THE first phase of the Shanghai Building Material Commercial City, the largest trading market of its type in the country, is set to open in February. 'It aims to introduce high and medium-level building materials and associated products to cope with the demand from Shanghai and its surrounding cities,' said Dong Yunhuan, director of Shanghai General Building Material Group Corp, developer of the trading market. The development, covering a total area about 100,000 square metres, will be completed in three phases. The first, which involved investment of 38 million yuan (about HK$34 million), covers 7,500 sq metres. 'It will be the largest design materials spot trading market in the country,' Ms Dong said. 'The sales value of the first year after opening is expected to reach 60 million yuan.' The corporation has been reorganised to supercede the Shanghai Building Material Bureau. Fixed-asset investment in Shanghai now stands at 110 billion yuan, with one-third of this spent on building materials. Of this, 30 per cent is spent on design materials.