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Old July 30th, 2010, 07:20 PM   #81
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High-end eatery moving to top of new TST mall
23 June 2010
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While some traditional Chinese eateries struggle to turn a profit as rents rise and fierce competition keeps a lid on their prices, times are better for high-end restaurants.

Six years after setting up its first pricy restaurant in the IFC mall, upmarket restaurant Harlan's is moving to bigger premises.

Founded by chef Harlan Goldstein, the restaurant became a popular business lunch venue for regular clients including the likes of the Kwok brothers of Sun Hung Kai Properties, which is a co-owner of the International Finance Centre.

But now the 5,800 sq ft restaurant will close its doors at the end of the month.

Harlan's will re-open in Tsim Sha Tsui at The One, Hong Kong's tallest retail complex, where it has secured a larger space at a lower rental. It will also open another 8,000 sq ft outlet in the World Trade Centre in Causeway Bay, said Jeannette Chan, a regional director for the retail department at Jones Lang LaSalle.

Harlan's new Tsim Sha Tsui restaurant would be located in an 11,000 sq ft space on the top floor of The One, offering diners a commanding sea view, said Chan. The soft opening of the 24-storey retail complex will begin next month.

Commitments had been signed with tenants for about 80 per cent of the retail space at The One, at monthly rentals of around HK$400 per sq ft for ground level shops, and at HK$50 per sq ft for space on the upper floors, said Chan.

"Rents at The One will definitely be less expensive for Harlan's than at the IFC," said Chan. She believed the landlord, Chinese Estates, was charging Harlan's between HK$20 and HK$30 per sq ft, as it was the first customer to sign up at The One.

"Landlords also normally charge restaurants lower rents compared with rents paid by retailers selling fashion and jewellery. They do so because they believe that by bringing in famous F&B outlets they will help to draw more shoppers and customers to their retail developments," she said.

Karim Azar, an assistant general manager of retail leasing at IFC, said Harlan's decision to close its IFC outlet was not driven by rental issues, since owner Harlan Goldstein continued to operate two other outlets in the IFC - H One and G Bar.

"Harlan's always wanted to establish a presence in Kowloon," he said.

The IFC is now in talks with five potential restaurants to bid for the space being vacated by Harlan's, he said. Asking rent would be HK$70 to HK$80 per sq ft.

Another Japanese restaurant chain, Itacho Sushi, has signed a leasing agreement for 7,000 sq ft on the 100th-floor observation deck of the International Commercial Centre. The 118-storey building, completed this year, is the tallest in Hong Kong. Chan said the restaurant would have a minimum charge of around HK$1,500 per head.
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Old September 1st, 2010, 06:48 AM   #82
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Wharf earnings jump 28pc on strong rental income growth
31 August 2010
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Wharf (Holdings) said yesterday core earnings increased 27.7 per cent in the first half, thanks to strong growth in rental income from retail properties.

The company's core profit, excluding property revaluation gains, climbed to HK$4.2 billion for the six months to June from HK$3.29 billion a year ago. Turnover rose 0.1 per cent to HK$8.62 billion, while net profit surged 42 per cent to HK$9.89 billion.

Operating profit from retail and office properties increased 9 per cent to HK$3.26 billion during the period.

The strong growth in profit was mainly from increasing rental income from its main malls, Times Square in Causeway Bay and Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui. The growth in retail rental income offset the 8 per cent fall in the turnover of office properties.

The company expects rental income from office properties will fall in the second half. Rental income from offices is expected to improve next year.

On the mainland, operating profit dropped 5 per cent to HK$560 million.

Deputy chairman Stephen Ng Tin-hoi said: "We have generated 4 billion yuan (HK$4.57 billion) from the contracted sales so far this year."

The company lowered its mainland sales target for this year from 9 billion yuan to 7 billion yuan owing to Beijing's cooling measures.

Wharf declared an interim dividend of 36 HK cents a share.

Separately, medium-sized developer Chinese Estates Holdings posted a 72.63 per cent decline in its core profit to HK$199.4 million for the six months to June, mainly on losses from securities investments.

During the period, losses from securities investments amounted to HK$354.4 million, against a gain of HK$324.5 million last year.

The company posted a net loss of HK$3.2 billion after including the HK$4.06 billion property revaluation loss of its investment properties.

However, non-executive director Lau Ming-wai, son of Chinese Estates chairman Joseph Lau Luen-hung, said the operating business from property development was not bad in the first half and would be better in the second half.

Income from property development came mainly from Hong Kong. But for the full year, more profits could be booked from the Splendid City project in Chengdu and the sales from its 25 per cent owned Hermitage in West Kowloon.

Rental income during the period rose 1.5 per cent to HK$562.6 million.

Lau said rental income from The One, its new mall in Tsim Sha Tsui, and the newly renovated Windsor House in Causeway Bay would be fully reflected next year.

Directors announced a special dividend of 40 cents a share, which was part of the proceeds resulting from a disposal of assets. On May 18, the company announced the sale of certain properties for HK$2.59 billion.

