Shanghai's fast-rising skyline reflects a struggle between the city's emerging business districts. The mighty Pudong New Area, home to the Shanghai stock exchange and the impressive Oriental Pearl Radio And Television Tower, stands out as the city's prestige address, but a growing number of international firms are opting for the leafy streets of Luwan district. It is not hard to understand why. Attractive bars, a range of international restaurants and some of the city's best shopping foster a sense of community. 'It is one of the most bustling areas of Shanghai,' says Lisa Leung Wai-han, regional marketing director for the Shanghai office of New World China Land. She says the area is home to Xintiandi, a popular cultural and entertainment zone. In 1995, the Hong Kong-based parent New World acquired one of the last available sites in the heart of the district, bordered by Wai Huai Road and Huang Pi Road. The company's vision was to create a landmark office tower that combined both office and retail space, linked by easy access to major transport networks. The 60-storey Hong Kong New World Tower, completed last October, is an example of an integrated world-class design. Canadian architects B&H Architecture Services proposed a facility incorporating retail shopping and restaurants, convention facilities, an above-ground car park, 42 storeys of office space and two floors dedicated to a skyline restaurant. Interior design work was done by Bilkey Linas Design of Florida, known for its projects with leading hotel groups such as the Grand Hyatt and Ritz Carlton. One of the main selling points of the 2.3 billion yuan (about HK$2.15 billion) building is an underground link with Wang Pi Road Station. The underground line provides easy access to other parts of Shanghai, with Pudong a 15-minute ride away. While convenient, the underground connection required architects to relocate the car park from the basement to above ground. Since the leasing promotion began last September, roughly 50 per cent of available office and retail space is accounted for. Office tenants include several Fortune 500 companies, law firms and international conglomerates such as Fuji and Toshiba. Tenants began to take occupancy in November. Leasing rates for office space range from 65 US cents to US$1.20 per square metre per day, while the retail portion ranges from US$2 to US$6.50 per square metre per day for the underground level and the street level, respectively. Ms Leung says New World has decided against offering discounts to attract tenants despite recent price cutting in the office sector. 'The building is very hi-tech and equipped with the latest IT facilities,' Ms Leung says. 'For example, we have broadband, fibre-optic connections, and an in-house IP connection. Normally tenants have to apply for this, and it takes quite a long time. 'The location itself is very prime. Along Wai Huai Road there will be no more supply. This is the last grade-A office building to be completed in the area.' Many office buildings have slashed leasing rates up to 30 US cents per square foot per day, but Ms Leung says New World believes the building's high quality makes such discounts unnecessary. The building has convenient road access via Yan An Road Highway and the Inner Ring Road. FPDSavills is handling the leasing arrangements.