While a great deal of research attention has been placed on the linkages between tenant mix and rental income in a retail facility, the facility's physical attributes have never been seriously studied. In fact, whether a retail facility, particularly a planned shopping centre, succeeds or perishes, depends very much on the physical design of the facility. To straddle the current research gap, this study focuses on the provision of public space, including atria, passageways and other circulation areas for the patrons, in the retail facilities in Hong Kong. Employing the data of 118 planned shopping centres, the authors empirically study the relationship between the overall rental levels of the centres and the percentages of floor space in the centres designated as public space. The results of the regression analysis show that the annualised rental incomes of the centres increase at a decreasing rate with the ratios of public floor space to retail floor space in the centres. There is an optimal upper limit for the ratio of 1.32. The findings of this study have far-reaching implications in the strategic planning and management of planned retail facilities.