In June 2014, the Hong Kong established PMQ, envisioned as a hub for the creative and design industries, at the former Police Married Quarters on Hollywood Road in Central.
One and a half years later, vacancies rise at the creativity center as a growing number of tenants surrender their leases amid dwindling revenues, am730 reported.
As part of the government’s district revitalization scheme, PMQ once lured many artists and entrepreneurs.
It was also promoted by the Tourism Board as a tourist destination, attracting four million visitors in its first year of operation.
However, its popularity is not translating into revenues fast enough, and some of the tenants are now considering abandoning their leases which will not expire until early next year.
Others plan not to renew their two-year lease.
The owner of Chocolate Rain, a local brand, said paying the monthly rent of HK$300,000 (US$38,702) is a huge challenge.
The tenant, who runs a theme restaurant at PMQ, said the center’s manager is also asking tenants to submit a monthly report on the number of customers and revenues.
Another tenant, who asked not to be named, said the center still sees many visitors, especially during weekends, but most of them just look around without spending.
He said the retail slump over the past three months has also affected his business with costs running faster than income.
The PMQ management has decline to comment.
Sin Yat-ming, a marketing professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said PMQ must come up with the right combination of tenants and leverage on the property’s historical significance.
Otherwise, it will be just like a small shopping mall and its novelty cannot last, he said.
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