accessible to other areas in Hong Kong, the development of infrastructure within Kai Tak will also make it a self-sufficient community, with elements of culture, entertainment, as well as commerce. Currently, the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal not only offers touristic features such as entertainment, shops, and restaurants; there is also a 23,000 square meter rooftop park available for relaxation. 
Under KTD, Kai Tak‘s community hall and fire station are already completed, and 2 primary schools are available to its young community. A children’s hospital is currently under construction, together with the Kowloon East Regional Headquarters and Operational Base-cum-Ngau Tau Kok Divisional Police Station.
The government is currently designing a new Inland Revenue Tower to be erected in the area. With the government pioneering the shift towards this convenient location, international corporations should certainly keep an eye on Kai Tak as another potential district to set up operations. While the accompanying ‘Goodbye Kai Tak, and thank you!’ the campaign marked the end of Kai Tak Airport in 1998, there are likely to be more ‘thank-yous’ to come with Kai Tak development for years to come!

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