The Center is owned
by the Cheung Kong group. Its 1.3 million square feet on the fringe of
Central came on stream at the end of 1999, coinciding with the peak of
the dotcom boom. Start-ups moved into the skyscraper in droves,
pushing the vacancy rate down to a mere 4.8% by June 2000.
But reflecting the
boom-and-bust life-cycle of dotcoms, The Center's occupancy rate went
from up to down in less than a year. According to DTZ Debenham Tie
Leung, a property consultancy which tracks the building's fortunes, by
September its vacancy rate had almost doubled to 9%, then climbed to
10% by December, and 14% in March this year. DTZ predicts that The
Center's vacancy rate will stay in double digits until at least the
latter part of the year.
East Economic Review