What is now the Mongkok Computer Centre Sports could become “Sneakers Center” if sports shoes retailer Wan Kee Group finalizes a deal to rent the building.
The rent is HK$4 million (US$516,097) per month, a sum that is equivalent to 6,000 pairs of Adidas football boots, according to Apple Daily.
Wan Kee has yet to put pen to paper on the lease of the four-storey building as it has asked the owner to carry out some interior renovation to suit its sports apparel business.
The Mongkok Computer Centre, with 25,000 square feet of shop space, was acquired by Yu Ming Group for HK$1.018 billion in mid-2012. There are 70 shops rented out for HK$80 to HK$200 per square foot, fetching a combined HK$3 million per month.
The landlord is inclined to lease the premises to a single entity to save on management hassle and take the opportunity to elevate the positioning of the shopping mall.
A video game salesman surnamed Leung, who has been working at the center for more than two decades, said he would not be surprised by the landlord’s decision.
This is because sports products shops are running out of space on the so-called “Sneakers Street” (the section of Fa Yuen Street between Dundas Street and Argyle Street) which is undergoing reconstruction.
Leung said the computer center holds valuable memories as he grew up seeing customers at various stages of his life. “I have customers who have been patronizing our shop from young and are now coming with their children.”
Wan Kee Group was founded by the Chan family in 1968, starting with a shop on Johnston Road in Wan Chai and expanding to Sneakers Street in Mong Kok. The group operates more than 50 shops across Hong Kong, employing over 500 staff members.
The Mongkok Computer Centre was previously a cinema and a Chinese restaurant before it became a computer mall, one of Hong Kong’s first “themed shopping arcades”.
Investor Tang Shing-bor bought the premises for HK$59 million in 1991 and turned it into a computer center on the advice of his son.
He sold the property to Tai Hung Fai Enterprise for HK$386 million in 2004.
– Contact us at [email protected]