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Old April 6th, 2013, 11:53 AM   #401
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In this commercial Superblock in Beijing is the Ridwan Kamil's work partners w/ SOM. This 32 Hectare is a superblock w/ a 'central park' and twin tower as the landmark. This humane and pedestrian friendly environment is the urban design concept in this Superblock
"Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day. Rage, rage against the dying of the light."- Interstellar

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Old May 13th, 2013, 06:36 AM   #402
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How is it pedestrian friendly? Its in Beijing, that city is the opposite of pedestrian friendly.
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Old August 28th, 2013, 11:43 PM   #403
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I wonder what the current status is on this project? This is suppose to be Beijing's answer to Shanghai Disney.

Monkey Kingdom Theme Park


Zhonghong Real Estate

Beijing, China

The Journey to the West is one of the great novels of Chinese literature, enjoyed by adults and children for its incredible adventure, quirky humor, and memorable characters.

Beijing developer Zhonghong Group engaged Thinkwell to develop a world-class theme park based on these beloved tales, creating a unique opportunity to immerse Chinese guests in a world that they’ve only imagined, combining colorful, immersive surroundings with beloved characters and stories and the latest in technology, bringing the centuries-old tales of the Monkey King to life in thrilling and contemporary new ways.

Strategy, Content Master Planning, Concept and Schematic Design Packages

Zhonghong Real Estate signs Thinkwell to Design Monkey Kingdom Theme Park for Beijing

28 May 2011

Monkey King Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of the real estate, financial and cultural industry investment enterprise Zhonghong Real Estate has appointed Thinkwell Group to design Monkey Kingdom Theme park in China as the design firm for the highly immersive Monkey Kingdom theme park slated to open in 2014. The USA based design firm has been collaborating with Zhonghong on the strategy, concept, master plan and attraction development for the park since mid 2010.

Zhonghong Group with a total investment of 10billion RMB (1.53billion USD) and the Monkey Kingdom theme park at its core, the project will include conference centers, hotels, exhibition halls, retail, residential and culturally significant entertainment, making this property the ultimate convergence of business, culture, and tourism opportunities. The overall project covers a total area of about 4500 mu with ample land for additional mixed-use development. The site is located about 55 km from downtown Beijing at the west area of Honglou Lake tourist area in Honglouzhen village of Huairou District.

By integrating our traditional culture with modern theme park technology, this project will provide Beijing with a Disney quality park that tells the stories important to China.” Says Chairman Wang of Zhonghong Group “Thinkwell will provide the theme park expertise while our team insures the traditional culture of China is properly represented making this a perfect partnership.”

Based in Burbank California, home to most of the major motion picture studios in the United States, Thinkwell is an award-winning leader in the creation of immersive experience-based projects for theme parks, museums, retail and resort destinations worldwide. Over the next three years, Thinkwell’s responsibilities will include design and creative management of every aspect of the Monkey Kingdom theme park development.

“Chairman Wang is a true visionary leader, the support from the Beijing government and Huairou government for this world-class project is a testament to that,” stated Thinkwell’s Chairman Mr. Clifford Warner. “The Honglou Lake site is the perfect location for this project.”

Said Mrs. Kelly Ryner, Thinkwell’s Senior Vice President of Global Business Development: “Zhonghong Real Estate is committed to building a new franchise around the legendary Monkey King stories and we’ve recently introduced them to a major motion picture company in Los Angeles, California to potentially produce the film.”

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Old August 29th, 2013, 12:00 AM   #404
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Grand Vision for a New Beijing Financial District

Lize Project Defies Doubters With Plan to Build 80 Skyscrapers Over 20 Years

The Wall Street Journal
August 27, 2013

Richard Silk/The Wall Street Journal (left) and Lize Holdings (right)
Lize would be transformed from one of Beijing's least-developed districts.

BEIJING—A new financial center planned for Beijing, whose size would top London's Square Mile and Manhattan's financial district combined, aims to defy doubters on the sustainability of China's real-estate boom and the stability of its overstretched banks.

If completed as planned, the Lize Financial District on the southern outskirts of Beijing would provide between 8 million and 9.5 million square meters of new floor space, almost doubling the Chinese capital's current stock of high-grade offices.

