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California dreams a reality for Hines

HINES, a United States real estate investment, development and management company, is to increase its investment in China over the coming years, focusing on residential and retail development.

The privately owned company, which has invested US$2 billion in the country since 1995, is due to launch California Place, its first mixed-use project in Shanghai, as early as August.

"High-quality residential as well as retail development will remain the backbone of our strategies," said Robert Hollister, senior vice president for development at Hines China.

"More people are coming to large cities to look for a better life while people's rising income will also help boost retail demand."

A total of 486 apartments, from two bedrooms to four bedrooms, will go on sale in August or September, the company said.

Hines acquired a 251,776-square-meter plot in New Jiangwan Town in 2006 for about 1.71 billion yuan (US$250 million). The 450,000-square-meter California Place will consist of 1,200 apartments, 100,000 square meters of retail space, a hotel and offices.

Construction of the apartments and retail spaces is due to be complete by the end of 2011 while a timetable for the hotel and office development has yet to be determined, the company said.

The company is also looking for opportunities in the country's second-tier cities.

A 300,000-square-meter mixed-use project, also called California Place, will be launched in Dalian soon, officials said.

At present, Hines' China portfolio mainly covers Embassy House and Park Avenue in Beijing and River House and 21st Century Tower in Shanghai. The company has a presence in more than 100 cities in 16 countries.


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