Hopewell hopes to lift asset value in mall renovation

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 July, 2011, 12:00am

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Hopewell Holdings will renovate its Panda Place shopping mall in Tsuen Wan and change its tenant mix in the latest move to enhance the group's assets during the next two years.

The company will soon start refurbishing the mall below the Panda Hotel, making it the first Japanese-style retail centre in the district.

'More than 50 per cent of existing tenants will be moving out, making space for new tenants,' said Bruce Leung, director of Hopewell Real Estate Agency, a unit of Hopewell Holdings. The renovation will cost more than HK$10 million.

Rentals were expected to experience a double-digit growth when the refurbished mall opened in the fourth quarter of next year, Leung said.

This is the latest move by the company to enhance its asset values including a modernisation of observation lifts and the upgrading of car park facilities at its flagship Hopewell Centre in Wan Chai.

The company expects an increase in the value of its investment property portfolio as a result of modernisation and redevelopment. By 2015, its joint venture with Sino Land for the redevelopment of Lee Tung Street and McGregor Street in Wan Chai is expected to be completed. The project will comprise about 1,200 premium residential flats and a shopping mall.

Commenting on the Tsuen Wan mall, Leung said the company had observed strong potential for development in the area with a growing number of mainland visitors as well as local shoppers.

Hopewell has signed agreements with Aeon Stores, the operator of Jusco, to open a two-floor Jusco Japanese department store in Panda Place with a gross floor area of 120,000 square feet. The store will include a supermarket of 50,000 sq ft.

Faced with competition from other shopping centres in Tsuen Wan, Leung hoped that the Japanese-style experience would be a niche to attract mainlanders and local shoppers. The population of Tsuen Wan and Kwai Tsing districts now exceeds 810,000. A growing number of mainland visitors come to Tsuen Wan due to its proximity to the airport.