space

Desperate landlords offer renovation subsidies to lure tenants as Hong Kong’s vacant office space hits 21-year high



a skyscraper in a city: The amount of office space lying empty reached the highest level in 21 years in September, according to property services company CBRE. Photo: K Y Cheng


© SCMP
The amount of office space lying empty reached the highest level in 21 years in September, according to property services company CBRE. Photo: K Y Cheng

Hong Kong’s commercial landlords are offering incentives such as renovation subsidies to lure tenants, as the amount of office space lying empty reaches the highest level in 21 years, according to property services company CBRE.

Some landlords have begun offering a one-off subsidy to help new tenants fit out their office space, said Alan Lok, executive director of advisory and transaction services for offices at CBRE.

“In some cases, the landlord would offer a subsidy of about HK$100 (US$12.9) per square foot,” said Lok during a briefing on Wednesday.

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The subsidy is attractive because relocation costs in Hong Kong are very expensive, he said. For a prime renovation costing HK$1,000 per sq ft, the relocation cost may add up to HK$1,200 per sq ft after including the price of returning the office to its original state when the lease ends. The cost can be spread out to a monthly HK$30 per sq ft or thereabouts over three years.

“For most relocations with cutting costs as the objective, it takes a place with a rent of HK$30 per square foot less than” the original rent to justify the move, said Lok. “Some offices do not have their head offices in Hong Kong. It is not that easy to approve that sum (for renovation).”

According to CBRE, 7.8 million sq ft of office space – greater than the size of four Central Plazas – sat vacant in Hong Kong in September, the highest since 1999. An additional 950,000 sq ft of surrendered space – returned by

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Brothers Bar and Grill is reopening in an 8,000-square-foot space that now includes a beer garden and kitchen

Brothers Bar and Grill is new and improved, and ready to reopen in Milwaukee. 



a store filled with lots of graffiti: Brothers Bar and Grill is reopening at 1213 N. Water St. on Oct. 8. It is twice the size of its previous space and now has a full kitchen, 45 TVs, outdoor beer garden and more.


© Jordyn Noennig
Brothers Bar and Grill is reopening at 1213 N. Water St. on Oct. 8. It is twice the size of its previous space and now has a full kitchen, 45 TVs, outdoor beer garden and more.

The Water Street bar closed in November to prepare for an expansion that combined its previous space with the next-door space, the former Milwaukee Moulding & Frame building. 

After almost a year it is reopening an 8,000-square-foot space that includes ample seating, an arcade and dance floor. There are 45 TVs throughout the building for game watching and 40 draft lines for beers. A 2,000-square-foot beer garden is outside. 

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“It’s unrecognizable from before,” said Marc Fortney, co-owner of Brothers, 1213 N. Water St. “We’re really bringing everything. It’s the new version of Brothers.”

The bar and restaurant chain is based in La Crosse and has 20 locations across the country. Fortney said Brothers started as a college bar, but its new locations have been larger and more family-friendly. 



a store inside of a building: The second floor of Brothers Bar and Grill overlooks the first floor. It is reopening on Oct. 8, 2020 at 1213 N. Water St.


© Jordyn Noennig
The second floor of Brothers Bar and Grill overlooks the first floor. It is reopening on Oct. 8, 2020 at 1213 N. Water St.

“As we’ve gotten older, we’ve thought more about what we would want in a bar, and brought that to Brothers,” he said. “We’re available for family dining, and after 10 p.m. we’ll be 21 and older and focus on that crowd.” 

The Milwaukee Brothers is the first remodeled location in Wisconsin. 

“We don’t have this in La Crosse,” Fortney said. “We thought it was a great opportunity to do this in Milwaukee with the Fiserv Forum right there. It’s really exciting for us

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DoD space agency driving Pentagon contractors to rethink their price points

Space Development Agency constellations of cheaper mass-produced satellites create opportunities and risks for contractors

WASHINGTON — The Space Development Agency is buying 20 communications satellites for about $14 million apiece, and eight missile-warning satellites for about $43 million per unit.

These price points are unprecedented in Pentagon satellite programs and a sign that the military space market could be headed in a different direction, said Bill Gattle, president of space systems at L3Harris.

