Protests cast a shadow on restaurant rents in Causeway Bay and Central

By Daryl Choodaryl.choo@scmp.com / https://www.scmp.com/property/hong-kong-china/article/3018801/protests-cast-shadow-restaurant-rents-causeway-bay-and?utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=contentexchange&utm_source=EdgeProp | July 23, 2019 2:45 PM SGT
The ongoing protests that have expanded to different districts of the city will hurt restaurants, putting further pressure on landlords to cut rents if the demonstrations persist, say industry observers.
In the past six weeks, Hong Kong has been rocked by a series of mass rallies and clashes between protesters and the police, sparked by the now-suspended extradition bill which would have allowed the transfer of fugitives to regions such as mainland China and Taiwan.
This resulted in road closures and transport suspensions almost every weekend to protest sites. These were mostly restricted to Causeway Bay and Central at first, but have since spread beyond Hong Kong Island.
On July 7, a mass rally against the extradition bill was held on Kowloon Island for the first time in the bustling tourist hub of Tsim Sha Tsui. Subsequent rallies on July 13 and 14 sprung up at two towns in the New Territories " Sheung Shui and Sha Tin.
Mainland Chinese tourists visit the Avenue of Stars at Victoria Harbour in Tsim Sha Tsui. Photo: Sam Tsang alt=Mainland Chinese tourists visit the Avenue of Stars at Victoria Harbour in Tsim Sha Tsui. Photo: Sam Tsang
Another march is being planned for this Sunday in Tseung Kwan O, and unless the protesters' demands for the bill to be withdrawn is met, will unlikely be the last.
Jeanette Chan, regional director of retail leasing services at JLL, said that if the protests continue, it will have a serious impact on the food and beverages business and have a negative effect on retail rent.
"The protests have normally been in the afternoon until about 10 in the night. They stop all the roads, no cars can pass, and that is not to say the pedestrians wanting to dine in those districts," Chan said.
Rents for restaurants have fallen on Hong Kong Island. Photo: Tory Ho alt=Rents for restaurants have fallen on Hong Kong Island. Photo: Tory Ho