Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. (SHKP, 00016.HK) is offering plots of land for the construction of a shopping center near the border on a not-for-profit basis, Apple Daily reported Friday.
The mall will target parallel traders from the mainland and help divert them from overcrowded shopping areas downtown.
An SHKP representative said the firm has always been a keen supporter of local development, and its offer was in response to ideas suggested in the media recently.
SHKP said it will only provide the land and will not take part in the operation of the shopping center.
Meanwhile, legislator Wong Ting-kwong said a rural landlord is willing to lease out a plot in Lok Ma Chau measuring 420,000 square feet for a nominal rent of HK$1 for a border shopping facility.
Wong said the government’s approval will be required to change the land use rights of the plot, part of which is government land, so further discussion is needed.
He said the initial plan is to set up a not-for-profit fund that will be responsible for tenant management and the day-to-day operations of the shopping center.
About half of the retail space will be used to promote local brands, and there will be shops dedicated to the sale of infant formula, drugs and sporting goods.
Wong said he hopes the mall will be open for business as soon as the October 1 “golden week” holidays this year.
Recent protests in Tuen Mun, Shatin and Yuen Long against parallel traders have grabbed media headlines.
Ronald Leung, a spokesman for the North District Parallel Imports Concern Group, said the problem is most serious in Sheung Shui, and a protest will be staged there on Sunday.
Leung said the protesters will restrain themselves and the protest will not turn violent.
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