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February 27, 2014

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Longsheng to redevelop Suzhou Creek warehouse

A PRIVATE company will invest more than 500 million yuan (US$81.6 million) to breathe new life into a 96-year-old former warehouse in the Suzhou Creek area of Zhabei District.

The Zhejiang Longsheng Group, one of the top 500 companies in China, will redevelop the former building, once owned by the Yong’an Department Store, as a home for its regional headquarters.

The project will also feature commercial and recreational facilities, and a cultural center,  Xinmin Evening News reported yesterday.

The building is the first of its kind in the area to attract private investment for redevelopment.

Suzhou Creek, which spans more than 3 square kilometers, was once a cradle for China’s industrial, commercial and financial sectors.

It features many historical buildings built before the 1930s, several of which were designed by famous foreign architects.

The renovation of the 6,000 square meter warehouse by the Longsheng Group is scheduled for completion by the end of the year, the report said.

To celebrate the project’s launch, an exhibition of fashion items and classic cultural products will be held at the warehouse tomorrow, it said.

Longsheng Group was granted permission by the Zhabei government to redevelop the warehouse under a “protective exploitation” scheme, the report said.

Local authorities have been keen to see the city’s aging European-style buildings restored and redeveloped. And since the turn of the century, several large state-owned enterprises have been involved in such projects.

However, many old buildings are subject to restrictive use rules, which has deterred some private firms from pursuing redevelopment programs, and left the properties to rot.


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