Toy centre on track for phase two
Cheung Kong (Holdings) and Hutchison Whampoa are set to begin building the second phase of a 1.5 billion yuan (HK$1.72 billion) toy retail complex - the Guangzhou International Toys and Gifts Centre.
When completed, it will be one of the world's biggest toy and gift centres.
The 380,000 square metre second-phase development would accommodate more than 5,000 shops, Cheung Kong said.
Building would start this year, the first batch of shops would be completed next year and the remainder should be ready by 2010, William Kwok Chi-wai, the director of Cheung Kong's property investment unit, was quoted as saying by mainland website Soufun.
Phase two would include a cartoon and animation theme park, with a total gross floor area of about 40,000 square metres, mainland media reported.
It will also have a hotel and flats in the project, but Cheung Kong released no details yesterday, saying the master plan was not finalised.
Each firm owns a 30 per cent stake in the venture, with the remainder held by mainland-based Guangzhou International Toy Centre.
On completion of the centre's first phase, comprising 100,000 sq metres of gross floor area, all of its more than 500 shops had been sold or leased, the website said.
Guangdong, which includes the cities of Guangzhou, Dongguan, Shenzhen and Zhongshan, is one of the world's key toy-making bases.
In the first two months of the year, total exports of toys amounted to US$1.79 billion, 43.5 per cent higher than the year-earlier period, according to the Guangdong Toy Association.