Kerry Properties, whose mainland real estate projects range from Beijing to Manzhouli in Inner Mongolia, plans to invest 3.5 billion yuan to develop a mixed-use project in Qinhuangdao, Hebei province. The project, Kerry's first in Qinhuangdao, comprised hotel, residential, retail and entertainment facilities with a total of 500,000 square metres gross floor area, said executive director Stephen Ho Shut-kan. 'We are optimistic about the outlook of Qinhuangdao - which is one of the mainland's favourite tourism cities,' Mr Ho said. The investment was in line with the company's strategy of developing large-scale, mixed-use property projects in key locations across the mainland, he said. Kerry also has investments in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Tianjin, and in Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Fujian provinces. The economy of Qinhuangdao, one of the six venues for the 2008 Olympics outside Beijing, is expected to grow at least 12 per cent this year after 12.6 per cent growth last year, according to the local government. Fixed investment in urban areas grew 35.2 per cent to 17.55 billion yuan last year, while per capita income of urban residents increased 10.2 per cent to 10,356 yuan. Property prices were 6.4 per cent higher in March from a year earlier. Mr Ho said the company bought the site from the government for about 1.5 billion yuan, or an accommodation value of 3,300 yuan per square metre. Construction costs will be about two billion yuan. Kerry Properties held a portfolio comprising 21.15 million square feet of gross floor area under development at the end of last year, according to the company's annual report. Kerry Properties is part of Kerry Group, the largest shareholder in the SCMP Group, which publishes the South China Morning Post.