Kowloon Tong is famously regarded as Hong Kong’s ultimate garden estate: Those after a similar class of leisurely living today will want to look to northwest London’s newly redeveloped neighbourhood of Mill Hill.
Built in the 1920s, the urban planning project of Kowloon Tong was carried out with the aim to provide safe, suburban living to the rapidly emerging middle class. Today, the area is known as one of Hong Kong’s wealthiest districts, featuring low-rise, spacious homes and yarded mansions, a leafy, tranquil neighbourhood, a prestigious school network and all the conveniences and amenities one can ask for.
At the neighbourhood of Mill Hill, wide, open green spaces abound with spacious and modern homes in the heart of a newly developed lifestyle central. Located just 30 minutes’ drive northwest from Central London and 21 minutes’ by train, Mill Hill is a classical suburb just north from Hampstead, which is recognised as one of London’s prime residential enclaves. There’s an excellent existing school network, all the modern amenities, clubhouses and day-to-day shopping just minutes away; not to mention a safe and secure neighbourhood track record.
In perpetually land-strapped Hong Kong, a place to call home in the sought-after district of Kowloon Tong can be likened to a miracle, and that’s before considering the price tag for entry — now grandfathered into a stable price bracket comparable to the most distinguished homes on The Peak. Seeking similar family nest for a fraction of the price? Northwest London’s Mill Hill ticks all the boxes.
Mill Hill is currently enjoying its moment of regeneration, particularly to the transformation of the wider Millbrook Park area opposite the Mill Hill East station, with plans to construct a vibrant new landscaped plaza with commercial and retail spaces and a well-connected community of over 2,200 apartments and houses.
Investments have been pouring into Mill Hill for the revitalisation effort, making it a truly desirable residential district worthy of high rental demand. It offers great investment potential whether you’re looking to live-in or rent out your property: In the last decade alone, rental figures have risen 40 percent, whilst house prices in the Millbrook Park area in particular have soared over 80 percent. The majority of growth can be traced from 2014 as part of the Millbrook Park redevelopment.
At the heart of this landmark transformation is none other than Plaza Collection, built by Bennett Construction. When completed in 2021, Plaza Collection will boast 392 design-led homes, with generously sized one- to two-bedroom apartments, beautifully landscaped gardens, and resident’s facilities including a screening room and shared function rooms with kitchen facilities for entertaining.
The sprawling development takes its cues from the russet-coloured brickwork of Mill Hill’s village vernacular, with buildings each fashioned in exposed brick exteriors and incorporating the gabled roofs of tradition.
You’ll relish in the opportunity to explore the area, too — particularly for the nature lover or those itching for a weekend tee time. Just within a 10-minute radius you have access to an array of leisure activities beloved by the same jet set individuals and families you can call neighbours. Mill Hill is surrounded by public parks, tennis courts and historic forests and will be particularly attractive for golf lovers — the Metro Golf Centre and driving range is just a hop and skip away from the Finchley Golf Club, featuring an immaculate 18-hole course designed by five-time Open winner James Braid. Eight minutes northwest, you’ll find the picturesque Mill Hill Golf Club, founded in 1925.
For day-to-day errands, residents flock to high-end grocer’s Waitrose and Virgin Active health club to keep their routine in top shape. Nearby, international restaurants abound, whether you’re hungry for Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Persian food and more — or even just fish and chips from the local shop or a pint or three from the nearest pubs.
The homes, residential foyers and communal spaces have been designed by award-winning architects and interior designers at Michaelis Boyd, a team previously behind landmark designs such as Soho House’s Berlin and West Hollywood clubhouses and its rural retreat Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire. Units are wash in a style that melds heritage with modernity, conforming to other past projects that Hongkongers might be well acquainted with, including Duddell’s London outpost and hospitality venues in Hong Kong, including The Fat Pig in Times Square.
Units run the gamut of lateral or duplex apartments that are soaked in natural light, with high standards of finishing running throughout the spaces: Whether it’s the simplistic Shaker-style kitchen cabinetry and bespoke lacquer work on the built-in wardrobes, the state-of-the-art Siemens appliances or the sleek herringbone parquet flooring that adds a touch of character to each modern room.
Not only is it a stylish and convenient neighbourhood to put down roots, it’s also exceedingly secure: Barnet is part of one of the safest and tranquil places in the metropolitan London area, according to official records. As at June 2019, it was ranked the ninth lowest in crime rate in all of the 32 boroughs, with a crime rate of 76.27 per 1,000 residents — lower than the Metropolitan Police Force Area average at 98.65 per 1,000 residents.
According to Numbeo (the world’s largest cost of living database), Barnet is comparable in safety records to the borough of Bexley in East London, and significantly safer than Uxbridge in West London. While compared with Tottenham in Central London — which is notorious for its high crime rate, scoring only 12.5 for example in the criteria for “safe to walk around at night” — Barnet scored a distinctively reassuring rating of 85. It’s safe to say that you’ll be at ease while strolling through the neighbourhood at any time of day.
For families looking to secure a beneficial pathway for their young ones, Plaza Collection is also a prime pied-à-terre just based on its educational opportunities alone. Located in the London borough of Barnet, Mill Hill boasts over 100 schools in its vicinity. The administrative district has an excellent rating of 90 percent by Ofsted, the UK’s leading Education Bureau. Two of the country’s academically distinguished schools, the Henrietta Barnett School and Queen Elizabeth’s School, are both located here, with great potential links to some of the UK’s top universities.
Oozing with bucolic village charm and plenty of greenery, but with all the contemporary comforts Hongkongers know and love and with swift connections to the city, Mill Hill has been a magnetising draw for families in search of more space and greater opportunities. Interested? Prices start at £388,000 (approx. HK$3.9 million), with first completions due imminently.
Learn more from Plaza Collection online, or contact Knight Frank’s Hong Kong sales agency at +852 2846 7418