HYSAN Development chairman Lee Hon-chiu expects office rents to rebound by the end of the year after a period of weakness. Mr Lee was speaking at the grand opening of the Lee Theatre Plaza on the site of the former Lee Theatre in Causeway Bay. The tallest shopping mall in town, it includes eight floors of restaurants, nine floors taken by the Ideal Home furnishing centre, a cinema and the Signature department store. Mr Lee said he foresaw a definite market boost in shopping centres in the second quarter of 1995, and expected the plaza would have full occupancy by the end of the year. It is now 90 per cent leased. The 22-storey plaza with 315,500 square feet of space is 70 per cent owned by Hysan Development and 30 per cent by Sincere. Rentals are $50-$60 per sq ft per month at a fixed rate, though a few tenants pay rental based on turnover. The pay-back period for the $462 million project is five to seven years. Mr Lee holds positive views on property prices and believes commercial offices face a slight short-term decrease in rentals, but overall the scene is promising and 'rents will rebound by the end of 1995.' Sincere executive chairman Walter Ma revealed plans for the Signature Department Store which he said represented an evolution for Sincere. 'Causeway Bay will be our first focus, with investment worth some $30 million,' he said. Asked whether sales at the new-line boutique would be sluggish, as seen in Lane Crawford's Express in the neighbouring Times Square, Mr Ma said he believed the Signature store would excel in terms of location. 'As consumer taste is constantly evolving, I see our existing branches following Signature's footsteps in six to nine months,' Mr Ma said. Signature would cater for the young professionals' market with its high-profile and stylish lifestyle motif. The store will open on May 6. Statistics showed that consumer spending was slowing down, and Mr Ma expected an increase in turnover this year of between three and five per cent. Mr Ma also revealed that two hotels, each with a Sincere department store, would open at Dalian and Chengdu in China.