Shui On Land has bought a 640,000 square metre site in Foshan of Guangdong province for 7.5 billion yuan, marking its first foray into the southern province. Shui On Land said it would build a giant mixed-use development providing a total gross floor area of 1.5 million sq metres. It will include residential and office buildings, as well as retail, restaurant, entertainment, tourism and cultural facilities. The development, situated at the centre of Zumiao Donghua Lane in Foshan, will include a restoration project known as 'Foshan Tiandi'. It was named after its Shanghai Xintiandi, a trendy entertainment and dining area, plus a restoration of Shikumen architectural buildings in the city's Luwan district. Shui On did not give the total investment cost of the development or say how it planned to finance it, but said it might invite strategic partners to co-invest in the project. No definite plans or terms have been fixed, according to the company. A 1.2 billion yuan deposit on land costs has been paid and another 1.05 billion yuan will be paid on or before January 29 next year. The rest of the 5.26 billion yuan will be paid in stages, in line with the relocation progress of the land, expected by or around 2010. Shui On said Foshan's government will be responsible for all relocation costs. Shui On said the first plot of cleared land of about 24,410 sq metres is expected to be delivered within one month after the payment of 1.05 billion yuan. It is the first investment in Guangdong province for the company, which has been building a substantial property portfolio in cities such as Chongqing, Dalian, Shanghai and Wuhan. Foshan is one of the most popular Guangdong cities among developers that include Poly Real Estate Group, Country Garden and Shenzhen Investment. Shui On said the acquisition would be a good investment opportunity for the company to further develop another landmark on the mainland. Last week, Shui On Land, through its wholly owned subsidiary, signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with the municipal government of Dali in Yunnan province to develop a 10 billion yuan residential-tourism project. The Dali Hai Dong New District North Area development will have an estimated land area of 15 square kilometres, the company said. Shares of Shui On yesterday slipped 0.52 per cent to finish at HK$9.65.