Ma Wan's Tung Wan beach to be widened in extensive beach improvement project

Park Island Residents! Today I have some very good news to report.
Our main beach on Park Island, Tung Wan beach is going to GROW

It will be made significantly wider. We are going to get more sand added, significantly more, which will provide for a broad, wide, and extended flat beach, care of the Hong Kong Government.

Government approval for the project has already been granted, and a tender for these works will go out shortly.

The beach improvement works will mainly involve filling of sand in an area of about 3.47 ha of foreshore and sea-bed to extend the sandy area of the Tung Wan Beach.

To give you a sense of the size and scale of the improvement, the sandy area of the beach will increase from about 3,400m2 currently to about 15,000m2. So around a 5 times the increase in the current sandy beach area.

In the map below you can see, marked in red where the new sand extension will go:

Tung Wan beach extension plans marked on a map
Below you can see an aerial photo of the relevant portion of Ma Wan Island:
Arial photo of Park Island, Ma Wan.
You can see the Tung Wan Beach in the middle of the photo and you can see the portion of beach area which is going to grow. Its going to be significantly wider, and the rocks you see in some parts of the beach will be entirely covered.

I was tempted to make a photoshopped "after" arial photo of how the beach will look once its done. If I see any such mock-ups from official sources I will post them later on this blog. If any readers care to create something and send it to me, please do so and I will post it up.

Its good to see that some portions of our Government in Hong Kong are on the ball, and are actively taking steps to make Park Island a better place. If you look at popular and iconic beaches around the world, one thing they have in common is that they are WIDE (and ideally also clean). Well done, and many thanks to the Town Planning Board, the Cultural and Leisure Services Department, and the Tseun Wan District Counsel, who are all working on this project.

We should also thanks Tsuen Wan district council member Justin Tseng, who it seems has been actively working in the interests of Ma Wan residents. Many people on Park Island have complained that since he won his seat, Justin as been "invisible" and entirely unresponsive to emails from those who voted for him. However, this was one of his election promises, so it seems he is in the process of delivering this. (The next thing on his list is access for Park Island residents cars to Ma Wan, and I will write more on that in another post.).

When will this project take place? My sources tell me it will be in the winter months of 2014. I plan to take photos of the beach over a period of weeks as it "grows", and I can't wait to see the beach when its done. (I'll post those photos up once these works start).

The opportunities for recreation, whether for picnics, sunbathing, beach volleyball, beach parties, beach football, etc will all be signifincantly improved, and I would think that visually the extension will add to the overall visual attractiveness of the beach also (which is already very nice).

The beach is likely to bring more people over to Ma Wan for weekends (in my view not necessarily a bad thing), and this is something the business owners will surely welcome, especially those with bars/restaurants along the beach.

These improvements raise the inevitable question of how the new beach will affect Park Island property prices. On this topic, I had a discussion with a few people in the know and we came up with a "back of the envelope" calculation which suggests that once the works are done, the improved beach, and increased awareness of Park Island etc could translate into a 5-6% increase in property values (both prices and rentals). Good news for owners, but perhaps not such good news for renters or people who intend to become owners.

To elaborate on this a little further, say you were looking at buying an apartment on Park Island for $5,000,000. How much more would you be prepare to pay for this added feature of the new beach? My best guess, after having polling a few people at random, is perhaps $250K - $300K more. (Ie from $5m, up to $5.25 - $5.3m), which translates into 5%-6% more. (Whether you agree, or disagree with these figures is of course up to you and you can easily create a formula to support your own estimate).

The same approach applies to rentals. If you are currently paying 14K for a 2 bedroom place, how much more would you pay for easy access and used of the improved beach? ($500, $800, etc.) You can make your own calculation.

The new beach is of course not owned by Park Island residents. It is Government owned and managed. The good part of that is that the Government covers all the costs of daily cleaning, improvements, lifeguards, etc. The downside is that we cannot exclude non-Park Islanders, but actually the presence of weekend visitors is fine with me. I once lived near Bondi beach in Australia, and always enjoyed the diversity and atmosphere that weekend visitors to the beach created.

PS - some of you with a sharper eye may have spotted some small wording on the Planning Department Map I attached, to the right of the Tsing Ma bridge, with the words "RECREATION AND TOURISM RELATED USES". I'll elaborate in a future posting as to what that is likely to be, needless to say things are happening...

Comments

  1. That is fantastic news! I assume the government wouldn't spend all the time and money to work on a project to increase the attractiveness of Ma Wan...if it's to let SHKP keep a long term monopoly on the transportations.
    If I read between the lines, this project might be an indication that Cars will be allowed, MTR might come as well and that we won't have a reduced transportation service in the long run

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  2. That is interesting news. Thanks for the writeup. I wonder is this once of reasons for all the recent interest from buyers?

    It sounds like it will look great and certainly be a nice feature for Park Island when its complete. Interesting calculation you made too on the way it might factor into prices.

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  3. So r we getting the car access aswell?

    Beach idea sounds really cool. Has it really been approved and Government will do it?

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  4. We are already very very happy with our choice to move to PI. This would be the icing on the cake, well that and car parking which we understand is some time away. Do you think its still a good time to buy on Park Island? We are first time buyers in Hong Kong, a little scary to take the plunge but we can also see how it will be a good investment over the next few years.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I do think its a good time to buy. If you look at rents, the quality of living on Park Island, and its growing popularity among expats I feel there is only really upside. Park Island is also not really a "speculative" market. Most buyers are are living in their homes, so this should also add stability in price movements.

