RTKL Associates, who are based in Baltimore, have won a contract to design an iconic development along the Yangtze River, beating their British and French rivals.
The firm was invited to submit plans for the mixed used project in Zhangjiagang, a city located around 60 miles west of Shanghai, by a subsidiary real estate subsidiary of the Jiangsu Shagang Group. Their winning design consists of two high-rise towers connected by an atrium. The project will include a 64 storey hotel and extended stay apartment building,operated by Marriott, and it will be the tallest building in the city which is renowned for its green spaces. There will also be a 42 storey office tower that will be connected to the atrium, which will contain three levels of shopping, dining and entertainment.
Municipal officials of the city hope that this new project will help to create a commercial hub, bringing more visitors to the city, and there are a number of these types of developments currently springing up in cities all over China.
RTKL has had an office in Shanghai since 2003, and opened another branch in Beijing in 2010, and the firm is involved in designing several projects in the country. This latest project will be 2.5 million square feet, and although this is substantially larger than the majority of building projects currently under construction in the US, it is typical of a considerable number of Chinese projects.
Although RTKL expects the Chinese commercial real estate market to slow down slightly in the future, it still considers it to be very strong, and is still seeing considerable demand for housing, even if this demand is being transferred to second and third tier cities. The firm points out that the Chinese government has devoted a large amount of attention and resources to growth, which in recent years has been between 8% and 10% annually, and even if this growth rate were to slow down substantially, demand would still remain quite high.
Read the original story by Lorraine Mirabelle in The Baltimore Sun.