There are many shopping malls, dept. stores, walking streets in Kowloon. When we were in Kowloon on the 1st day, we visited several famous shopping malls and streets there and got to understand how the culture and history of Kowloon have shaped the unique local retail formats and how the malls are developed under the economic and internationalization trend of the region. What’s more interesting, they all have their respective landmark colors!
Megabox (Enterprise Square) – RED
The first destination is Megabox. It is located opposite of the Zero Carbon Building. It is developed by Kerry Properties and an important component of the Energizing Kowloon East Plan, which is a 1.1 mil sq.ft mixed-use development comprising of shopping mall and offices.
Megabox is the largest shopping center in Kowloon East. From my observation along the way, we did not see other comparable shopping malls within vicinity. Therefore, the Megabox is inevitably a great supplement in Kowloon Bay and will underpin the local revitalization schemes by meeting local residents and staffs’ shopping and recreation demand. It consists of 4 major Zones – “IN-Style”, “Better Home”, “FAMILY Circus” and “EATertainment” and can tailor the demands of different consumption groups and ages.
The entire project is designed in a traditional Chinese manner with colors in dark red. The traffic design is also initiative, where consumers could get easy access into the shopping mall by direct escalators and the road loop around the mall.
Limitations: Megabox and the Enterprise Square complex is definitely an impeccable shopping and office mixed-use development and a milestone project in the Energizing Kowloon East Plan. However, the location of the development is somehow embarrassing as there is no MTR station nearby. The nearest one – the Kowloon Bay station is still 15 mins’ driving distance (not walking). Consumers have to wait for a long time for their shuttle bus before arriving the mall 15 mins later. And it will surely reduce the footfall.
Telford Plaza – GOLDEN
Our 2nd destination is the Telford Plaza . It is one of the largest-scale shopping malls in Kowloon Bay, Kowloon, which is also consisted of Headquarter Tower of MTR, Hang Seng Tower and the Telford Garden. The mall is co-developed by MTR and New World Development and is currently managed by MTR. The Phase I was opened in 1980 and followed by Phase II’s opening in 1997. Further back to the history of Kowloon, Kowloon Bay was at that time an undeveloped industrial area and most of the towers in Kwun Tong were still industrial-use. So the Telford Plaza could be the only large-scale shopping destination in Kwun Tong and even Kowloon East at one time and is a milestone project in the retail development in Kowloon.
Comparing with MegaBox, the location of Telford Plaza seems superior. It is encountered by the footfall of Kowloon Bay Station, Kowloon Bay Industrial and Commercial Zone and Kwun Tong Road with additional contribution by the Public Transport Interchange and connecting to Enterprise Square and the Kowloon East. As discussed above, the traffic access to MegaBox is not good but there are shuttle buses between these 2 destinations, so that they could share more footfalls.
Besides the Phase I & II malls in Telford Plaza, there also other constructions which also contribute to its success. The Golden Road is a pedestrian corridor outside the Telford Plaza and it links to the Telford Tower and Kowloon Bay by footbridge. The entire development is actually in the golden color. It was renovated in 1997. There is also a Garden Plaza providing public open space with lots of convenient facilities. The MCL (Telford Theater) is also famous for its special design and its jewel theme.
Some general feeling: we visited the Telford Plaza on Wednesday, a weekday not weekend, but just standing under the roof of the Golden Road and inside the Plaza, I felt the whole development is really crowded. I think the location of Plaza is one the most important reason for its success – intersection of various areas and roads, comprehensive supported infrastructure and comprehensive public traffic access. Even today, with lots of industrial towers and old residential development nearby with lots of dense population, the Telford Plaza is an extreme success and had made full use of all there factor contributing its prosperity.
Langham Place – BLUE
The last destination we visited that day is the Mall of Langham Place after passing through the crowded streets in Mong Kok. The Langham Place was completed in October, 2014. It is a 3-in-1 landmark mixed-use development in Mong Kok, Kowloon with shopping mall, hotel and office. It is a very successful model as the visitors in its hotel and the workforce in its can provide abundant consumers for the mall, not to mention the prosperity of Mong Kok.
The main color of Langham Place is blue as its curtain wall is mostly made of glasses. The site where Langham Place covered is originally a residential land. It was completed after 10 years of replaning and redevelopment. It is most famed by its architecture design and the entire project is designed as a round-mix and streamlined style. As for the shopping mall (15 levels), the biggest feature is the Xpresscalators from 4A tower to 8-style tower, it is also the longest escalator in Hong Kong.
Take the history and culture of Mong Kok into consideration, the area used to be the “Red Light District” with lots of night clubs. The Regal Group planned to change it to a contemporary and fashioned shopping area with more dynamic. The prosperity of Mong Kok should also thank to the development of Langham Place actually, as it changed the image of the area after it was built.
Resembling Telford Plaza, the success of Langham Place also thrived on its location – the center of the densely-populated Mong Kok. Besides, its development pattern also contributed to its success with enough footfalls coming from its brothers – the office and hotel. The unique architecture design makes it a landmark and recognizable by anyone who visited. And on top of above, it is the strategic transformation of the area underpinned its prosperity, as the old Mong Kok needs high-standard and international project to be its landmark to change its old and vulgar image. The Langham Place just caught up that trend and made its success.
 Megabox Website (http://www.megabox.com.hk/index.php?lang=eng)
 Langham Place ( http://www.langhamplace.com.hk/tc/)