Cheung Kong (Holdings) says local and multinational tenants have agreed to occupy 50 per cent of the available office space at The Center in Sheung Wan, despite the glut of office supply and the downturn in the market. Cheung Kong Real Estate director Justin Chiu said the company was charging more than $40 per square foot, with an average rent-free period of between four and six months as an incentive. Some tenants who had leased a larger office space had secured rent of slightly more than $30 per square foot, he said. Mr Chiu said office space below the 42nd floor had been leased to tenants that included Samsung Group of Korea and Celestial Asia Securities Holdings. The Center, a joint venture with the Land Development Corp, represents a big investment for Cheung Kong which is offering gross floor area of about 1.3 million sq ft. In light of the market slowdown, Mr Chiu forecast rent reductions of between 10 and 20 per cent for any contract renewals at the group's investment properties. Mr Chiu said, on average, one- third of the company's leasing contracts were renewed every year. He said the reduction would not have a significant impact on the company as Cheung Kong's investment portfolio was relatively small. He said the Cheung Kong Center, owned by the company's associate Hutchison Whampoa, could have two more storeys after the Buildings Department excluded curtain walls in the calculation of its gross floor area.