Hong Kong-listed Shui On Land announced that it will invest 5 billion yuan (US$695.8 million) in a tourism-focused development project based in the travel hotspot of Shangri-la, located in northwest Yunnan's Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.
According to Chinese financial media reports, Shui On has signed an agreement with the Diqing government to develop a plot of land with a total area of 17.73 million square meters – 9.96 million square meters of which it is designating 'protected areas' – into a 'holiday and leisure area'.
The development project, which currently has a planned building area of 760,000 square meters, will be surrounded by a ring of 3.49 million square meters of undeveloped land as a buffer between it and the outside world.
Shui On, known best for its high-end office, residential and commercial projects in Shanghai, Hangzhou and other mainland cities, has been making steady inroads into the Yunnan market.
In September of 2007, the company co-signed an agreement with the Yunnan government in which the two parties vowed to work together to develop Yunnan's bountiful tourism resources. The developer has already signed agreements for major developments on Dianchi's north shore in Kunming as well as in Dali's Haidong New District. In addition to Shangri-la, Shui On has also expressed interest in development projects in Lijiang.