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December 18, 2009

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Lujiazui eyes support facilities

FEWER than half of the office buildings in the Lujiazui Financial Zone of the Pudong New Area have four essential support facilities - canteens, convenience stores, banks or automated teller machines, and cafes or tea houses, government officials said yesterday.

To address the problem, the Pudong government yesterday put forward a financial aid policy to encourage the introduction of support facilities in office buildings.

Office towers which incorporate "rich support facilities" such as clinics and post offices will be granted an award up to 1 million yuan (US$146,400) together with subsidies to make up for a potential loss in rent.

The government also plans to ensure that 90 percent of office buildings have the four basic facilities and 60 percent include rich support facilities by the end of next year.

"Lujiazui's industry structure is not balanced," said Xu Lin, Party secretary of Pudong New Area.

"It's inadequate in support facilities, though the office facilities in the area are world-class.

"The new policy is among a series of measures to improve the function of the area, which is in a key position to bolster the city's ambitious plan to develop itself into a world financial hub," Xu said.

Currently, Lujiazui CBD has 63 office buildings with 100,000 people working there.

But support facilities only account for 15 percent of the total floor area in the area, compared with 25 percent in overseas mature financial zones.

"My office building has no canteen," said office worker Erica Yan. "I always have to walk very far to find a restaurant."

Many workers also complain they have to wait a long time for taxis and there were few bus routes connecting the area.

In response, the government put forward the policy to encourage the introduction of support facilities including clubs, book stores, laundries, hair salons and sports centers.

Office buildings will be rated into three tiers and receive awards of 200,000 yuan, 600,000 yuan or 1 million yuan, according to their rank. Subsidies will also be issued according to the types of additional facilities.

A 4-kilometer circular bus route inside the Lujiazui area will also be launched at the end of this year.


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