Eighty skyscrapers are planned to house financial firms, corporations and government entities. Three new subway lines would run under the district, connecting it with the rest of the city.

The ambitious project comes as concerns mount about China's fragile financial system, a large amount of unsold office towers and rising local-government debt.

But the man responsible for the 20-year project that would turn a swathe of farmland and aging low-rise housing on the southern edge of Beijing into a new financial district brushes away fears of failure.

Sitting in a spartan office on the edge of the development site, Shi Weimin exudes confidence. "The amount of office space that is available to the financial sector in Beijing is far short of what's needed," he said. Mr. Shi is chairman of Beijing Lize Financial Business District Holdings Ltd., the government-owned investment vehicle building the new district, and the head of the local government office overseeing the project.

It will be awhile before any of Mr. Shi's project is available to rent. The district is currently a mix of half-built skyscrapers and ramshackle buildings midway through demolition. The first offices should be up and running by 2018, if all goes according to plan, although it will take another decade or more to finish the job, the company says.

Lize will cost a projected 110 billion yuan ($18 billion) to build, an amount to be raised through a combination of bond issuance, bank loans and wealth-management products—investments that offer savers better returns than available on bank deposits. Lize Holdings declined to say how much cash it has raised so far, but it had assets of 10.9 billion yuan and liabilities of 9.54 billion yuan at the end of 2010, according to a bond prospectus issued by its parent company.

Success appears far from guaranteed. Beijing already has one financial center—with the headquarters of top financial firms such as Industrial and Commercial Bank of China—clustered around the central bank and banking regulator a few kilometers northeast of Lize. Shanghai, the home of China's equity market, also has ambitions to be the nation's financial center, and nearby Tianjin wants a piece of the action, too.

Overcapacity in the commercial property market also is a risk. Government attempts to cool the residential sector have encouraged developers to switch to commercial buildings. There is enough office space under construction nationally to cover sales for more than eight years, according to government statistics.

Finding people to move into the new space will be even more difficult if China's strained financial system hits the rocks. A cash crunch in June, when interbank rates went through the roof, laid bare the overextension of China's financial system. Many analysts expect China's banks to enter a period of painful deleveraging, rather than the kind of expansion that might drive demand for expanded office space.

"Some of these projects will work, for sure, but most of them won't," said Gillem Tulloch, founder of Hong Kong-based research firm Forensic Asia and a longtime skeptic of China's property boom.

Still, the "build it and they will come" camp can point to some successes. Shanghai's Pudong area, mocked as a white elephant when it was built in the 1990s, soon filled up. A top-tier city like Beijing, which can count on strong demand from government ministries and corporate headquarters, may have a better chance than most of filling the new space. Despite the picture of rampant overcapacity painted by the government's own data, office vacancy rates in the capital are down to 4.4%, according to Jones Lang LaSalle, a real-estate services firm.

The 170 companies that have signed up to buy or rent space in Lize are mostly domestic Chinese firms, many of them government entities such as the official Xinhua News Agency and Great Wall Asset Management, a state-backed company created to take over banks' bad loans. Mr. Shi said he is in talks with U.S. real-estate firm Tishman Speyer Properties LP. Tishman declined to comment.

With office space filling up before the first building is even completed, Mr. Shi has little time for doubters.

"For 30 years, the predictions that outsiders have made about China's economy, China's political system and so forth have all been wrong," he said, slapping his desk for emphasis. "The land here is selling very well. If you look at our sales you won't have the impression that China's economy is going to decline."


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Old July 11th, 2014, 10:08 AM   #405
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Any current projects in beijing beside the few in the CBD?
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Old October 14th, 2014, 06:00 AM   #406
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Universal Studios to open Beijing theme park in 2019

A rendering of the $3.3-billion Universal Studios complex in Beijing, slated for completion in 2019 in an eastern suburb called Tongzhou. (Universal Orlando Resort)

October 13, 2014
LA Times

After 13 years of negotiations and planning, Universal Parks & Resorts said Monday it would open a $3.3-billion, 300-acre theme park in Beijing. The company and its Chinese partners did not set an opening date, but state-run media said the complex would debut in 2019.

