Born in Hong Kong, Sun Hung Kai Properties is taking bold steps into the mainland. The Lujiazui project in Pudong will be a major landmark in Shanghai's financial centre. The comprehensive development is next to the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the city's icon to the future. On a site of 700,000 sq ft creating 4.5 million sq ft of offices, serviced apartments, retail outlets and hotels, the first phase of the ambitious project will open in 2008. Company spokesmen say the vast experience of more than 32 years of building quality properties in Hong Kong has helped secure the Shanghai project. By the time Shanghai hosts Expo 2010, the Lujiazui complex is expected to house some of the leading international companies doing business in China. It will play a role in helping the city convince big multinational companies to use Shanghai as their mainland base. 'The project aims precisely at meeting demand from large mainland and multinational companies for world-class offices,' a spokesman says.