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Construction begins on upscale L'Avenue

MACAU billionaire Stanley Ho and Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, said yesterday that they co-invested US$500 million in a commercial complex in Shanghai's Hongqiao Development Zone.

L'Avenue Shanghai, a property project covering a gross floor area of about 140,000 square meters, started construction yesterday and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2012.

"Buying power is growing fast in China," said Arnault. "The project shows LVMH's confidence in the future of China, and in the future of Shanghai."

At the intersection of Xianxia Road and Ziyun Road, L'Avenue Shanghai includes a 47,000 square meter Grade A+ office tower and a 49,000 square meter, upscale shopping complex. Stores of the world's leading luxury brands, including Louis Vuitton, will open in L'Avenue.

It also aims to become a landmark building in Changning District's Hongqiao Development Zone.

The World Luxury Association said earlier that China had overtaken the United States to become the second-biggest luxury goods market following Japan. Luxury consumption in China totaled US$8.6 billion last year, accounting for 25 percent of the global market.

"China is the world's fastest-growing market for luxury brands," Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman of Hurun Report magazine, said previously. Hoogewerf's magazine is known for its "China Rich List."

Despite the economic downturn, many luxury brands have accelerated development in Shanghai. Both Giorgio Armani and Dunhill recently re-launched stores in Plaza 66, a prestigious shopping destination on Nanjing Road W.

To meet growing demand, Plaza 66 renovated its basement, converting the former gym into shops housing brands such as Kenzo and Versace.

Gucci will open its two-story flagship store early next month in the newly renovated Golden Eagle Shopping Center in the city.


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