Outlet plan backlash

Outlet plan backlash

Residents are angry that a community shopping arcade may be turned into an outlet mall for rich mainland tourists

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Residents oppose plans to convert Marina Square (West) into an outlet mall.
Residents oppose plans to convert Marina Square (West) into an outlet mall.
Photo: Felix Wong/SCMP

Hundreds of South Horizons estate residents took it to the streets last Thursday, hoping to save their community shopping arcade in Ap Lei Chau.

Shops in Marina Square's west wing received notice last month that their leases will not be renewed. Some of the shops have served the area for nearly 20 years. Residents say they are being closed because the MTR's South Horizons station will open nearby in a few months' time.

Travel time to the middle-class estate and shopping mall from Admiralty will be cut to minutes when the 7km South Island Line opens next year.

Last week, the estate's management office told district councillors that it planned to refurbish the shopping centre, introducing a new mix of tenants. But management said in a statement on Wednesday: "There are no plans [currently] to turn Marina Square (West) into an outlet mall."

Civic Party lawmaker, Dr Kenneth Chan Ka-lok, demanded that management "promises" not to turn it into another outlet mall aimed at rich tourists. Any plans needed to put the interests of the local community first, he added.

"I don't want to take my two-year-old to the park with cigarette-smoking tourists standing around," South Horizons resident Virginia Wan said. Residents have formed a group on Facebook to share updates on the situation.

"The landlord hasn't talked to us about this," said the owner of a 17-year-old curtain shop. "We have no choice but to leave with our stock in our arms and tears in our eyes."

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Outlet plan backlash

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