Developers intend to build huge shopping centres to cater to growing populations in urban hubs Hong Kong's retail landscape is set to undergo a dramatic change as major developers plan to build mega malls in decentralised locations, particularly areas with explosive population growth. More than 70 small shopping centres of less than 100,000 sqft - accounting for 40 per cent of the city's total - will come under severe competitive pressure. Mega malls will focus on east Kowloon, which accounts for about a sixth of the city's population of nearly 7 million people. Kerry Properties' Enterprise Square Five in Kowloon Bay will have 1.18 million sqft of retail space - making it the largest new shopping mall since the opening of the 1.1million sqft Cityplaza in Taikoo Shing in 1987. According to Colliers International, other large malls include Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui which, since 1966, has been gradually developed into the present 1.9 million sqft mall, and New Town Plaza One in Sha Tin, which started out with 1 million sqft in 1984 and was expanded to 1.4 million sqft in 1990. Henderson Land Development said last month it would build a 1million sqft office/retail project in Kwun Tong. Great Eagle Holdings assistant director Adrian Lee Ching-ming said mega malls were a rising trend in Hong Kong. 'Size does matter. If you are looking for one place where you can shop, dine and relax, a mega mall will have it all. This will help attract huge traffic, especially when it is in a shopping district,' he said. Great Eagle owns the 600,000 sqft Langham Place Mall, which is part of the hotel-office-retail hybrid development Langham Place in Mongkok. 'Shopping malls of less than 100,000 sqft are likely to feel the competitive pressure from mega malls,' Mr Lee said. According to Collier International, about 40 per cent of the 158 malls in Hong Kong have less than 100,000 sqft of space, and most of these are in decentralised locations. Colliers International research director Simon Lo Wing-fai said: '[Small shopping malls] will gradually be squeezed out of the market, particularly those that only serve several residential blocks.' Mr Lee said malls in some off-beat districts would have unique features to draw shoppers' attention. Kerry Properties' 19-storey mega mall, tentatively named Mega Box, will dedicate whole floors to market segments such as home furniture, lifestyle, food and beverages and even car sales, according to the developer's internal magazine. A vehicle mall, a cinema complex, an amusement arcade and a large skating rink that doubles as an ice hockey venue will make it a destination people will go to even if they do not have shopping in mind, according to the magazine. Accessibility will be helped by innovative looped ramps providing vehicle access and parking up to the 17th floor. Mega Box is part of Enterprise Square Five, which will have 407,956 sqft of office space and will be completed in the second quarter of 2007. Brian Honda, senior vice-president of Jerde Partnership, the architect of Mega Box, said: 'It will be a high-rise power centre that doesn't really exist in any form in Hong Kong yet and probably never will anywhere else, even in the United States.' Many international and local brands had already secured whole floors in the centre of 100,000 sqft, he said. Sun Hung Kai Real Estate Agency deputy leasing manager Maureen Fung Sau-yim said new malls would cater to new towns, where population growth in Hong Kong would concentrate. Tseung Kwan O alone has the capacity to accommodate 480,000 residents. In 2001, 260,000 people lived there. Plans to move to decentralised locations, particularly east Kowloon, were also being fuelled by transport costs, Ms Fung said. 'Because of expensive transport costs, people living in these districts may prefer to do their shopping nearby.'