Xintiandi to get bigger and better
Shanghai's downtown travel and entertainment hub Xintiandi (新天地) hits its 10th anniversary this month.
Apart from asking 10 Chinese industry A-listers -- including film director See-Yuen Ng, artist Jiang Qiong'er and pianist Li Yundi -- to contribute to an exhibition in Xintiandi Style, developer Shui On Land is also planning for Xintiandi's future: to double the size of this downtown hub and to build a second Xintiandi near Hongqiao airport.
According to Shanghai Evening Post, Xintiandi is undergoing the fastest expansion in its 10-year history.
Shui On Land, Shui On group's mainland affiliate based in Shanghai, is aiming at enlarge the entertainment hub to 1.2 million square meters in the next five years, doubling its current size.
"By then [when the expansion is complete], the whole Taipingqiao area (where Xintiandi is) will be able to satisfy Shanghai residents' multiple lifestyle needs, including eating, living, working, relaxing, getting entertained and receiving education," Liu Mengjie, general manager of Shui On Land, told Shanghai Evening Post.
"We are also considering introducing medical facilities to complement the current commercial offerings," Liu said.
Shui On Land's CEO Freddy C. K. Lee added that Asia's first Andaz hotel would open its doors this summer in northern Xintiandi, neighboring The Langham which opened last October.
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In addition, a 68-story office building, named Magnolia, is also being planned for northern Xintiandi.
Details about which direction Xintiandi will expand are yet to be released.
However, according to one Xintiandi project supervisor who wished to remain anonymous, the new Xintiandi will include Dongtai Lu antiques market -- which Shui On will renovate -- and a Broadway-style theater to the south.
Shanghai's next Xintiandi
In addition to the downtown expansion, Shui On Land is also duplicating Xintiandi's successful business model near Shanghai's Hongqiao Airport.
Named "Hongqiao Tiandi(虹桥天地)," the project broke ground in March this year, and was the first commercial project to kick off as part of the Shanghai Hongqiao Central Business District, one of the city government's new urban development schemes.
Covering a total area of 62,300 square meters, Hongqiao Tiandi will be a short walk from Hongqiao train station and 900 meters from Hongqiao airport.
Bloomberg Businessweek reported that the project would include offices, shops, restaurants, a cultural center and a luxury hotel, and will be completed in two to three years.
Shui On Land spent nearly RMB 3.2 billion to buy the land last October.
Shanghai Xintiandi opened its doors in 2001, and promptly established itself as the city's flagship entertainment compound. The rent in Xintiandi has risen 12-fold over the past decade.