Retail in Asia


Nan Fung Group’s Billy Hui talks ambitions for Airside in Hong Kong’s Kai Tak district

Opened in late September, Hong Kong’s latest mall is Airside, housing over 130 lifestyle, cultural, sustainable, and F&B brands and experiences in Kai Tak. The vibrant destination offers a diverse range of local and international brands in addition to an array of cuisines and entertainment options.

With  immersive entertainment, art, and cultural experiences encompassing 700,000 square feet, the development aims to establish itself as a premier lifestyle destination.

Following the development’s opening, Retail in Asia speaks with Billy Hui, executive director, property division, at Nan Fung Group.

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Source: Airside
RiA: Can you tell us about Nan Fung Group’s ambitions for Airside, Hong Kong’s newest mall?

Hui: As the flagship development project of the group, Airside stands at the heart of Kowloon and offers direct connectivity to the Kai Tak MTR station. Building on Nan Fung’s ongoing efforts and commitment to sustainability, Airside embodies our dedication to fostering a community in which tenants feel empowered to achieve their business and sustainability goals with people-centric designs and facilities.  

Airside introduces the unique and innovative urban lifestyle concept of ‘wholeness’ that connects people and nature to build a sustainable, low-carbon society. By thoughtfully curating a diverse blend of original and local brands, alongside globally renowned names and enriching cultural experiences, we strive to create an immersive environment that offers our customers an unparalleled and unforgettable journey. 

RiA: Why Kai Tak?

Hui: Positioned as Hong Kong’s central business district 2.0 (CBD 2.0), Kai Tak is ideally situated to attract business ventures and global talent. The area boasts a synergetic cluster of office towers and institutional facilities, with a working population expected to nearly triple within the decade. We envision Airside to become a go-to destination for all—from the local community and office workers, to tourists and furry friends.

All in all, with prime locality, exceptional connectivity and accessibility and a well-diversified selection of retail offerings, we are confident that Airside is well-positioned to become a go-to destination for locals, tourists and office workers from all walks of life.

RiA: Airside is uniquely designed for community building and sustainability. What are the features of the development that you are most proud of?  

Hui: Community building and sustainability have always been infused into our operations and remain a priority to us.  

Sustainability is in Airside’s DNA – the project has a range of innovative, state-of-the-art facilities built-in, marking it as one of the most environmentally-friendly developments in town. These include Hong Kong’s first-ever Automatic Refuse Collection System which automatically sorts, weighs and logs waste; a smart bicycle parking system to encourage green mobility; and 850 parking spaces equipped with electric vehicle (EV) charging facilities.  

Source: Airside

We are immensely proud of the project’s status of having earned seven highest sustainable building certifications, including Platinum WiredScore and SmartScore Certifications, and WELL Core Platinum [among others].

Apart from the architecture and hardware, we take great pride in the abundance of green spaces Airside offers. In addition to over one-third of the site dedicated to greenery, Airside provides 18,000 square feet of tranquil open spaces for the public and tenants. 

In particular, the rooftop garden on the sixth floor features a variety of tropical plants and native flora, allowing visitors to appreciate the city’s rich biodiversity while surrounded by lush greenery against the gleaming skyline. Airside boasts over 6,000 square feet of urban farm across the site—for one, Air Farm on the 2/F of the mall is home to over 50 varieties of seasonal crops. Aside from organising regular urban farming workshops for the public and tenants, Airside will also supply harvested produce to F&B outlets in the mall, offering a true farm-to-table experience for visitors. 

Tenants at Airside include Nespresso, Homeless, and Mini Cooper, among others. Source: Airside

In addition to offering world-class sustainability features for customers and tenants, we are determined to go above and beyond by launching the ‘net positive lease’ – a new incentive-oriented tenant engagement initiative that calls for collective efforts to create positive impact for both society and the environment.  

We established the ‘In Time Of’ community initiative in 2021 to solidify our commitment in building a resilient city. We partner with various social stakeholders to curate targeted community-facing programmes that penetrate through the group’s extensive business lines and network to cultivate environmental awareness, enhance cultural interaction and engagement, and empower the community. 

Source: Airside
RiA: How does Airside reflect Nan Fung Group’s own vision as a company? 

Hui: Based on our long-term vision of building cohesive, sustainable and resilient communities, we established our sustainability framework in 2022. Comprising five strategic pillars – Social Cohesion, Environment, Wellnesss, Innovation and Technology (SEWIT), we endeavour to continuously and sustainably create impact through all we do and Airside is no exception. 

Airside serves as an exceptional embodiment of SEWIT. Beyond world-class sustainability features and a unique retail mix, as an integral part of its ‘wholeness’ lifestyle concept, Airside actively collaborates with its tenants to provide customers with an exclusive impact retail experience. Initiatives include developing low-carbon menus with dining tenants and implementing recycling programs with all interested tenants, hoping to let the public understand that fostering environmentally conscious habits can be made simple and that enjoyment and eco-consciousness are not necessarily mutually-exclusive. 

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Our founder’s motto, “care for others as well as you would care for yourself,” and our vision to “do good and do well,” run deep in Nan Fung’s DNA and push us to continuously rethink, redefine and redefine our pioneering role as a driving force behind a thriving society. For instance, we conducted our first-ever location-based micro-materiality assessment for the Kai Tak area and its vicinity, with the goal of better understanding Kai Tak’s priority issues and needs, as well as communal expectations and incorporating that same nuanced, well-based understanding into our operations and programme curation. 

The launch of Airside represents a key milestone of the group, carrying forward our legacy and paving the way for a new chapter as we set out to create a positive impact for our stakeholders.