On weekdays, Kai Tin Shopping Centre (Kai Tin SC) is the same as usual, with many visitors. But recently, there has been an extra queue.
"In recent months, more young people have come to the mall,” said Choi Bik-hung, Kai Tin SC’s security supervisor. “Especially at the sushi restaurant Sushiro, there is always a long queue of diners waiting, no matter if it’s before the restaurant opens, at lunch or during afternoon tea."
As the largest shopping mall in Lam Tin District, Kai Tin SC is surrounded by seven public housing estates and five private housing estates with a total population of 120,000, and it features direct connections with the Lam Tin MTR station and the public transport interchange. Jenny Wan, General Manager of Link Asset Management, who managed the asset enhancement project at Kai Tin SC, said, "Kowloon East is not an old district, contrary to perception. For example, the average age in Lam Tin is only 42 years old, and many young teachers and students visit Kai Tin SC, as four secondary schools and one international school are nearby."
Considering the limited availability in the district of some popular cuisines, such as Japanese and Thai food, a new mix of eateries has been introduced to Kai Tin SC to augment the mall’s existing traditional Chinese restaurants. These new eateries include popular conveyor belt sushi restaurant Sushiro, fusion Thai restaurant Cha Tai, Coffee Brown Cafe and bakery Crostini. What these restaurants have in common is their high-quality operations, and their presence caters to the tastes of people of different ages and enhances the service quality of the entire mall.
Kai Tin SC underwent several rounds of enhancement works beginning in 2018. After renovating the fresh market on the ground floor during the first phase, the façade was beautified and the atrium of the old wing was decorated with a feature wall last year, as well as new arcade floorings, ceiling baffles and energy-saving lighting. Meanwhile, the stores were re-organised to set aside more space for pop-up shops.
Choi Bik-hung, who also happens to be a Lam Tin resident, said, "I have worked in the mall for seven years and I often see many elderly visitors walking around the mall every day as a kind of exercise. After the renovation, I’ve noticed that they seem more energetic and are happier when hanging out here."
In line with the aim of the asset enhancement project, renowned local illustrator b.wing was invited to design exclusive mascots Ka Ka and Giant Bear for the mall. In addition, from April, Kai Tin SC’s outdoor open space was revitalised into Ktopia Garden featuring décor inspired by the new mascots, creating an attractive place for relaxation and photo-taking. "Link’s malls often play the role of community social hubs,” noted Jenny Wan. “Kai Tin SC certainly fills that role in Lam Tin, and through the mall’s combination of online and offline activities, I believe it will become a socially inclusive space for people of different ages.”
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