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KITEC To Close After Decades Of Operation

Kowloonbay International Trade & Exhibition Centre_upscayl_4x

The Kowloonbay International Trade & Exhibition Centre (KITEC), a landmark venue for major exhibitions, concerts and events in Hong Kong, will shut its doors permanently on June 30 after over two decades of operations.

Commercial tenants at the 1.76 million-square-foot complex received notices this week confirming KITEC’s impending closure. The vast venue, which includes office space, event halls, and the popular 900,000-square-foot E-Max shopping mall, has hosted countless trade shows, performances and corporate gatherings since opening in the late 1990s.

In a bittersweet farewell message, E-Max thanked tenants and patrons for their loyal support, stating “the mall would be providing normal service until June 30” while looking ahead to “meet with everyone again with a new look.”

The closure paves the way for a major redevelopment after KITEC was acquired in 2021 by an investment group led by Billion Development and Project Management for around HK$10 billion. Plans approved last year will see the sprawling complex transformed into three commercial towers offering 1.77 million square feet of office and retail space.

The looming demise of the popular venue has struck a chord with Hong Kongers fondly recalling KITEC’s heyday as a hub of activity. While some are eager to see the “ghost town” revived, others fear more office development may be ill-timed given economic headwinds.

“KITEC hosted so many amazing events over the years, from major concerts to massive exhibitions,” said longtime attendee Michael Chan. “It’s the end of an era, but I’m excited to see what they do with the space.”

As tenants prepare for their final curtain call, KITEC’s owners are betting the transformative renewal project will breathe new life into the Kowloon Bay area. Whether the ambitious plans hit the mark remains to be seen.