The West Kowloon district of Hong Kong is one the city’s newer, planned neighborhoods. Situated on a large parcel of reclaimed land between the Yau Ma Tei and Lai Chi Kok districts of Kowloon, the West Kowloon neighborhood encompasses an area of approximately 334 hectares. This reclamation effort dates back to the late 1990’s and represents one of the biggest urban reclamation projects in Hong Kong.
The creation of the West Kowloon district has, in fact, increased the size of the Kowloon Peninsula as it has extended the waterfront into Victoria harbor by more than a kilometer. Canton Road forms the area’s eastern boundary while Hong Kong’s spectacular Victoria Harbor lies to the west and south of West Kowloon and bustling Jordan Road frames its northern end. The creation of West Kowloon was undertaken as a part of the government’s Airport Core Program by which land so created would be used for residential, commercial and entertainment purposes.
Work on the West Kowloon Cultural District is finally underway after a few development and administrative hiccups. Plans for the area include the creation of theaters, art galleries, and performance venues in addition to the newly-built waterfront promenade, a delightful oceanfront stretch offering facilities for jogging, biking, picnicking and play. The district will host sixteen different venues including a grand contemporary art museum called M+ and the Xiqu Centre, a stylish, modern venue for Cantonese opera.
In addition to the parks, promenades, and cultural venues, the area will also host a terminus for the under construction Guangzhou-Shenzhen- Hong Kong Express Rail Link. This high-speed train connection which when complete is expected to reduce the travel time to Guangzhou to a mere 45 minutes.
All these various facilities will but naturally complemented by the creation of various shopping, dining and hospitality ventures. Some of these plans have already taken shape in the form of the area’s Elements mall, a luxurious enclave designed around the concept of the five Chinese elements of Nature. The mall hosts myriad shops and eateries and a cinema complex. The Elements mall provides easy access to the stylish W Hotel and the Kowloon MTR station, home of the Airport Express train link in Kowloon.
The Elements mall also offers easy access to one of Hong Kong’s newest landmarks, the towering International Commerce Centre, a118-storey behemoth, currently the 8th tallest building the world. While the luxe Ritz-Carlton Hotel Hong Kong occupies the topmost floors of the ICC tower, the lower floors host the Hong Kong offices of well-known global investment banks, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank. The tower also has an observation deck on the 100th floor called Sky100 that offers spectacular views Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and beyond.
The residential offerings of the West Kowloon area currently include five large, modern, high-rise apartment complexes. The Arch, the Waterfront, the Harbourside, the Cullinan and Sorrento are these luxurious multi-tower developments of the West Kowloon district that offer oceanfront views, top-notch finishes, and well-equipped clubhouses. It’s no wonder then that these contemporary abodes are popular residential choices with both expats and locals alike.
As for modern-day conveniences, the West Kowloon district is well connected by road and rail to the rest of Hong Kong. In fact, West Kowloon is only a station away from Central’s Hong Kong station on the Tung Chung and Airport Express lines.
The Kowloon Junior School and the King George V School of the ESF network serve the area. Additionally various international schools such as the American International School, the Australian International School, the Yew Chung International School amongst others are within easy reach of the area.
Further medical institutions such as the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the KwongWah Hospital, and the Hong Kong Baptist Hospital cater to the medical needs of the area’s residents.
All in all the West Kowloon district is well on it’s way to becoming a well-rounded, desirable neighborhood of Hong Kong, which will soon rank up there with the very best.