Allan Zeman named China’s Real Estate Personality of the Year

Dr Allan Zeman, Lan Kwai Fong Group

This year, the annual China Property Awards – a part of Ensign Media’s Asia Property Awards series, the biggest and most respected real estate events in the region ­– will be presenting the prestigious Real Estate Personality of the Year 2015 to Dr Allan Zeman, chairman and founder of the Lan Kwai Fong Group, and developer of one of Hong Kong’s most iconic entertainment districts.

A Hong Kong resident for more than four decades now, Zeman in recent years has championed the growth of domestic markets on Mainland China. Following the opening of its flagship project Lan Kwai Fong Chengdu in 2010, the group is currently planning to add three more entertainment complexes in Haikou, Wuxi and Shanghai over the next four years, with the first project in Shanghai slated to open in 2017 – the ‘Dream Centre’ – backed by DreamWorks Animation’s Oriental DreamWorks arm, and Chinese investment fund CMC Capital Partners.

In Hong Kong, the LKF Group is also preparing for the grand opening this year of its latest entertainment complex, the 27-storey California Tower, which will feature new restaurants, bars, clubs and lifestyle brands that would surely redefine the landmark Lan Kwai Fong district.

Zeman’s award was chosen by the editors of Property Report magazine and is the only one not selected by the independent judges panel of the China Property Awards.

“I am truly honored and humbled to receive this prestigious award. It always feels good to be recognised by your peers,” Zeman said. “I will continue to reach my goals of creating great real estate projects in China, the ever-expanding country.”

Despite the current economic shutdown being witnessed in China, Zeman says he is optimistic that the Chinese real estate market will continue to flourish, and even impacting neighbouring countries. 

“In my opinion the China property market will be stable in 2016, led by moderate growth in key markets like Shanghai, Shenzhen and Beijing. Fundamentals such as urbanisation, a growing middle class and strong labour markets will continue to ensure a stable environment in the medium term.

“While Hong Kong may face some headwinds if the dollar continues to strengthen against the yuan, Mainland visitor traffic may be impacted, but I don’t foresee any major market corrections,” he continued. “The economic health of China will help keep the ASEAN economies stable as well. Overall, my outlook for the region is positive.”

Zeman will personally accept his award at the black-tie awards gala, which will be hosted in association with China Real Estate Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong Chapter (CRECCHK)’s 13th anniversary gala dinner, on Monday, 7 December at the prestigious JW Marriott Hotel in Hong Kong.

We recently caught up with Zeman to discuss the state of Hong Kong’s market a year on from the Occupy movement, why Thailand remains one of the region’s most desirable destinations and what he would’ve done differently if he were to get another shot at developing Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong’s most renowned nightlife district. Listen to the podcast here: