Construction work on Guangzhou's biggest failed commercial development, Central Plaza, will resume after a company connected to Sinopec Group bought one of the two office towers for more than one billion yuan, according to sources. Property consultants said the new owner would have to invest a substantial amount of capital to complete the project which has been idle for eight years. 'Today's design needs are totally different from eight years ago,' said Alex Ng, an executive director at property agent Knight Frank Petty. 'Tenants are now asking for high ceilings, raised floors for installing broadband and cable and other modern facilities,' he said. Without these facilities, he said it would be difficult to classify the tower as a grade-A office building. 'It will affect the re-sale value and rents,' Mr Ng said. On top of this, the building needs much inspection work to ensure it meets safety standards. After the developer was placed in receivership in 1998, building work on the 51-storey twin office towers in the commercial Tianhe district was halted with only the exterior shell completed. Five years later, offices were pre-sold at 30,000 yuan per square metre to numerous individuals, setting a record at that time. Then, last month, one tower was sold to a company backed by Sinopec Group for about one billion yuan. An industry insider said the acquisition would be a positive sign for the Guangzhou property market. 'The purchase price, plus the amount that will need to be spent on the building indicates the buyer's confidence in the market's prospects,' he said. According to sources, Sinopec will keep the building for its own use. After the work is completed next year, the building will be renamed. Sinopec has appointed DTZ Debenham Tie Leung to be the leasing agent of the retail podium, according to sources. DTZ declined to comment, while Sinopec was unavailable for comment. According to a Guangzhou government survey in 2003, there were 57 failed developments in the city. So far, half have attracted buyers to finance construction.