So Many `For Rent' Signs. Can This Be Hong Kong?

It's not easy for shoppers strolling through 9 Queen's Road Central to do much window-shopping. Vacant storefronts are the most common sight on the upper two floors of the four-story arcade, which opened in 1992. Annual rents as high as $37 a square meter have forced out the pricey boutiques that once lined the brown-marble corridors. Even though the asking price has dropped by around 40%, they haven't returned. Says one of the original occupants: "They'll have to go a lot lower."

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