Building BJ: A Look into CBD's Soaring Skyline

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From the iconic CCTV Tower (中央电视台总部大楼) erected in 2012 to the under-construction 108-story CITIC Tower (中国尊), it’s no secret that Beijing’s Central Business District (CBD) is undergoing rapid, large-scale development. When completed, the area will feature 18 new commercial buildings with up to 2 million square meters of premium office space.

Connected by five floors of underground retail space, this new network of buildings will be directly attached to the existing China World complex, and include an estimated 10,000 additional parking spaces. To relieve traffic, the underground network will feature a pedestrian walkway that connects to subway lines 1, 10, 14, and the under-construction line 28 at the new Guanghua Road station.

“The CBD Core Area will cement its role as an elite decision-making hub,” said Eric Hirsch, Regional Director of commercial real estate services firm JLL and Vice-Chairman of AmCham China. “It will lead the charge for more industry groups, attracting movers and shakers from strong professional backgrounds.”

Last week, 20 members of AmCham China’s Real Estate and Development Industry Forum donned hard hats and visited two of CBD’s under-construction buildings in the area known as the Zhongfu site and CBD Core Area (核心区). This area is located just outside the East Third Ring Road between Guanghua Road and Jianguomenwai Avenue.

“Beijing’s Zhongfu site will dramatically restructure Beijing’s future skyline, helping to revitalize the core CBD area,” said Matthew Doherty, Senior Manager at real estate and investment firm CBRE. “The under-construction area will add over 1 million square meters of much needed office space, helping to relieve some of the pent-up leasing demand in the growing Beijing market.”

In their visit to CBD, the forum members’ first stop was the China Life Financial Center (中国人寿金融中心), a 39-story office building covering an area of 162,000 square meters of mostly commercial space. This building incorporates unique, environmentally-conscious design elements with a focus on human health and the well-being of its occupants. Featuring double-paned curtain wall windows with electronically-controlled venetian blinds, as well as two column-free perimeter windows, the building maximizes communal space and light. As part of the newly employed technologies, the building also incorporates a vacuum-powered garbage disposal system for waste removal, and a 24-hour water cooling system to regulate building temperature.

The second stop on the building tour took members to the CP Center Twin Tower Complex (正大中心) North Tower. This 45-story building features 90,000 square meters of commercial space on floors 5-45, and retail space on B2-4F. Most impressively, the North Tower features a host of smart-building design elements that include:

  • Elevators with automatic facial recognition and floor selection.
  • Smart-car parking with floor lights that guide users to available spaces, relieve peak hour congestion, and provide online parking payment.
  • 10 GB fiber access telecommunications.

From the tour, the members of AmCham China’s Real Estate and Development Industry Forum got new insights into the future of Beijing’s city center and saw first-hand how their industry is shaping the city and its development.

If you are interested in learning more about AmCham China’s Building Tours or engaging the Real Estate and Development Industry Forum please contact Evan Schmitt directly at eschmitt@amchamchina.org or sign up here for an informal roundtable luncheon on Feb. 28 to get involved with the Forum and connect with other key players in the field.