Quarry Bay's Chinese name refers to a stream where residents caught crucian carp. Quarrying began during British rule, giving it the English name.
John Samuel Swire eyed sugar refinery in this part of town, building the largest such facility in the world in the early 20th century. Dockyards were also built to export the sugar, and Quarry Bay became a company town.
As the sugar trade started to decline after the war, Swire decided to sell off some of the land for property development. The sugar refining business ultimately ended in the early 1970s, and the piece of land was redeveloped into an office district.
As Central's office rents have skyrocketed, many multinational companies have looked east to Quarry Bay for an alternative, where rents are less than half of those in Central's prime areas. Key tenants that have moved east in recent years include Ernst & Young, Baker McKenzie, and the Securities and Futures Commission.
One Island East is the tallest office building in the district with 59 floors. The sky lobby on the 37th floor is a public space with a restaurant.
Redevelopment and expansion of the office district continues.
A new commercial building has arisen at the corner of King's Road and Westlands Road on a formerly gritty residential building.
The Hong Kong Tobacco Company Limited building in Quarry Bay was redeveloped into a 45-storey commercial tower.