Ambitious targets set for Beijing’s new sub-centre

August 27, 2018 / By  

Beijing’s planned sub-centre in emerging Tongzhou is set to enter its next phase of development with ambitious targets that will bring the city that much closer to reaching its goal of becoming a highly livable world capital.

Three years after Tongzhou was officially announced as the location to develop a new business district – to receive non-capital functions and help depopulate the overcrowded city centre – municipal authorities have released new details on plans to facilitate progress in the area.

Source: JLL Research

The first decentralised office submarket

To support non-capital functions, the sub-centre will serve as the first decentralised office submarket in an emerging area of Beijing with a projected 1.5 million sqm of office supply by 2022.

Construction on the second phase of the sub-centre’s planned administrative hub is scheduled to break ground in the second half of 2018, in a bid to accelerate the pace of municipal government department relocations to the area. This follows the first round of relocations that started at end-2017. The process for 573 municipal-level SOEs to relocate to Tongzhou will also be expedited in the coming months.

Meanwhile, domestic banks are actively supporting relocations to the area, buying office towers in the sub-centre’s commercial hub to get ahead of the incoming demand for office space. Following its purchase of New Everbright Centre (Building 2), announced in June, Postal Savings Bank of China joined a handful of banks acquiring or looking to acquire such assets in the area. Future development plans also aim to attract headquarter operations and finance companies to support growth of the area.

Depopulation: the next regional retail precinct

With over 800,000 sqm of prime retail supply planned for completion in the area by 2022 and the number of prime malls expected to triple over the forecast horizon, Tongzhou is set to form the ninth regional retail cluster in the city and surpass the number of prime malls in Wangjing.  Future retail projects in Tongzhou are set to target the mid-range to high-end markets and cater to varying consumption demand in the area. The Tongzhou retail market should also get a boost from a rise in tourism to the area once Universal Studios opens in 2020 and attracts an estimated 12 million annual visitors.

Some 400,000 people currently residing in core areas are expected to migrate to Tongzhou by 2035. To support these moves, exemplary targets are focused on livability to attract and retain workers and residents. In terms of infrastructure and accessibility, people in the sub-centre will have access to public transport at every 500 metres. As for the environment, green space per capita is set to reach 30 sqm by 2035. Furthermore, kindergartens, primary and high schools, hospitals, and seniors’ homes will be built and/or relocated from the city centre to better balance the availability of public services between core and decentralised areas.

With a focus on quality living, the sub-centre’s future success will be further critical to Beijing’s role in the gradual decentralization of the entire Jing-Jin-Ji region – as officials set their sights as far as Xiong’an New Area, a new city south of Beijing, which is now in the early stages of planning.

Mi Yang and Linda Yu, managers with JLL Research in Beijing, contributed to this article.

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