Proposed Hong Kong border shopping centre meant to lure mainland China visitors delayed again

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 November, 2015, 10:33pm
UPDATED : Monday, 30 November, 2015, 10:33pm

The opening of a proposed pop-up shopping centre near the border meant to lure mainland visitors is being further postponed and will not be ready for the Lunar New Year next February.

A labour shortage and construction problems were blamed for the delayed debut of the mall in San Tin in the New Territories, import and export sector lawmaker Wong Ting-kwong said on Monday.

The organisers had hoped to launch the outdoor shopping complex - converted from a car park site - by Christmas or at least January, after it missed the National Day holiday in October.

Wong, overseeing the project and a member of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said he did not believe much impact "would be inflicted on retailers even if we missed the Lunar New Year as the pop-up mall would be run for two years".

"Golden Week in May would be our next big opportunity [to do business]," he said.

Plans for the mall were already submitted to the Buildings Department and awaiting approval, he added.

The mall had been touted as a way to relieve pressure on the northern New Territories, which had been coping in recent years with a massive influx of mainland shoppers and traders buying goods for resale over the border.

The proposed complex would include 208 stores, selling goods ranging from electronic appliances to apparel.

"It's up to the retailers to decide how to price their products, but all I can say is our rent here - from HK$67 to HK$107 per square foot - is much lower than mall rates in the city," Wong said.

He expected some 8,000 visitors at the mall daily on weekdays and 12,000 on weekends.