I opened the South China Morning Post this morning to discover that a French hair accessories luxury brand, Alexandre Zouari Paris has renewed its lease at the IFC Mall in Central Hong Kong for HK$1,200 per square foot, which is a record for this shopping arcade. The new monthly rent is HK$480,000 (US$62,000) for the 400 square foot shop. You read it correctly US$62,000 monthly rental fee for only 400 square feet.  What a bargain!

Many restaurants and the Cinema at the IFC Mall have been forced to downsize. Palace IFC Cinema, which opened in the mall 10 years ago, will reduce its size by 3500 sq ft to 11,500 sq ft.  The number of restaurants will also be reduced from 41 in 2005 to 27 by the end of this year.

Anyone who has visited this mall already knows that with the exception of McDonald’s, there is really no reasonably priced restaurant available.  I recently hosted a lunch for an Australian visitor. We each had cappuccino and a hamburger with fries and a small salad.  The bill was US$68!  All restaurants serve incredibly small portions at ridiculously high prices.  After all, they need to pay the rent to Sun Hung Kai Properties and Henderson Land.

Locals knows there is one mystery floor hidden away nearby in the MTR Hong Kong Station where the restaurants are reasonably priced and the food is not bad.  Lines form early and last most of the day!

These mall owners could care less if there are reasonably priced restaurants for the nearby office staff or the mall customers themselves as long as every conceivable luxury retailer is accommodated.

Still want to work long hard hours operating your restaurant while the property guys just sit back and collect the rent?

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