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November 17, 2011

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Plan for 'Shanghai Broadway'

A FORMER cement factory on the banks of the Huangpu River could become "Shanghai's Broadway," officials said yesterday.

City political advisers were told that within the next few years the 70,000-square-meter area around the factory buildings will be transformed into Shanghai's hotspot for musical performances.

Xia Yingqiu, director of the Xuhui District's Bureau of Planning and Land Resources, told political advisers that this could rival New York's famous theater area.

And Feng Guoqin, head of the city's advisory body, said it could include world-class venues.

"Shanghai lacks a riverside opera house along its 40-kilometer waterfront and we hope the Xuhui project can turn the old plant into a top-level theater like the Sydney Opera House," said Feng.

The cultural and performance base will be built at the area near Longshui Road, said officials.

Buildings for entertainment, scientific research and business will also be included, said Xia.

She said a 1.4-square-kilometer surrounding area will become a riverside core business center and include a 250-meter-tall iconic skyscraper.

The Shanghai Cement Plant was established in 1920 as one of the earliest cement plants in China.

Its three 80-meter-tall chimneys were demolished in 2010 and the high-polluting business moved to the Pudong New Area.

"Some buildings were retained and they will become centerpiece venues after renovation," Qiao Xuan, deputy director of a riverside development company of the district, has said.

Officials from other districts on the banks of the Huangpu River also revealed waterfront development plans.

Hongkou District plans to build the north Bund area into a shipping service industry center by 2015, to develop the cruise ship industry and provide training to support the Shanghai International Cruise Terminal.

Huangpu District intends to link up the 6-kilometer area in the south part of the Bund and build it up as a corridor for sightseeing and relaxation.

And Yangpu District will divide its 15-kilometer waterfront into areas for business, public scientific education and new industries.

"The core concept should be to make the riverside into an eco-friendly area and open it up to Shanghai citizens," top adviser Feng said.


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