'Spaceship' a highlight of Shui On project
An exhibition centre in the form of a 'spaceship' will be a drawing card of Shui On Land's proposed multibillion-yuan property development in Shanghai's new core business district of Hongqiao.
'It will be an architectural icon. We would like to build something unique in this precious site adjacent to the future transportation hub in Shanghai,' said Freddy Lee Chun Kong, chief executive and managing director of Shui On Land.
The exhibition centre will be part of the developer's proposed Hongqiao Tiandi complex, which will comprise offices and retail outlets, showrooms, a hotel and serviced apartments. Lee said he expected the complex to provide a total leasable gross floor area of 278,000 square metres and to be completed in 2013.
The development will rise adjacent to and be directly linked with the city's future Hongqiao Transportation Hub, and site formation for the project is already under way.
When it is completed in 2020, the transportation hub will consist of the Shanghai high-speed rail terminal, Terminal 2 of Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, five underground metro lines and the Maglev terminal. It will attract estimated daily passenger traffic of more than 1.1 million people.
'There are only a few developments of such a large scale in China,' said Lee. He said that the area would serve as a showcase for domestic and overseas manufacturers and traders.
'Demand for offices with showroom functions will definitely be strong,' he said.
Shui On secured development rights on the site for 3.18 billion yuan (HK$3.81 billion) at a public auction in September.
Lee, who has been with Shui On for 25 years, was appointed chief executive in March after chairman Vincent Lo Hong Sui relinquished his role as chief executive.
Daily passenger traffic at the new development should be higher than at Shui On Land's Shanghai Xintiandi project, a retail entertainment landmark in the city centre that attracted as many as 70,000 visitor arrivals per day during the Shanghai Expo last year and averages 50,000 visitors on normal days, said Lee.
Commenting on the outlook for the mainland property market, Lee said recovery would take longer as a result of the tough measures imposed by the central government since April last year.
'It is the third up and down cycle I have seen in the past 10 years working on the mainland,' he said.
'The previous two corrections lasted for six to nine months, but this time it may take one to two years before we see home sales volumes return to normal levels.'