K. Wah Keeps a Pulse on the Market

By Shanghai Family 2023-05-10 16:45:13

K. Wah is a familiar name in the Shanghai property development scene. Founded in 1955 in Hong Kong, the company has had a presence in the Chinese mainland for 30 years since 1992. The veteran investment group has developed notable projects like the K. Wah Centre on Middle Huaihai Road, the Stanford Residences serviced apartments in Jing’an and Xuhui, along with Grand Summit, The Palace, Navale, and EDGE, the commercial development.

As K. Wah looks forward to the next 30 years, the company’s projects are focused on modernizing with the times. It is doing that by understanding the consumer and staying ahead of market trends. This can be seen in the recent co-living CITTA Residence and urban revitalization project WYSH.

Eugene Tang, general manager of development and operations, keeps a sharp eye on what the future brings.

“I like to people watch,” said Tang. “Predict what they like or do in the future.”

A large part of his job is to know what will be popular in two years, the time it takes from conceiving a new development to its completion.

Art and Urban Revitalization at WYSH

A recent trend in Shanghai’s real estate development is a shift to urban revitalization, which repurposes the city’s wealth of historic architecture.

“It’s different from Hong Kong. There are no more historic buildings everywhere. Everybody took them all down,” said Tang.

“Shanghai has a lot of high quality historic buildings. Because it was such an international city back then in the 1920s, they had the best people around the world to build them. So, to be part of it, to revitalize them is very important.”

The new WYSH site is a section of the larger Changning District government’s plan to revitalize all of Wuyi Road. The historic cornerstones of the WYSH development are the former site of FEILO Acoustics Factory that was the first to be listed on the Shanghai Stock Market.

WYSH is designed to cater to the arts with wide-open gallery space for art exhibitions and fashion shows. Other K. Wah properties have already partnered with notable luxury brands to hold events at EDGE located on Suzhou Creek, as well as at Palace Lane.

Vertical landscape will be a distinguishing architectural feature of WYSH. It will make use of the elevated roof space with outdoor staircases and ramps to connect the rooftops with seating areas.

WYSH will also follow the lead of past projects by keeping a keen eye on which partner brands to welcome into the development. At K. Wah Centre there is the popular dining space Liquid Laundry, and exercise chain Will’s Gym. Also, Palace Lane on West Jianguo Road has Pain Chaud Bakery and the iYouth fashion boutique. According to Tang, when it comes to finding partners, it’s all about identifying the customer, and what aligns with their needs.

Social Living at CITTA Residences

A change is happening in residential real estate, following the lead of new consumer demands and lifestyles. Modernization means co-living. The movement caters to a younger demographic of single professionals, and is characterized by upscale apartments with shared common space of a kitchen, lounges, laundry, gyms, and reception. The goal is to foster community and socialization that is missing from traditional multi-family living options, along with the high quality and management service absent from standard rentals.

K. Wah’s answer to the co-living market need is CITTA Residences, which opened in 2021 in Jing’an District. Tang describes it as a turnkey solution, with each room fully furnished and the flexibility of short-term contracts.

“Stanford Residences is the mother brand. The demographics are usually families with kids,” said Tang. “Maybe it’s not so suitable for younger people. So we created the CITTA brand.”

Keeping the needs of its target audience in mind, CITTA boasts community-building events like themed activities for residents, along with easy access to public transportation on the metro. The company plans to expand the brand with more locations in the future.

K. Wah in the Yangtze River Delta Area

Currently underway in Nanjing is a project familiar to Chinese megacities, the multi-purpose retail mall, office buildings, and residential apartments. The large development spans an impressive 700,000 sqm in Nanjing’s up and coming Jianye District, with a scheduled grand opening date of 2028.

Phase one of the project is the residential portion, Sierra, is underway with 11 high-rise towers housing a total of about 856 apartment units. Most units are 3 or 4-bedroom, making it a good fit for families.

To round out the project, the residential towers will be accompanied by a hotel, three towers of office buildings, and a commercial mall. K. Wah will continue its dedication to art by again collaborating with UCCA Center for Cotemporary Art to welcome its fourth museum. UCCA already has a museum at EDGE in Shanghai.

The diverse Nanjing mega intergrated development is the first to bring together all of the property elements in K. Wah’s repertoire.

“I’ve done everything by itself in Shanghai. But Nanjing is the first one where we can do it all at once,” said Tang. “For us, if you ask what’s in the future, its more of that.”

K. Wah has shown its commitment to the Yangtze River Delta Area with investment for the last 30 years and looks forward to continued development for decades to come.

Eugene Tang │General Manager of Development and Operations