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Construction & DesignDeals & Dealmakers

Silverstein to build $2.2B China business district


New York City developer Larry A. Silverstein announced a $2.21 billion deal to built a hgih-tech business district in southern China.

The Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone (Zone) will focus on finance, logistics and technology services.

The Zone hopes to interact positively with Hong Kong to facilitate reforms in China’s financial market, and to work collaboratively with Hong Kong to build an offshore yuan trading center to promote the internationalization of yuan, as it seeks to provide services in Renminbi, bond and equity offerings, insurance products and trade settlement.

The deal was announced by Silverstein and its mainland Chinese partner, Shenzhen Qianhai International Energy Financial Center Co., Ltd (QIEFC).

“This is an incredibly exciting project for me personally and for our company. We have an opportunity to master plan, design, build and manage a central business district without parallel anywhere in China, perhaps anywhere in the world,” said Silverstein.

“This also marks a major milestone in Silverstein’s development history. I look forward to continuing our great partnership with QIEFC, and working closely with the Shenzhen Government on this historic project.”

Located within a half-hour commuting radius of Hong Kong and Shenzhen, the Qianhai land area 553,437 s/f. The planned gross floor area is 5.13 million square feet of which approximately 3.22 million square feet are for office use, approximately 640,000 s/f are for retail use, approximately 640,000 s/f are for business apartment use and approximately 530,000 s/f are for hotel use.

Property management space, public amenities and municipal engineering facilities will total approximately 10,000 100,000 s/f.

Marty Burger, CEO of Silverstein Properties said: “Thanks to its policies, location, transportation access and world-class architecture, I believe that Qianhai will become one of the most successful business districts in the world. In a few short years, it will become home to many of the world’s leading companies and financial institutions. In many respects, this project is similar to what we are doing in Lower Manhattan at the World Trade Center, where we are creating a dynamic, mixed-use 24/7 community that will be a magnet for the world’s top companies.ˮ


Despite these similarities, Burger noted that the new project comes with its own challenges. “Unlike the World Trade Center, where you have downtown Manhattan around it, we have to help build up a city center from nothing,” he told Real Estate Weekly.

Burger, who has made 17 trips to China in recent years, said he was introduced to QIEFC through mutual acquaintances. “They are terrific local partners — very influential, deep pockets,” he said.

QIEFC president of the Board Wu Zhengeng said: “The success of the bid auction is the result of two years of cooperative efforts between QIEFC and Silverstein. We believe, with great support from Shenzhen Municipal Government and Qianhai Authority, QIEFC and Silverstein are capable of building and operating a world-class financial center in Qianhai.”

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