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Designed by Hamburg’s gmp . von Gerkan, Marg and Partner Architects, the Fuxing Lu development adds a vibrant urban quarter to China’s commercial capital.

December 2015

Shanghai is the largest urban centre in China as well as its commercial and financial capital. According to the 2015 Global Financial Centres Index, it is the 16th most important financial centre in the world. After years of neglect, Shanghai began redeveloping into a hyper-modern city in the 1990s, and that has accelerated in the 21st century when the city achieved double-digit growth every year except 20n b08 and 2009 at the height of the financial crisis.

The growth explains why Shanghai was named Chinese Province of the Future 2014/15 by FDi magazine due to “particularly impressive performances in the Business Friendliness and Connectivity categories, as well as placing second in the Economic Potential and Human Capital and Lifestyle categories.”

Repurposing the former French Concession

Like many cities that have endured warfare and political troubles, Shanghai has had to rebuild and create space for new business enterprises and some of the people who work for them. In the 19th century, Shanghai hosted the American, British, and French Concessions when China was dominated by colonial powers. Later the Japanese came and then World War II leading to the creation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. With that, most foreign firms left Shanghai for the greater freedom of Hong Kong. Many of them returned when China began to encourage foreign direct investment in the 1990s.

Within the former French Concession located on the inner ring road of the city is where the SOHO China company began its redevelopment of an entire city block. SOHO is a leading example of the private companies encouraged by the new China. Founded in 1995 by the husband and wife team Pan Shiyi and Zhang Xin, Chairman and CEO, respectively, SOHO has become known for developing major commercial properties and has been part of the conversion of China into an increasingly urban society.

Beginning in Beijing where SOHO China has developed 17 landmark properties, the company turned to Shanghai in 2009 where it now has 12 properties, including Fuxing Lu. Since 2007, SOHO China has been listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong and remains one of the Most Admired Companies in China according to Fortune magazine’s annual listing in the China edition.

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