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Shipyard site to be turned into fun zone

2009. 10 June

( Work has begun on turning an old shipyard and a 1.3-kilometer stretch of the Huangpu River near Lujiazui into a major sightseeing area and entertainment complex.

The new "East Bund" zone, located about 200 meters from the landmark Oriental Pearl Tower, will be ready for the tens of millions of tourists expected to visit Shanghai during the 2010 World Expo.

The Huangpu Riverbanks Development Office said yesterday that construction started "recently" on the project, which is part of a massive renovation effort to create tourist attractions along the downtown portions of the Huangpu River. Those areas are considered important complements to the Expo.

Some ferry stations within the overall project scope have already completed face-lifts that include sightseeing platforms.

The East Bund part of the riverside project will make use of the former site of the 140-year-old Shanghai Shipyard, which relocated to Chongming Island in 2007.

River music

Relics such as cables, anchors, propellers and abandoned machinery will recreate a shipyard ambiance in the riverside entertainment zone. It will feature a "music square," and seating areas will be equipped with chairs made from the shipyard's old wooden structures.

Other project details were not revealed, but a shipyard source told Shanghai Daily yesterday that developers are also considering a boat dock with high-end hotels and nightclubs.

Those plans were not confirmed by government officials, however.

"Luxury hotels and clubs may be created out of some of the old buildings and warehouses that now stand empty," the shipyard source said.

Several century-old buildings built by the British and used as warehouses and offices by state-owned factories after 1949 remain in and around the site.

Similar renovations are taking place to create tourist spots in the North Bund area on the other side of the river. In addition, riverside areas on both sides of the Yangpu Bridge and Nanpu Bridge, and the Shiliupu dock and Pudong's riverside Dongchang Road are also targeted for face-lifts.

Much of the construction is expected to finish before next year's Expo.

Costs were not disclosed.