Unique low-rise project offers high-profile Shanghai location

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 October, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 October, 2003, 12:00am

Prospective Shanghai commercial tenants: Would you like to buy a five-storey office building on the banks of the Huangpu River for US$19 million?

Then a Shanghai real-estate company has the ideal property for you - it is selling seven such blocks, as single units, on Puming Road, a prime site on the Pudong side, overlooking a garden and a sweeping view of the river and Puxi on the other side.

Fortune Garden - nicknamed the 'Seven Dwarves' - is targeted at corporations that want high-profile headquarters in Shanghai.

Tenants can hold parties on the roof terrace overlooking the river and the purchase brings with it a licence to operate a boat.

The row of low-rise blocks in a forest of skyscraper office and apartment buildings in the Lujiazui financial district makes this an unusual investment.

It is on a prime site close to the Pudong Shangri-La Hotel and with a river view that should not change - unless authorities decide to fill in the Huangpu.

'The office buildings are designed by American Francis Repas and use imported material, from Italy, Germany, France, Britain and the United States,' said Sam Crispin, a property specialist who is a consultant for developer, Shanghai Ke Yi Real Estate Development, a subsidiary of Sinochem.

'They are the first buildings in Shanghai to have a double-skin curtain wall, which will cut your energy costs 40 per cent.

'Each of the seven units has 5,000 square metres, with one underground floor and four above.

'Since it is a low-rise, tenants can use 85 per cent of the space.

'A year ago, the price was less than US$3,000 per square metre and now is $3,800. It is the top of the Shanghai market. The price could reach $4,000 by the time they are completed in May next year,' Mr Crispin said.

Wu Wei, assistant to the president of Shanghai Ke Yi, said buyers had made preliminary offers for all seven blocks but contracts had not been signed.

'They include domestic and foreign companies. Others can still come to buy,' Mr Wu said.

The underground floor includes car parks, a conference centre and canteens.

The front garden has a small lighthouse that is being used as a sales office but is likely to become a restaurant or exhibition centre.

Mr Crispin said clients of the blocks could use Italian-made curtains between the two walls to display their company logos that could be lit up at night.