Mapletree starts work on south China project

Mapletree Investments yesterday unveiled plans for the US$342 million first phase of its Nanhai Business City, a mixed-use development in Foshan City, China.

Twenty high-rise apartment blocks with about 2,000 residential apartments and a four-storey retail mall called VivoCity@Nanhai will be developed in phase one, Mapletree said.

Nanhai Business City is the group’s first commercial project in south China and its largest project so far.

The project is being developed by a Mapletree- sponsored private real estate fund called Mapletree India China Fund, which holds 80 per cent of a joint venture company set up to develop the project. The remaining 20 per cent is held by local Chinese partner Pan Shun Ming, who is chairman of Southern Packaging.

Nanhai Business City is the Mapletree fund’s third investment in China.

Mapletree celebrated the ground-breaking ceremony for phase one yesterday. This phase, expected to be completed by 2013, involves the development of 10 hectares of land into the high-rise residential blocks and retail mall.

The residential component will also have facilities such as a recreation centre, gymnasium, cafe, basketball court, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and themed gardens. The first batch of 270 units will be ready for sale in the third quarter of 2010.

VivoCity@Nanhai, the four-storey retail mall, will have about 100,000 sq metres of gross floor area. Mapletree said the mall will incorporate the ’successful attributes’ of its VivoCity shopping mall in Singapore.

The entire Nanhai Business City will cover more than 35 ha and will be developed in four phases over the next five to eight years.

‘Our investment in Nanhai Business City underscores the importance of South China as an investment location for Mapletree, particularly, the Nanhai district in Foshan City,’ said Mapletree chief executive Hiew Yoon Khong.

He said Mapletree is evaluating several other suitable investments in China and India for its US$1.16 billion Mapletree India China Fund, which was set up to fund the group’s expansion in these countries.

Source : Business Times – 19 Nov 2009

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