L3Harris and SpaceX each received contracts on Monday to build four missile warning satellites for the Space Development Agency. Lockheed Martin and York Space in August won contracts to each produce 10 data-relay satellites. All must be delivered two years from now. 

Military satellites typically are made in onesies and twosies, take decades to develop and cost hundreds of millions of dollars each. The SDA constellations of cheaper mass-produced satellites are a “fundamental transformation” in how DoD buys space technology, Gattle told SpaceNews Oct. 6.

With SDA planning to buy hundreds more satellites in the coming years, “we’re all trying to figure out how to change the price point,” Gattle said.

DoD wants to build large constellations that cost less and also are reliable and deployed quickly, he said. “So all of us have really taken a hard look at how do we build these things? What drives the cost? Why do DoD exquisite systems cost so much?”

Gattle said L3Harris, like other companies, were caught off guard by the speed of SDA contracting. The company had planned to compete for the Transport Layer satellites that were awarded to Lockheed Martin and York Space, but it didn’t move quickly enough. 

“I don’t think we were as ready as we needed to be. And therefore we didn’t win,” he said. When the Tracking Layer opportunity for missile-warning satellites

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4 Stocks to Tap Rising Demand in Retail Discount Stores Space

The COVID-19 outbreak has brought about a major shift in consumers’ buying behavior and spending pattern. With the pandemic taking a toll on employment and household income, consumers are left with no option but to curtail spending. Definitely, measures undertaken to support households and the resumption of economic activities provided some relief but consumers’ hunt for better bargains continue.

Under the current circumstances, people have been showing a preference for discount stores for essentials and other household needs. A differentiated product range resonates well with customers’ spending habits. No wonder, the strategy to sell products at discounted prices has helped industry players expand customer base amid the pandemic.

That said, industry participants have been focusing on deepening engagements with consumers, expanding merchandise assortments, and enhancing digital and data analytics capabilities. They have been making strategic investments to provide consumers fast, convenient and safe shopping experience, be it offline or online.

Keeping in mind consumers’ product preferences and growing inclination toward online shopping, thanks to social distancing and greater stay at-home trends, discount players have been replenishing shelves with in-demand merchandise, and expanding delivery options — curbside pickup or ship-to-home orders — and contactless payment solutions. The companies have also been investing in renovation, improved checkouts and mobile point-of-sale capabilities to keep stores relevant.

It comes as no surprise that discount retailers have succeeded in creating a niche in the retail space. Here we have highlighted four discount retailers that have been gaining from coronavirus-led spike in demand.

4 Prominent Players

Target Corporation TGT: This general merchandise retailer has been making investments to enhance omni-channel capacities, come up with new brands, and remodel or refurbish stores to cater to consumer demand and behavior in the new normal. Markedly, this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company witnessed sturdy market-share gains in all

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Upgrading Your Space While Stuck at Home? Get It Insured

As many Americans face months on end stuck indoors, some are using their time (and money) to create a change of scenery or upgrade their surroundings. Office equipment purchases are on the rise, and people are tackling more renovation projects than usual.

But expensive new stuff and significant home improvements can leave you underinsured. If you’re considering making changes to your home — or if you already have — it’s smart to revisit your homeowners or renters policy. Here’s how to ensure it covers the new additions.

Tell your insurer about your plans

There’s a good chance you’re underinsured before you even make changes, according to Don Griffin, vice president of personal lines at American Property Casualty Insurance Association. Talk to your insurer before making any expensive purchases or changes to your home to inform the company of your plans and clarify your policy’s current coverages and limits. If your home costs more to replace after you’ve improved it, some insurers will pay the new expense to rebuild, but “that’s not every policy, and it may not cover everything you need,” Griffin says. He also recommends once a year reviewing what your home insurance policy covers.

In some cases, you may need to change carriers to get the coverage you need. Frank Jones, an independent agent and partner at Mints Insurance Agency in Millville, New Jersey, has seen clients switch insurers because an addition wasn’t covered. “It’s in your best interest to have these conversations now rather than to have a claim denied,” he says.

A new desk and computer for remote learning, plus that monitor and chair in your home office will add up and could exceed your personal property coverage limit.

Renters insurance policies cover your stuff, but they have limits too. If you have new electronics or

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