Hong Kong developers Swire and HKRI held the official opening party today for their 322,000 square metre (3.46 million square foot) office, hotel, residential and retail mega-project on Shanghai’s West Nanjing Road.
The pair of real estate giants pulled in government and corporate VIPs to celebrate the completion of HKRI Taikoo Hui, which has been 15 years in the making where the city’s metro lines 2, 12 and 13 meet in central Jing An district.
The day-long grand opening ceremony celebrated not only the official debut of the mixed-use complex, but also its commercial success, with some 80 percent of the projects office space and 90 percent of the retail said to have been leased to tenants, according to market sources who spoke with Mingtiandi.
Swire and HKRI Execs Welcome Party Chiefs
At the grand opening event held in the HKRI Taikoo Hui mall, Swire Properties chairman John Slosar and CEO Guy Bradley, along with HKRI deputy chairman and managing director Victor Cha Mou Zing, and HKRI Taikoo Hui executive director and CEO Jackie Tang welcomed Jing’an District Governor and deputy party chief Lu Xiaodong as well as deputy district governor Zhou Haiying.
“HKRI Taikoo Hui bears our hallmarks of a stunning and sustainable design, vibrant mixed-use components and an ideal location in the heart of the city centre,” said Swire’s Slosar commented in a statement. “As our fifth mixed-use development in Mainland China and first ever in Shanghai, we’re very proud to debut such an exceptional offering to the Shanghai community together with our partner HKR International, and begin the next chapter in our successful China story.”
The complex at the intersection of Nanjing West Road and Shimen Road 2, includes two grade-A office towers totalling more than 170,000 square metres, a 100,000 square meter shopping mall, two luxury hotels and over 400 rooms of serviced apartments. HKRI first acquired the site in 2002, and Swire acquired 50 percent of the venture in 2006. The project topped out in 2015.
Mall Over 90 Percent Leased
Since its soft opening in May of this year, HKRI Taikoo Hui’s mall has leased out over 90 percent of its space, with over 80 percent of the stores having already opened for business.
Included in the retail mix are a 4,000 square metre city’super grocery store, which is said to be the largest in Mainland China; a SpaceCycle yoga and spinning studio; and the second official Disney store on the mainland. A dedicated beauty corridor will feature LVMH’s tea-based cosmetics brand Cha Ling, plus boutiques by perfume house Atelier Cologne and skin care brand Natura Bisse, all of which are making their mainland debuts.
And all this opulence met with approval from the government officials in attendance. “We are confident that HKRI Taikoo Hui’s official opening will further optimise the commercial ecosystem of Nanjing West Road and enhance its influence, coverage and attractiveness, as well as creating more exciting factors to help Jing An district become a pilot district of Shanghai, one of the international consumer cities,” Jing An district’s Lu Xiaodong said in the statement.
The city’s caffeine crowd have already perked up at the news that Starbucks will be adding to its 600 Shanghai shops by opening its first hyper-premium Starbucks Reserve Roastery outside of the US in the HKRI Taikoo Hui mall. The 2,800 square metre bean brewery is said to be opening soon.
Office Towers Now Home to Alternative Investment Players
The project’s 250 and 170 metre tall office buildings, HKRI Center One and HKRI Center Two, are now reported to be around 80 percent occupied since Center One first opened its doors in December 2017. The project already stands out as the new home of the private equity industry in Shanghai after top investment managers Blackstone, Advent Capital and Warburg Pincus relocated to the prime development.
Joining the trio of alternative investment houses are New York-based KKR and Neuberger Burman both of which chose HKRI Taikoo Hui for their first offices in the city.
With Center Two having begun welcoming tenants in July of this year, the complex is now also home to pharmaceutical supplier Lilly, global property consultancy JLL, UK law firm Clifford Chance, South Korean beauty and cosmetics conglomerate Amore Pacific, and mainland legal giant Junhe. The towers each are home to serviced office space operated by Hong Kong’s The Executive Centre.
The pair of towers are said by their owners to be the first projects to obtain the Core and Shell LEED® Platinum Pre-certification for green building development in Jing ’An District.
The complex’s five star theme carries over to the pair of hotels where HKRI will be propagating its successful Sukhothai brand from Bangkok, and Swire will be expanding its ultra-high-end House Collective brand to include Middle House in Shanghai, after earlier establishing Upper House in Hong Kong and Opposite House in Beijing. The hospitality offering will also include Cha House, a renovated historical mansion which once stood at the centre of the project’s current site, before sliding south to Weihai Road to make way for construction.