District lures big investors
The Yujiapu Financial District has attracted investment from more than 120 companies, with their total registered capital totalling 50 billion yuan (HK$59.91 billion). These include Rockefeller Group, Tishman Speyer and THL Holding from the United States; GDF Suez Energy Services, from France, has signed to build and manage a cooling system for the start-up area; and the Lincoln Center, from New York, has agreed to advise on a cultural project.
Touted as the world's largest financial district in the next decade, Yujiapu is located in the centre of the Binhai New Area in Tianjin, covering an area of 3.86 square kilometres.
The Tianjin government has pledged to invest 200 billion yuan in the project, turning it into 'a base for financial reform and innovation that fits the role [of] Tianjin's status [as] the business centre of north China'.
To ensure the project conforms to international standards, Tianjin has commissioned Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP to design the urban area of the district, Nikken Sekkei to plan the underground areas, and AECOM Technology Corp for landscape planning. Yujiapu will have about 120 project plots for investment, with a total construction area of 9.5 million square metres. This includes 5 million square metres of office space, 2 million square metres of commercial and residential spaces, and 2.5 million square metres for supporting facilities, such as schools, hospitals, shops and other public facilities. The financial district is expected to take shape by 2014 and to be completed by 2019.
Construction of phase one, which will cover an area of 1.01 million square metres, started in 2009. This will include nine grade-A office buildings for the banking and finance sectors, hotels, riverside parks, a central avenue, a train station, and other commercial and residential developments.
The competitiveness of Yujiapu will be enhanced with the completion of the train station at the north of the district.
The train station will serve as the transportation hub of the district. The Beijing-Tianjin intercity express railway will stop at the station, connecting it with the capital in just 45 minutes.