Hong Kong protests: Festival Walk closed until first quarter of 2020, after protesters vandalise upscale Kowloon Tong mall

South China Morning Post

Festival Grand cinema will also remain closed, as owners say they need up to five months for repairs

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A man reacts as he tries to extinguish the burning Christmas tree at Festival Walk.

A prominent Hong Kong mall, which was vandalised during the protests, will remain closed until the first quarter of next year due to significant damage caused to multiple floors. 

Festival Walk in Kowloon Tong was targetted by black-clad protesters on November 12. The protesters broke glass and railings on several floors, and set a Christmas tree on fire. 

The mall’s owner said it would need to repair glass entrances, glass curtain walls, escalators, lifts, and glass balustrades along the common areas.

“We are working closely with our consultants and contractors to reopen, either partially or fully, in the first quarter of 2020,” the owner in a statement on Wednesday.

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The vandalism forced the 1.2 million-square-foot shopping-and-office complex to close on November 13. The office tower was reopened on November 26. The rents of the office tenants were waived for the period of the closure.

Business at the shopping centre, which houses more than 200 retail stores and restaurants, has ground to a halt since November 13. The Festival Grand cinema at the mall is also closed.

Many big brands have a branch at the mall, including Apple, fashion chain H&M, Marks & Spencer and Uniqlo, as well as Starbucks Coffee and Venchi.

The closure, which could last up to five months, will mean even less earnings for businesses already struggling from a sharp decline in tourist arrivals and weak consumer sentiment under the shadow of political unrest.