Huangpu district: the new downtown area

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 December, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 December, 1994, 12:00am

JLW has defined Shanghai's Downtown district as extending westwards from the Bund to Chengdu Road, incorporating all of Huangpu district, in addition to the eastern portion of Luwan district.

It is bounded to the north and south by Beijing and Fuxing roads respectively, and includes the Bund precinct and eastern Huaihai Road precinct.

Within so-called Downtown, JLW says there is 6.81 million square feet of proposed Grade A office space to be built by the end of 1998, representing 46 per cent of Puxi supply and 17 per cent of supply in the city.

The Bund - including 110 historic buildings lining the western bank of the Huangpu River - was known as the 'Wall Street' of Shanghai prior to 1949, with financial institutions occupying the majority of buildings.

The older buildings are generally in urgent need of refurbishment and are under heritage protection, meaning they cannot be redeveloped.

As such, the availability of vacant sites for redevelopment in the area is limited.

To circumvent this, the Shanghai authorities have identified 37 historic buildings, which will be made available to foreign organisations for refurbishment and occupation.

A number of international financial institutions have expressed interest in the proposal, including the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp, which is looking at moving back into the former headquarters it was evicted from during the communist uprising in 1949.

The most notable of the new buildings constructed in the Bund district is probably the 346,000 sq ft Union Building, completed in 1985 and the first high-quality building to be erected in the city.

Over the last nine years it has managed to retain a high-profile tenant list, including General Electric, Bank of America and Du Pont.

More recent new office developments include the refurbished Shanghai Museum, now known as Central Place, and JF News Tower.

Both of these Grade A office buildings were completed in 1994 and have attracted a number of multinationals, including Motorola, Digital Equipment and JLW.

While new development potential within the Bund district is limited, there has been extensive new building going on in the eastern portion of Huaihai Road, primarily involving Hong Kong-based developers.

Major developments under construction within Huahai Road East precinct include Sun Hung Kai Properties' Shanghai Central Plaza, Wharf Group's Shanghai Times Square, Lippo Group's Shanghai Lippo Centre and Ryoden's Shanghai Square.