Shares in Chinese Estates fell 0.44 per cent to HK$13.70 yesterday, while shares in Wharf rose 0.36 per cent to close at HK$41.90.
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Old September 9th, 2010, 06:07 PM   #83
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Ex-Miss HK lends her considerable charm to restaurant opening at The One
9 August 2010
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Extra effort is more than necessary for restaurants that open in a new shopping centre - and the staff at Harlan's would agree. The restaurant threw a party in the afternoon and an evening cocktail event last Thursday to celebrate its opening at the new Tsim Sha Tsui mall The One, which isn't officially opened until October.

You probably wouldn't say no to the company of the guest-of-honour Michelle Reis. The former Miss Hong Kong is aware of her charm.

"I think I'm 'the one' to many people," said the 40-year-old, who married shipping heir Julian Hui Chun-hang in 2008. "My family, manager and my husband all think I'm their only one."

That's sweet, but how about her ex, tycoon Joseph Lau Luen-hung, who also happens to be the owner of The One mall? "I wouldn't mind attending the shopping mall opening if I get invited," Reis said. To make sure her husband doesn't get envious, Reis promises to take him and in-laws to dinner at Harlan's. "I have a membership card at the restaurant now."
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Old September 30th, 2010, 07:10 PM   #84
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The great outdoors - restaurants are taking al fresco dining to another level
30 September 2010
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As the heat of summer subsides, restaurants lucky or savvy enough to possess a terrace or patio are getting ready for the golden period of outdoor dining. In hot and crowded Hong Kong, the odds have long been stacked against eating al fresco, but thanks to the perseverance of certain restaurateurs, this cultural import is now finding its place in upscale establishments.

"Of course, eating on the street is nothing new to Hong Kong locals," says John Paul Gauci, who owns Coco Thai in Deep Water Bay and El Greco in Aberdeen. "But if we are talking about something a tad more refined than dai pai dongs, it's only quite recently that we've started to see more choice."

Gauci's outdoor dining areas along with other well-established eateries in Ma On Shan and Sai Kung have long been attractive destinations. But for most fair-weather lovers of al fresco fine dining, the trifecta of great food, open-air views and accessibility remains a holy grail within the city grid - and there's more to choose from now than ever before.

"These days, we are seeing more outdoor areas in bars or drinks-only areas in restaurants to get around the smoking ban," says Paolo Monti, executive chef of Gaia Ristorante in Central. "But the needs of a full-service spot are different - you need more space for people to sit comfortably for longer, and ideally the kitchen is on the same floor as the terrace, for the food to get to the table quicker."

Styled after the trattorias that dot Piazza Navona in Rome, Gaia is one of the longest-running restaurants offering al fresco fine dining. "When we arrived in 2000, there wasn't a precedent for high-end dining outside," Monti recalls. "Now there is more competition - it's a good thing for Hong Kong."

But it hasn't always been plain sailing for restaurants such as Gaia and, more recently, The Pawn in Wan Chai, which have found themselves in the middle of a continuing public policy dispute between restaurants and district councils over what has been dubbed "grey area" public space. Next month, restaurateurs around the city will hear their councils rule on whether businesses should be allowed to pay a fee to the Lands Department, as many have been, for the use of public space around their establishments.

Restaurants inside private developments have found it easier to go al fresco. Isola in Two IFC and Joia in Elements - sister restaurants to Gaia - receive support from their property management firms, and Joia this week has had its outdoor licence extended to allow smoking at the tables and service past 11pm.

In Tsim Sha Tsui's Harbour City, BLT Steak is the only restaurant of 15 in the Dining Concepts group that offers full-service outdoor dining. "With one of our other restaurants, we've been struggling, like many other restaurant businesses in this city, with the `grey area' debate," says the group's marketing director Garry Bisset.

But an understanding with Harbour City management allows it to extend its outdoor tables to the edge of the deck overlooking Victoria Harbour for dinner service, doubling the seating from 25 during lunch to 50.

"I think more and more developers are seeing the potential in creating outdoor-friendly commercial spaces," Bisset says. "So are we."

It's a view shared by the developers of new Tsim Sha Tsui mega-mall The One, where Italian fine-dining restaurant Harlan's found the bonus of a wrap-around terrace, seating about 40, in its new 19th-floor home. The breezy 180-degree view of the harbour and greenery of Kowloon Park rivals the drama previously exclusive to Peak views. Australian steakhouse Wooloomooloo, Harlan's 21st-floor neighbour, has the same view on a smaller balcony.

"Rooftops and balconies get a little away from the original idea of al fresco, but ground-level space is hard to come by," Monti says. "I'm curious to see how the new waterfront development in Wan Chai will change the game."
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Old December 13th, 2010, 01:38 AM   #85
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Any interior photos?

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/hiroshi...9189/lightbox/
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Old December 23rd, 2010, 05:17 PM   #86
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Old December 25th, 2010, 07:40 PM   #87
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Old December 26th, 2010, 08:54 PM   #88
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By jumboeagle from skyscrapers.cn :









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