Hong Kong real estate developer District15, together with private equity property firm Pamfleet, launched the Nate studio apartments in Tsim Sha Tsui on Friday, officially kicking off leasing of residential units in their first co-living project in Kowloon.
The sharing-economy housing project at the junction of Nathan Road and Hillwood Road is part of a 13-storey building that the local redevelopment specialist bought together with real estate investment firm Pamfleet in 2016 for around HK$600 million ($77 million).
According to District15, which is managing both the retail space and residential units in the building, it introduced the co-living elements into the Nate, which include shared kitchens and lounge spaces, as a wave to provide high-end amenities into affordable rental units in a prime location.
The newly-completed project, which takes its name from the main thoroughfare through Tsim Sha Tsui, a busy shopping district that serves as the embarkation point for the Star Ferry to Central, is located in a 32,228 square foot (2,994 square metre) building three minutes walk from the Jordan MTR station.
Pamfleet and District15 jointly invested in the building and renovated it a mixed-use project that hosts seven floors of studio apartments above five floors of retail space.
Serviced Apartments in the Heart of TST
Inspired by the co-working flexible office trend, co-living has been catching on with private investment firms in Hong Kong, who are competing to snatch up aging buildings in core locations, that can be retrofitted into small, but luxuriously appointed homes in the world’s priciest city for real estate.
The residential component of the Nate, which covers around 18,000 square feet by GFA, is divided into 71 studios, a communal kitchen, and a laundry room, with each studio equipped with a private bathroom and a queen size bed.
Because of some value-added services, like the three-time a week room cleaning services and the free laundry, the rent at the Nate is about 70 percent higher than typical apartments in Tsim Sha Tsui, where residential rentals currently average around HK$60 per square foot per month. A 260 square foot studio, the largest of the 71 units in the Nate, carries a monthly rent of HK$26,500, while the smallest home, a 125 square foot room, is available for HK$17,600.
According to the company, its target audience for the property are primarily working professionals aged in their late 20s and up, who are posted in Hong Kong for a few months or more and wish to have a cozy apartment close to Tsim Sha Tsui, Central, and transportation centres like the high-speed railway station in west Kowloon.
By the time that the residential units were officially launched last Friday, 30 out of the 71 rooms had already been pre-rented.
District15 Goes for Co-Living as Rents Rise
Apart from their own studios, tenants in the Nate will also have access to the building’s communal kitchen and living room on the 12th floor, as well being able to check out the view of Victoria Harbour from the building’s rooftop terrace.
Previous residential properties built and managed by District15, such as the Kush chain of serviced apartments that the firm completed in 2006, but sold to Australia’s Ovolo Group in 2010, all were designed with private kitchens in each of the rental units. However, as the cost of space in Hong Kong continued to climb, the company decided to save space in the Nate by cancelling the private kitchen in favour of a co-living approach where tenants can share facilities for cooking, dining and entertaining.
District15, which manages the Nate, was established in 2005 by former Swire executive Alexander Bent and ex-ABN AMRO banker Dinesh V. Nihalchand and specializes in creative design and development of real estate projects, as well as asset management.
The Nate is the first cooperative project between Pamfleet and District15, which has teamed with other real estate fund managers for projects in the city. In 2017 the firm launched a number of real estate projects in the city, including the Yat Fu Lane retail podium that it jointly developed with Angelo, Gordon & Co near Kennedy Town, and the Warehouses on West retail and office properties in Sai Ying Pun.