      Some property analysts are calling for Park Island prices, on average to hit 10,000 psf by 2016. Sounds high, but on the other hand it you compare it to other parts of HK it almost seems inevitable.

      The big possible upside is of course if/when car parking for Park Island residents is allowed. There is no certain date for this, so if you are buying for this upside you need to be prepared to hold. Most people are guessing prices would rise 30% on the news that this project will go ahead, and I think that makes sense.

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    2. Just saw this post. You mentioned 10000psf by 2016. It looks like it will happen end of 2014, faster than anyone thought.

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  5. It will be very nice once finished. I'm not looking forward to the inevitable seemingly-never-ending work it will take to do this :(

    Allowing cars to have access in some form is not entirely unthinkable. However, I can't help being pretty sceptical until I see some actual evidence. It would be pretty sweet though.... if I could have a car and park it somewhere on Ma Wan it would cut my commute time in half!

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    1. I am not sure how disruptive it will be widening the beach. If they just do it with dredged sand from the ocean, it might just widen over time with almost disruption. On the other hand, if they truck it in, and spread it with bulldozers that of course will be more noticable. I'll try to mind out exactly how they do it, but yes the end result will be great!

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  6. Eddie CHAN for Director of Leisure and Cultural ServicesOctober 10, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    I refer to the above subject.

    The beach improvement work (Phase II) is planned to commence in March 2014 for completion in December 2014.

    Sun Hung Kai Real Estate Agency Limited will carry out the improvement work and bear the cost of the construction. As such, they will choose their contractor.

    Upon completion of the improvement works, the beach will be handed over to Leisure and Cultural Services Department for management.

    I can confirm residents will not be charged for this work, and the works, once complete will greatly benefit the appearance of the beach.

    Thank you for your concern on the Ma Wan Tung Wan Beach Improvement Work.

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    Replies
    1. Does this mean we will not be able to use the beach in Summer 2014?

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  7. Anon - Whilst I am not 100% sure, I suspect that an disruption will be minmal. I would think that the sand will be brought from the ocean side, and gradually added to the beach each day, gradually filling it out. So apart from Department of Leisure officials and various engineers etc walking around in with clipboards and taking measurements etc I think the beach will be fine to use as it grows.

    I'm really pleased about this development and can't wait to see it when its done. I'll try to take regular pics so we can watch the project progress.

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    1. Wondering if there is any news on what is happening or planned to be happening on the South of the Island. I hear rumors about Hotels and marinas but nothing seems sure. It would explain a reason for making the beach bigger, if there is a hotel heading to the island.

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    2. There are lots of graves on the south part of Ma Wan. This south part being south of the Tsing Ma bridge. There is already a concrete dock on the south side that some people fish off of. It's definitely possible that could turn into a marina, but you have to climb the hill with all the graves and walk a good bit to get back to the roundabout.

      I am curious what the long term plans for the old fishing village are. Only a small handful of the houses are still lived in. I'm curious if those still there refused to leave or if the government wanted a few people to live there to keep the area safer.

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    3. There are lots of graves on the south part of Ma Wan. This south part being south of the Tsing Ma bridge. There is already a concrete dock on the south side that some people fish off of. Its definitely possible that could turn into a marina, but you have to climb the hill with all the graves and walk a good bit to get back to the roundabout.

      I am curious what the long term plans for the old fishing village are. Only a small handful of the houses are still lived in. I'm curious if those still there refused to leave or if the government wanted a few people to live there to keep the area safer.

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  8. On another note, and perhaps related, prices in Park Island jumped 6% last month according to Centa-City Index.

    Average Unit Price: HK$6483.34 Announced on 2012/10/12

    http://hk.centadata.com/cci/cci_e.htm

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  9. Wondering if there is any news on what is happening or planned to be happening on the South of the Island. I hear rumors about Hotels and marinas but nothing seems sure. It would explain a reason for making the beach bigger, if there is a hotel heading to the island.

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  10. I would love to see the island develop to that standard to be honest. Imagine in a few years time: brand new wide beach + taxis 24/7 including week-ends even allowed to drop people off inside the island (those first 2 have been approved already) + Marina and Hotel on the other side of the island + car park build under the Tsing Ma bridge allowing private cars to come in + MTR Stop on Ma Wan !!!
    That would be just amazing. I imagine once all this happened, the property prices will fetch above $10,000 per sq foot.

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  11. A recent walk through the old fishing village showed that most villagers have moved out and the land became government land. It is a matter of time before plans of re-development will be announced. While it would be a shame to destroy the old village completely, they should think about preserving some identity as a former fishing village while allowing newer developments to proceed.

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  12. If they end weekend ferry service on Park Island, house value/prices will plummet. If they augment ferry loss with hordes of busses, pollution will rise dramatically and house prices will plummet. If they allow private autos, the traffic jams at entrance and exit area will increase substantially, as will pollution, and house prices will fall. Get it right people. No cars, less busses, weekend ferry service = less pollution, happier, safer kids + higher standard of living + higher house values. QED.

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  13. Any updates on when this will be done? How much would property prices rise if this really happened and went ahead. Real or just a dream???

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