North Bund set to become urban benchmark of Shanghai
About 100 multinational corporate headquarters will be drawn to Shanghai's North Bund, bringing along more than 300,000 professionals from both home and abroad, according to the top official of downtown Hongkou District, where the waterfront is situated.
The North Bund along the Huangpu River, covering four square kilometers, is undergoing a major urban transformation to become a new "urban benchmark" of the city, Li Qian, the Party secretary of Hongkou, told a press briefing on Thursday.
The riverside region is part of Shanghai's "golden triangle," along with the Lujiazui financial hub in the Pudong New Area and the Bund in Huangpu District.
The development plan's blueprint released by the city's planning authority includes more economic, scientific and cultural elements to create a "world-class parlor" of Shanghai.
The waterfront features strategic location and historical significance. It's an eight-minute drive to the Bund and Lujiazui, 25 minutes to Hongqiao airport and 45 minutes to Pudong airport, Li said.
North Bund, alongside Lujiazui and the Bund, is set to become a wealth management hub. It is home to nearly 4,700 shipping companies, cementing its status as China's premier shipping center.
About 8.4 million square meters of new office space has been planned on the North Bund, including more than 18 highrise buildings exceeding 200 meters, to mainly attract high-end production and service sector businesses.
The riverside area will feature highrises, villas, talent apartments, international education institutes, medical services and a green ecosystem, according to Li.
It will also host Shanghai's premier international conference and exhibition center, with 100,000 square meters of exhibition space and a 3.4-kilometer-long riverside path. It will become a national-level tourism and vacation destination, he revealed.
Construction is on in full swing on the North Bund waterfront. Ongoing projects include the creation of a central green axis, development of underground spaces and the preservation of historical neighborhoods.
Construction has started on iconic projects, such as the 480-meter North Bund Center, set to be the tallest structure in Puxi, along with other projects with total investment exceeding 80 billion yuan (US$11 billion).
Thanks to the rapid development of the North Bund, Hongkou has attracted 106 key projects this year, with cumulative investment topping 60 billion yuan.
From January to August, the registered capital of newly established enterprises in Hongkou reached 23.6 billion yuan, ranking first among downtown city districts.
The actual foreign investment of the district from January to July was US$262 million, up 22.9 percent yearly. An additional 15 company headquarters have been set up in Hongkou since January.
Key institutions like the International Chamber of Shipping's Shanghai representative office and the Shanghai Asset Management Association have settled in Hongkou, along with leading international financial giants, such as the Netherlands-based Aegon and Canada's Manulife, according to the district government.