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July 22, 2021

Revitalisation of the historic Zhangyuan Shikumen compound in Shanghai

Swire Properties recently announced that it will form a joint venture management company with Shanghai Jing’an Real Estate Group to collaborate in the revitalisation of Shanghai’s Zhangyuan district. The two companies aim to reposition and transform Zhangyuan into a unique international cultural and commercial landmark in the heart of the city.
     With a total site area of over 40,000 sq m, Zhangyuan sits on four land parcels in the core area of Nanjing Road West, currently owned by Shanghai Jing’an Urban Renewal Construction Development Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Jing’an Real Estate Group.  The area, comprising 43 shikumen blocks of around 170 historic buildings of 28 different styles, is the largest, best-preserved and most diverse shikumen compound in Shanghai. It presents a wide variety of architectural styles, from garden villas with Western elements to shikumen with traditional Chinese interiors.  The area provides a valuable snapshot of Shanghai’s rich architectural past and has become known as the “Best Garden in Shanghai”.

     The two companies aim to revitalise Zhangyuan into a vibrant lifestyle hub by fully preserving and restoring the shikumen houses and making full use of the underground area.  With an expected gross floor area (above ground) of approximately 60,000 sq m, the urban revitalisation project will create a world-class cultural innovation venue, high-end office spaces, unique residential apartments, a boutique hotel and a wide variety of exciting retail and dining options.  The underground area of more than 70,000 sq m will connect to three Metro lines (2, 12 and 13) at Nanjing Road West station and enjoy seamless access to nearby communities.

     Swire Properties and Jing’an Real Estate Group will hold a 60% and 40% interest respectively in the joint venture company set up to manage and operate the project.  
Zhangyuan dates back to 1872 when a British merchant bought a plot of farmland and built garden villas in the area.  In 1882, it came under the ownership of Chinese entrepreneur Zhang Shuhe, who expanded it and made it into a modern public gathering spot.