Rebuilding To Kwa Wan

In the past few years, To Kwa Wan has been a property battleground where developers compete to acquire old blocks. Even the Grade III historic buildings of the former Eastern Cotton Mills have been torn down and reduced to a mere wall, waiting for a new development project to take place. There’s nothing wrong with increasing land-use efficiency and speeding up the pace of urban renewal in a highly concentrated and expensive city like Hong Kong. However, the government could have done a much better job with conservation to avoid the misbalance of modern development and historic preservation that we witness today.

From a development perspective, To Kwa Wan is indeed packed with potential. A once buzzing industrial town with an abundance of clothing factories and shipyards as well as a major gas plant, To Kwa Wan started its decline in the 1980s, when the city’s industrial transformation and upgrades led to an exodus of businesses and workers.

It was not until a decade ago that To Kwa Wan got a second lease on life, with rebuilding projects popping up across the district. Although the area is still missing a decent-sized shopping centre, it is going through some serious revamps. Due in no small part to the Sha Tin to Central Link currently under construction, the investment value of To Kwa Wan properties is gaining a lot of attention recently. While many home owners eagerly look forward to government acquisitions of their properties, many also worry mom-and-pop shops could be facing high rent after the rebuilding process.

Whether the scandal-ridden Sha Tin to Central Link can finish on time is still unknown, but upon completion, it will drastically elevate To Kwa Wan’s connectivity. By then, the Tuen Ma line would shorten the journey from To Kwa Wan to East Tsim Sha Tsui or Exhibition Centre stations to just three stops. This and the myriad of bus routes that cover the district will make it a transport hub that connects Hong Kong, Kowloon and the New Territories.

As the housing market is on a downturn, several new developers are now selling units at near market rates. Downtown 38 and eResidence are the two new projects in To Kwa Wan selling this year, the latter of which—a Starter Homes scheme project by the Urban Renewal Authority (URA)—has buyer asset and income limits. According to Centadata, the current average per-saleable-square-foot price of To Kwa Wan’s residential properties is HK$11,725.

Selected Development

Located on 38 Pak Tai Street, Downtown 38 is a standalone building co-developed by Sun Hung Kai Properties and the URA, and is expected to open by the end of March next year. Of the 228 units, close to 70% are one-bedroom flats, while special units with balconies and terraces are also available. The units’ saleable areas range between 280 and 561 square feet.

This co-development from Henderson Land Development and the Hong Kong and China Gas Company is located on 38 San Ma Tau Street, and comprises of five blocks with a combined 1,783 units. The project, which opened in 2007, boasts a variety of home types, with saleable areas of 504 to 1,600 square feet. Unit 16A in Block 1, with a saleable area of 360 square feet, was recently sold for HK$6 million, or HK$16,667 per square foot.

  • Artisan Garden

Artisan Garden, located on 68 Kowloon City Road, offers a total of 294 units, most of which are one- and two-bedroom flats with saleable areas of 300 to 400 square feet. One-bedrooms take up over 80% of all available units. The project is expected to be completed in March 2021, and sales will start after Chinese New Year at the earliest. 

Selected Serviced Apartment


OOOTOPIA is a serviced apartment project located on 18 Sung Wong Toi Road. It features five room types, ranging from studios to two-bedroom suites, and every room comes with a spacious closet, a work desk and chair set, a safe, free WiFi and a mobile app that’s developed specifically for guests. Laundry facilities, communal kitchens and social lounges are also available. Lease periods start from a minimum of one month.

Things to Know Before Moving into To Kwa Wan

  • Mainland tour groups

In recent years, To Kwa Wan has seen an increase in gift shops, jewellery stores and restaurants that mainly cater to mainland tour groups. Flocks of tourists congest the streets and sidewalks, causing an inconvenience for local residents.

  • Starter Homes scheme

Located on To Kwa Wan’s Hok Yuen Street, eResidence is the pilot project of the newly- launched Starter Homes housing scheme. Around 80% of its units are studios or one-bedroom flats, while the remaining ones are two-bedrooms. The asking prices of the units are to be 62% of market rates, with the cheapest studio apartment priced around HK$3.142 million. The main purpose of the scheme is to help the middle-class become home owners.

  • School net

To Kwa Wan’s primary school net is No. 34, which includes Diocesan Boys' School Primary Division, Heep Yunn Primary School, and Chan Sui Ki (La Salle) Primary School. Its secondary school net belongs to Kowloon City district, which has Homantin Government Secondary School, La Salle College, Maryknoll Convent School, Diocesan Boys' School, and Pui Ching Middle School, among others. Higher education institutions in the area are The Open University of Hong Kong and Tung Wah College.