A non-profit foundation that seeks to run a shopping mall at the border in Lok Ma Chau will submit its application to the Town Planning Board by the end of the month, Singtao Daily reported Thursday, citing lawmaker Wong Ting-kwong from the export industry
Wong said the project, which will cater to the needs of parallel goods traders and individual mainland travelers, is expected to complete the land clearing work by May and open for business during the National Day golden week that begins on Oct. 1.
The site, which is currently being used as a parking lot, covers around 420,000 square feet and belongs to several companies including Henderson Land Development and Sun Hung Kai Properties, according to the newspaper. It is five minutes’ walk from the Lok Ma Chau MTR station.
The property owners have agreed to rent the site to the foundation for just one Hong Kong dollar in support of the project, sources said.
The shopping mall will be selling mainly basic goods and daily necessities sourced from Hong Kong.
The foundation is composed of representatives of property owners, local communities and chambers of commerce. It is trying to raise funds, and among those who have pledged to help is Henderson Land chairman Lee Shau-kee.
Any earnings from the mall’s operations will be donated to charities.
The rent for a booth inside the mall is temporarily set at HK$60-80 per square foot, far lower than that in the downtown area. A committee will be formed to approve applications from vendors.
Lawmaker Leung Che-cheung, who is also chairman of the Yuen Long District Council, said he expects the border shopping mall to help ease tensions and problems resulting from the influx of mainland parallel traders into the territory.
Leung said Ha Tsuen Heung, west of Yuen Long, is also interested in building a mall for the same purpose but most of the available land in the area has been allocated for farming and it will be very hard to secure approval for its rezoning.
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