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Shijingshan – a future winner of Beijing’s 2022 Olympics

January 9, 2020 / By ,

In the far west of Beijing, Shijingshan is slowly emerging to make its global debut as a key site for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, when the Chinese capital is slated to become the first city to have hosted both a Winter and Summer Games. As athletes prepare for the upcoming event, an industrial park is being transformed from its historic steel mill past into a future commercial hub for West Beijing – set to feature the world’s first permanent ski jump in an urban area.

North plot to support Games

Divided into two main sections, the entire area in Shijingshan will cover nearly 9 square kilometres, double the size of the current CBD submarket in central Beijing. The northern part will be the first phase to enter the market with a planned GFA of 1.82 million sqm and includes office, retail, hotel, and serviced apartments projects that are scheduled to complete in time for the opening of the 2022 Games. With initial support from surrounding retail and hotel offerings, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games started working from the area about a year ago. More commercial development is underway by developers as reputable as Tishman Speyer.

The southern plot is much larger in comparison, but is under long-term planning. The total buildable GFA is 4.3 million sqm. Foreign investors are also among those eyeing the area for future opportunities.

Infrastructure to link area and beyond

Infrastructure is gradually being built to better connect the area with the rest of Beijing. In Shijingshan, New Shougang Bridge officially opened on October 1, extending Chang’an Avenue, the main artery of the city, to Mentougou, further west of Beijing. Public transport links, including new metro stations and bus routes, namely metro Line 28 and Line 11, as well as a Mentougou Express Line, are set to open for the Olympics.

While the area is still in the early stages of development, the surroundings have already welcomed some early movers, including a Wanda Plaza mall and a newly opened Paradise Walk shopping centre. The commercial retail market currently serves local residents, not yet competing with destination malls across Beijing.

There are also nearby office projects, developed by China Overseas, Finance Street Holdings, and Greenland, as well as self-use towers, purchased by domestic finance and insurance companies. Office leasing demand is mainly driven by government agencies, local companies, and back-office functions (mostly cost-saving relocations from the city centre). Shijingshan office rents presently top out at 3-5 RMB per sqm per day or no more than one-third of the current Grade A rent level in Beijing.

In pursuit of another Olympic achievement

In the long run, the bigger aim is to replicate the success of the Olympic Area submarket in Beijing, a former location for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. Within a decade after the Games, Olympic Area saw six newly completed office projects fully leased out within a year, proving the commercial potential of an Olympic Games in Beijing. With the 2022 Games approaching, investors in Shijingshan are banking on this second chance – but they will need to be patient as the area is a long-hold story.

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