The central China city of Wuhan was at the center of global attention in early 2020 when it was an epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic. Lockdowns in the transportation and education hub ended in April last year, and, though China’s economy continues to be affected by fallout from the global pandemic, daily life has been largely back to normal for many in the country. GDP growth this year is forecast to exceed 8% and will top 5% next year, according to forecasts by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
It’s against that economic backdrop that Shui On Land, led by Hong Kong billionaire Vincent Lo, on Tuesday announced plans for new investment in Wuhan. The real estate developer has won a 17 billion yuan, 50-50 land rights bid with state-owned Wuhan Real Estate in Wuhan’s Wuchang district, according to a company filing. The land site covers more than 332,000 square meters, and will include residential, office and commercial buildings. Shui On already has invested in Wuhan Tiandi and Wuhan Optics Valley Innovation Tiandi projects in the city.
Shui On Land is best known as the developer behind Xintiandi, an iconic nightlife and business district in central Shanghai. Thousands of visitors pass daily by retail shops and restaurants that include Burberry, Sephora, Tom Ford, Swatch, Lululemon and Shake Shack.
Lo, 73, owns more than 55% of Shui On Land, and holds an estimated fortune worth $1.7 billion on the Forbes Billionaires List today. Stephanie Lo, Vincent’s daughter, is a graduate of Wellesley College in Massachusetts and heir apparent.
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