For years, vacant lots sat idle on Wellington Street, a busy pathway between the escalator, Lan Kwai Fong, and the heart of Central. Recently however, the look of the street has changed dramatically. The long, inclined block now boasts a healthy array of retail brands occupying ground floor locations. What happened?
The rise of the escalator and Soho
The completion of the escalator system in 1994 helped to make areas nestled on the hillside between Central’s business district and the Mid-Levels residential neighborhood more accessible. Back in the day, there wasn’t much in Soho except for commercial printers and waste paper recycling operations. With the growth of small, one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants, the neighborhood began to take off. The surrounding areas, including Lyndhurst Terrace also began to flourish. Wellington Street, essentially a passageway to the escalator and Soho, started to attract more foot traffic.
Though it took years before landlords and retailers began to take notice, Wellington Street offers ground floor exposure on a busy link between the epicenter of Central and the trendy neighborhoods just uphill to the West.
Only a few years ago, you literally had empty lots, an old bank, and various commercial enterprises occupying prime locations. Recently, ground-floor businesses that have been there for decades are starting to go.[photopress:Wellington_street_Hong_Kong.jpg,full,pp_image]
Wellington Street now boasts retail tenants such as Calvin Klein, Karen Millen, EQ IQ, and Pedder Red.[photopress:Calvin_Klein_Hong_Kong_stor.jpg,full,pp_image] [photopress:Karen_Millen_Hong_Kong_HK.jpg,full,pp_image] [photopress:EQ_IQ_clothing_Hong_Kong.jpg,full,pp_image] [photopress:Calvin_Klein_store_Hong_Kon.jpg,full,pp_image]
With several new buildings open, and older spaces being optimized, the transformation from nondescript shortcut to retail destination seems to be nearly complete.