Expo Area Becomes the New Landmark of Pudong

05.22.2012

AS PRINTED IN MAY 22, 2012 PUDONG TIMES

The renovation of pavilions has been completed successively. The business, trade center and culture center emerge.

As one of the driving forces of Pudong’s continued economic growth, the prosperity of the Expo Area increasingly shows. The reporter learned from the Expo Shanghai Group that after the Italy Pavilion is re-opened, the US Pavilion, France Pavilion and Russia Pavilion are in transformation and will open to the public soon. Besides the transformation of pavilions, the large retail facilities at the Expo Axis will open later this year, too. In the meantime, headquarters of well-known enterprises are locating successively in the area.

Transformation of Exhibition Pavilions

Quite a few Expo exhibition pavilions are under “transformation and renovation” to open to the public successively.

By the end of last month, the Italy pavilion re-opened to the public after the renovation. It was transformed into an Italian luxury brands exhibition center. The authentic Italian style is presented even more than it was during the Expo Exhibition. People were dazzled by Ferrari sports cars, Bvlgari luxury jewels, Milan fashion designs and the Sino-Italian fashion brands launched with “Italian” logos. Based on the introduction of the Pavilion, the renovated Italy Center will integrate with the business and trade economy.

The same idea will apply to the France and Russia Pavilions. Expo Shanghai Group staff disclosed that these two pavilions are planned to be renovated to business, trade and tourist exhibition centers of their own countries. The plans are in preparation. Business invitation and promotion by French and Russian are urgently needed.

Currently, another large pavilion – the US Pavilion, will transform into the US aviation exhibition center. Based on the disclosure of relevant people, the renovation project is almost completed. The staff has already entered and worked in the pavilion. After the renovation, airplane models, private jet club, etc. will be exhibited.

With the already opened Expo Exhibition, this area will become a new hub of high end exhibition in Shanghai.

Competition Among Headquarters of Domestic and Foreign Companies

The newly rising business and trade center attracts many well-known domestic and foreign enterprises to locate their headquarters here.

Not far away from the Shanghai Italy Center is Zone B of Expo Park. There, construction of the headquarters of domestic central enterprises is under way . A central enterprise headquarters collection area will be created here. So far, more than 10 central enterprises have signed contracts and moved in, including China Commercial Aircraft Company, Baosteel Group, The National Grid and Huaneng Group, etc. – all well-known enterprises.

It has been learned that ultimately 28 headquarter buildings of well-known domestic enterprises will be built here.

Domestic enterprises are located on this side; “foreign headquarters” are on the other side. The adjacent Zone A is the collection area of headquarters of foreign enterprises.

In Zone A of Expo Park, whose two sides are facing the water, a new type of business function area named “24-hour vigor” block is being realized from drawings to reality. It will attract the headquarters of international well-known enterprises to collectively move in.

“Having the cultural difference between the foreign enterprises and domestic enterprises in mind, the design philosophies are different as well”, people in- charge in Expo Group introduced, “24-hour vigor” block will upgrade the business function from a pure office to a “world class working community” combining business, relaxing and living, which will better meet working and living needs of foreign workers.

New Business Aircraft Carrier Will Rise

The Expo Axis, that impressed the world, will transform into a business center and start operation later in the year.

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Based on the information, the business area of Expo Axis is approx. 130,000 sm. The primary retailers will be brand name flagship stores, combining retail, entertainment, cultural and dinning functions. It is planned to be built as another new city development landmark in addition to Nanjing Road and the Bund, etc. attractions in Shanghai. Phase 1 project to the North of Expo Avenue is scheduled to open in this October. It is expected the whole Expo Axis will be in the operation in the middle of next year. Bai Lian Group positioned it as an “Ultra Wide Area” business center. Mr. Li, Guoding, General Manager of Bai Lian Group, introduced that the business allocation in the Expo Axis Shopping Center is also different from the regular shopping center, in which, the retail ratio will not be more than 50%. The Shopping Center will focus on highlighting the Expo landscape, exhibition, performance, brand display, etc. cultural functions. Currently, the first group of business invitation has been completed.

In addition, a hotel complex project will be developed in the Expo area.

A reporter learned this project is invested and developed by Expo Shanghai Group, designed by John Portman & Associates, Inc., the well-known world hotel design firm. The hotel complex consists of four hotels with the total construction investment of more than 3 billion RMB. The construction of the whole project will last 3.5 years and the construction is expected to be complete in the 2nd quarter of 2015. After completion, hotels will be operated by Hyatt and Hilton Conrad. They will become the new city landmarks along Huang Pu River.

Cultural Center Presents the Perfect Work

One and half years ago, when Benz Cultural Center just started operation, it was deserted. The situation of “the whole movie theater is occupied by one person” happened; the group purchase had to be used to attract the audiences. But last year, Cultural Center delivered a wonderful score. Total of approx. 128 large activities were held in the Center with audience of 1,040,000, including Wang Fei Coming Back Concert, US rock band – The Eagles, Spanish tenor Carla Alvarez and Hong Kong singer Jacky Cheung, etc. - almost 100 domestic and foreign stars and groups performed in this Center. It has already become one of the top cultural and entertainment venues in Shanghai.

Opening the performance schedule, large domestic and foreign performances are fully scheduled this year. Soon, Zhang Yu and Jolin Tsai will perform here. The Center will change to an ice arena to have a combining performance of figure skating and music. Staff of a cultural agency told the reporter that the Culture Center currently is the hottest performance center in China; it is extremely difficult to fit into the performance schedule.