The long-rumored park will be among the company’s largest and include the same kind of movie-themed attractions featured at Universal parks in Los Angeles, Orlando, Japan and Singapore. It will include attractions specifically created for China and plans also call for a Universal CityWalk retail-dining-and-entertainment complex as well as a “first-ever” Universal-themed resort hotel.

The park is to be in an eastern suburb called Tongzhou. Additional phases could see the complex expand to 1,000 acres.

The park’s Chinese partner, Beijing Shouhuan Cultural Tourism Investment Co. Ltd., which was formed in 2013, completed a $300-million deal for the land in March, Chinese media reported.

The park will be jointly owned by Beijing Shouhuan, which is a consortium of four Chinese state-owned companies, and Universal Parks & Resorts.

Universal Parks & Resorts, a division of NBC Universal, signed an agreement to develop the Beijing park in December of last year, the state-run Beijing News said, and the National Development and Reform Commission, which approves such projects, signed off on the plans last month.

Tom Williams, chairman and chief executive of Universal Parks & Resorts, said the Beijing park would showcase some of the best themed attractions to be found anywhere. “We will work together [with Shouhuan] to create experiences based on China’s best-loved stories and centuries-long rich cultural heritage,” he added.

Asked specifically what "Chinese elements" the park would include, Williams refused to offer specifics but said the company had already conducted "extensive research" on this matter and said the park would "pay proper respect and homage to Beijing" and Chinese culture overall.

Williams would not detail what marquee attractions the Beijing park would include either, but rides based on the "Transformers" franchise and the "Despicable Me" series as well as "Harry Potter" seem likely candidates based on those films' popularity in China. The fourth installment in the Transformers series, "Transformers: Age of Extinction," became the top grossing film ever in China this year.

“China remains a vital part of our company’s film business,” added Williams, noting that Universal Pictures is also about to open a film office in Beijing that would focus on movies, including more co-productions with Chinese partners.

Beijing will be the northernmost Universal theme park and the city has a number of climate and other challenges, including snow and severe air pollution. Williams said the company would focus on building attractions conducive to wintertime visitations.

Sidestepping a question about air pollution, Williams said he grew up in Southern California when there were some days that people were advised not to go outside because of smog. Now that's been cleaned up, he said, and he expressed confidence that Beijing too would solve its smog problems.

"There's already been dramatic improvement" since his first visit to Beijing, Williams said, not mentioning that the city just suffered through a three-day stretch of abysmal smog that sent the Air Quality Index off the charts.

In a videotaped greeting played at the press conference, Steven Spielberg, a creative consultant for Universal, said the "Chinese people deserve the very best our creative teams are capable of creating."

Universal does not currently have direct investments in the Universal-branded parks in Japan and Singapore. But it will invest in two joint ventures being established to build and operate the Beijing park.

Universal will have a 30% stake in the construction and ownership joint venture; Shouhuan will hold 70% of that. Universal will own 70% of the management and operations joint venture with Shouhuan having a 30% stake.

“Universal theme parks are the best theme parks in the world today,” said Beijing Shouhuan chairman Duan Qiang, adding that “Chinese people love the movies and exciting entertainment.”

China is expected to build 59 theme parks by 2020, according to a recent report by industry analyst AECOM. The $4.4-billion Shanghai Disney is slated to open in late 2015 with a Magic Kingdom-style theme park, several hotels and a Downtown Disney-style shopping center. DreamWorks Animation, through its China-based Oriental DreamWorks, is currently building an entertainment complex in Shanghai.

Six Flags recently announced plans to build and operate several parks in China over the next decade, with one in Tianjin — an hour train ride from Beijing — expected in 2018.

In 2012 and 2013, 12 new theme parks and one water park opened in China, with capacity to receive 27.8 million visitors a year. By 2020, AECOM predicts China will receive as many theme park visitors as the U.S. does currently.

In 2013, China’s central government lifted a moratorium on new theme park development approvals. Except for very large parks with capital investment greater than about $800 million, approvals can now be obtained at the provincial level, allowing many new projects to move forward.

Tommy Yang and Nicole Liu in The Times' Beijing bureau contributed to this report.


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