Award-winning Hong Kong movie actor and singer Nicholas Tse’s venture into the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) could give fresh hope to Hong Kong’s softening commercial property market. Chef Nic Family, a food and lifestyle brand Tse founded in 2020, is collaborating with Hungry Sausages Lab, a Hong Kong-based creative studio on 100 NFTs that will be available for a whitelist presale, or registration of intent, on April 1, and public minting, or for purchase, on April 4. The launch will be followed by the opening of Not For Teeth, an “NFT club”, in July in the top two floors at W Square, a commercial tower in Wan Chai. “Maybe after I open this club, if I succeed, maybe some other people will open many other NFT members’ clubs as well,” said Benny Cheng, a co-founder of Hungry Sausages Lab. Retail rents in Hong Kong’s prime locations have dropped significantly since 2018 and 2019, with rents for some shops falling by as much as 60 per cent upon renewal, because of first, the city’s anti-government protests, the US-China trade war and the Covid-19 pandemic. But amid the popularity of concepts such as NFTs , companies related to consultancy, development, platforms and exchange are looking to set up shop in Hong Kong. Many are currently located in grade B office buildings in Central, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kwun Tong, Cyberport or spaces at The Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, according to Colliers. “We haven’t seen new company openings yet in the first quarter of 2022, but understand that some gaming companies and blockchain companies are expanding their scope to cover NFTs too,” said Hannah Jeong , head of valuation and advisory services at Colliers. In “very near future, we will see them utilise different premises such as retail shops and shopping centres”, she added. Few NFT-related merchants were looking for spaces in the retail leasing market, said Lawrence Wan, senior director of advisory and transaction services for retail at CBRE Hong Kong. These firms usually look for spaces of around 1,000 sq ft in shopping districts, he said, adding these spaces are more for educational and promotional purposes. Not For Teeth’s lease runs for five years and the space is expected to offer offline perks such as restaurants and events, to give the NFT buyers more value apart from collecting and investment. Western food or fusion food will be sold on the 5,000 sq ft lower floor. Some dishes developed in collaboration with Chef Nic will feature here. The upper floor, with a space measuring about 3,000 sq ft and a big outdoor area, will be a private club. “I believe that I have the ability, I have the power, to run this kind of club,” said Hungry Sausages’ Cheng. NFTs refer to units of data stored on a blockchain, which guarantees that each digital asset is unique and immutable. Since NFTs are authenticated through this decentralised technology, they can be owned and traded much like physical items in the real world. The 100 NFTs featuring Chef Nic animated characters are part of a larger release of 5,000 NFTs by Hungry Sausages. “I believe that on the first day of the public mint, we can sell off the 5,000 NFTs in a second,” Cheng said. “I think the NFT market will go crazy for the coming time, for sure.” Gary Liu to head the SCMP’s spin-off after successful debut of NFTs Tse is following in the footsteps of fellow Hong Kong celebrities such as film director Wong Kar-wai and actors Shawn Yue Man-lok and Edison Chen by taking part in a NFT sale or auction. “The metaverse craze is all over the world. While we are expanding our business in the physical market, we are also actively exploring novel ways to create new experiences through the virtual world,” said Derek Yeung, a co-founder of Chef Nic Holdings, Chef Nic Family’s parent firm. Each NFT will cost 0.15 Ethereum, a cryptocurrency, which was worth HK$3,673 (US$469) as of Friday evening, according to Walletinvestor.