Sea View Building, 29-41 Tong Chong StreetQuarry Bay, Hong Kong Island
Quarry Bay throughout the years has seen major changes and has emerged to become Hong Kong Island’s Eastern business district. Previously, residing in the area was predominately locals, but after the development of Taikoo Place, a large scale Grade A Commercial Hub, Quarry Bay saw an increasing influx of expatriates.
In 2008 the advent of One Island East, a highly aesthetically pleasing, 70 Storey Grade A Commercial Tower at the Eastern end of Taikoo Place, further reinforced Quarry Bay’s status as one of Hong Kong’s prominent commercial nodes.
Attracting many large conglomerates to the area by the relatively cheaper commercial office rents, the growing infrastructure and the accompanying convenience has made renting and buying apartments in Quarry Bay increasingly popular with expatriates. A far cry from long ago, when Quarry Bay was literally that, named after the Quarries opened up by the local Hakka stonemasons.
The success of the area and corresponding increase in property prices can be largely attributed to the Swire Conglomerate. The Swire Conglomerate, which among their many stake-holdings in Hong Kong is the major shareholder of Cathay Pacific and is affectionately referred to as “Taikoo” in Chinese.
Historically the Swire conglomerate was known as Butterfield and Swire a shipping and trading company which had many business interests in the Quarry Bay area and the surroundings Docks. As the company grew they gave the area their stamp and nurtured many investments in infrastructure around the area.
Swire’s presence can be seen everywhere in Quarry Bay and notably the Taikoo area. Tong Chong Street the main address of the Taikoo Place, in Chinese, means Sugar Factory, not surprising as sugar processing was one of the company’s most successful lines of business and to this day the most popular brand of sugar in Hong Kong is named Taikoo.