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Beijing's commercial property woes
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Many upcoming projects have actually repositioned themselves to attract vibrant mid-range retailers rather than luxury boutiques.

"The current downturn, the first experienced by Beijing's prime retail market, although painful, will ultimately make landlords and shopping mall operators more mature," said Zhang from JLL.

Average retail rentals have somewhat stabilized, down 4 percent to 528 yuan per sq m per month.

Overall vacancy rates remained largely stable, too, up only 0.4 percentage points to 16 percent.

Seven shopping malls are still slated to open in the second half of this year, delivering more than 570,000 sq m to the market.

"Due to fierce competition and volatile economic growth, new supply and adjustments in existing shopping malls will continue to push up the vacancy rate," said Jason Chang, general manager of North China Sandalwood.

(China Daily July 20, 2009)

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