A long-anticipated—and conspicuously missing—retail store in Hong Kong (China) will open by year’s end at the International Finance Center (IFC) in the central district of Hong Kong Island, and a second store will open in fall 2012 at the Hysan Place development now under construction in Causeway Bay. The two stores will end a 10-year wait for the city, one of the most densely populated in the world, and historically considered Asia’s finance and retail center. Vinko.com spotted first spotted a semi-confirmation on-line. Two days later the South China Morning Post reported (reg. required) that Apple negotiated for over a year on the terms of a 10-year lease for the IFC location, which will occupy 15,000 square-feet. Vinko says the store might occupy space #1100 at IFC. The sources also told the newspaper Apple will spend $20 million to outfit the store, and up to $9.2 million a year on rent. The Hysan Place store could cost Apple even more, the sources said. An Apple spokesperson told the reporter that the store “will be similar” to store in London, Paris and Shanghai, but had no other comment.
Only about 25 percent of Hong Kong is developed, with the rest consisting of parks and other preserved land, or geography that is unsuitable for building. Much of the city’s seven million residents live and work around a picturesque bay, either on the mainland of Kowloon, Hong Kong Island or in the New Territories. Both of Apple’s first stores will be on Hong Kong Island, the location of most offices and commercial businesses.
The city hosts about 32 million tourists a year, about two-thirds from mainland China and the rest from other countries around the world.
The IFC location has four levels with 200 shops representing almost every major international retailer, an adjacent Four Seasons hotel and two office towers. A major railroad station is underneath the center, and the Star Ferry system that connects the city is a five-minute walk away. The building is owned by Sun Hung Kai Properties, the same company that owns the IFC in Shanghai where the Pundong Apple store is located.
The 40-story Hysan Place development is still under construction, and some office space will open later this year. The 15 levels of retail space will open in mid-2012. The $154 million project replaces the original 45-story building that was demolished last year, and has been designed to the highest environmental standards, achieving Platinum LEED certification.
The two locations are about three miles from each other, or about a 10-minute drive.E-mail this story