Hong Kong's Kennedy Town the new choice for expats
Arthur Edward Kennedy was a famous 19th century British colonial administrator who served as governor for a considerable number of colonies, including Western Australia, Queensland, Sierra Leone and Vancouver Island.
Most famous of all, he was the seventh governor of Hong Kong, a position he maintained for five years between 1872 and 1877. He was a highly active and influential figure, helping establish, for example, the official currency of the city-state, which today is the eighth most traded in the world.
Aside for being well-known for his laidback and affable approach to life, work and socials, he helped develop Kennedy Town, which is located on the western side of the Sai Wan district on Hong Kong Island.
Historically, it has always been where immigrants from the mainland lived but, over the last 20 years, this has begun to change with urban development and financial investment helping the town catch up to the rest of Hong Kong.
It is fast becoming known as a prime destination for international movers to settle in, as well as for affluent professionals from the state, reported the Wall Street Journal’s Chester Yung.
“Buildings that once housed garages, warehouses, tiny markets and scrap-metal dealers are filling up with high-end French bistros, bars and cafes, as luxury apartment buildings rise beside them,” he writes in an engaging article. “Analysts expect over a thousand new units to come on the market in the next three years.”
The population of Kennedy Town has changed accordingly over this time. For example, the number of native English speakers has doubled over the last decade alone, while the number of people speaking Cantonese has decreased by five per cent.
Mr Yung elaborates: “Behind the flurry of activity is a long-awaited subway station that, when finished in 2014, will make Kennedy Town the terminus of the island’s main east-west line and put this sea-facing section within eight minutes of Central – Hong Kong’s financial district.”
This is making for a vibrant, multicultural place to live, nicely mixing, at present that is, the old character of Kennedy Town with the newer, more cosmopolitan understanding of where it is going in the future.
It is part of a wider initiative from the state to fully modernise its infrastructure, as it continues to make headway as one of the world’s leading financial hubs. It has been particularly adept at rapidly constructing quality high-rise apartments – space is an ever pressing issue in Hong Kong – and office blocks to meet demands.