Shanghai’s Champs Elysées are getting better

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

No need to travel to the outskirts because a bonded exhibition of luxury items is coming to downtown Shanghai.

The expo will take place in Zhangyuan, or Zhang’s Garden, in Jing’an District, when its highly anticipated urban renewal project partially opens later this year.

Located south of Nanjing Road W. and hailed as the local answer to Paris’ famed Champs-Élysées, Zhangyuan is undergoing a major facelift from a former shikumen (stone door) neighborhood into a modern commercial landmark where dozens of historic buildings will be converted into shops, restaurants and art galleries.

In addition, an area will be set aside for a permanent bonded exhibition of luxury goods, including priceless watches and jewelry that have not been put on the shelves in the domestic market, said Shen Hong, director of the Jing’ an Commerce Commission, to the Shanghai Daily.

“It will beautify the whole area and also inspire people to shop,” Shen said.

People will be able to place orders and get the goods after the duties are paid, without having to go to the free trade zone or wait for imported goods from overseas.

“Downtown Shanghai needs such a place to debut and sell luxury items. Zhangyuan hopes to play a leading role in boosting consumption,” Shen said.

Shanghai's Champs Elysées are getting better

Ti Gong

Alila’s first city hotel on the Chinese mainland will be located near Zhangyuan.

Just next to Zhangyuan, another major urban renewal project has also started.

The site at 500 Weihai Road once housed the first Four Seasons hotel on the Chinese mainland. A new shopping complex with a total investment of 1 billion yuan ($147 million) is taking shape, featuring the first Alila-branded city hotel in mainland China.

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