In Jarrett Wrisley’s column in this weeks SH we learned some encouraging news:
Last week we learned about a huge new project called The New Factories, which will open at the end of 2006. This sprawling development at Yuyao and Xikang Lu is a 20,000 square meter cluster of old factories which will be converted into a ‘thriving commercial hotspot’ with with bars, restaurants, art galleries and retail space. We’ll keep you posted on opening dates and restaurant details.
Our map, which could very well be wrong, labels Yuyao Lu as Haifang Lu where it intersects Xikang. Regardless, it looks like this is not too far south of Jade Buddha Temple in Jing’an District. Evidently there was a press conference about this project not too long ago (yet another press conference that Shanghaiist wasn’t invited to … we probably wouldn’t have gone, but still, an invite would have been nice). Wrisley didn’t go either — we hear he had a really good excuse — but he did get mailed a press kit that was kind of in English. Wrisley added this: “It’s big — and at least partly run by the local Jing An government. The info said 200 million RMB has been invested, and that’s about all I know. The info had the prices for retail space in it so it seems that now they’re trying to rent the space — no word on who will be there.”
So we don’t know much now. But it’s still promising — it means there are some people out there actually trying to find new uses for Shanghai’s old buildings instead of simply knocking them down. There are so many cool old factory type spaces that are just begging to be renovated and reused. We think some industrial loft apartments would be quite popular in Shanghai (that is until the tenants get their first air conditioning bill).
We will pass on more news about the New Factories as we get it.