Hong Kong developer Swire Properties is bringing its Taikoo Li network of commercial projects to the western China city of Xi’an, according to local government officials as cited in mainland media accounts.
The decision to move ahead with the Taikoo Li project in the capital of Shaanxi province was confirmed by Yao Lijun, deputy secretary of the Communist Party Working Committe for the city’s Qujiang New District late last month, according to an account in mainland real estate news site Guandian.com.
While declining to say that a project is moving forward, a Swire spokesperson did confirm the Hong Kong-listed developer’s interest in the city of seven million people.
“We have a good relationship with the Xi’an government and we are engaged in an ongoing dialogue to explore opportunities to develop in the city – which we see as having great growth and development potential,” the spokesperson said in comments to Mingtiandi.
The official added that, “Swire Properties is committed to our core market of Chinese mainland and we are always keen to explore opportunities to expand our footprint in areas which fit our long-term strategy and business model.”
Swire Expands into Fifth Mainland City
While details of the new project have yet to be confirmed, the development of Taikoo Li Xi’an would establish Swire in its fifth mainland city after the property arm of Hong Kong’s Swire Pacific Group earlier established projects in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu.
While Swire did not mention a name for the expected project, the Xi’an government official referred to Taikoo Li, the naming convention which Swire uses for its retail projects in mainland China. Local media accounts also indicated that top hotel brands including St Regis and Conrad might be involved in the project.
The company’s Taikoo Li retail projects in Beijing and Chengdu, which both rely on a lane-like layout of buildings in a courtyard setting have proved successful and Swire began leasing for Taikoo Li Qiantan, in Shanghai’s Pudong district in January of this year. That 1.3 million square foot (120,000 square metre) retail complex is scheduled to open in phases from the end of next year, Swire said in an earlier statement.
Adding to a Xi’an Tourism District
Should it move forward, Swire’s new project in one of China’s ancient capital cities, would be located within a world heritage site south of Xi’an’s second ring road which the city has targetted as a new development hub, according to the local government comments.
The 76 hectare (188 acre) masterplanned project is built around the 1,300-year-old Small Wild Goose Pagoda, a Tang dynasty religious monument in Xi’an’s southern suburbs.
Having started development in 2017, the plan includes construction of two new metro lines serving the area, and relocation of 1,700 households.
Home to China’s famed terra cotta warriors, Xi’an has been getting attention for its current potential as the economic hub of northwestern China, as well as for its historic past.
In a report published earlier this year on fast growing metropolises with attractive real estate fundamentals, JLL ranked Xi’an ninth on its City Momentum Index.
Retail real estate specialist Pradera Retail Asia opened its Mosaic Xi’an mall in the city last year, and US shopping centre giant Taubman operates the CityOn Xi’an property in the city after opening there in 2016.