Friday, December 27, 2013

A New Shopping Experience in Changsha

The site of the future Changsha IFS is still a huge pit, but if you're looking for somewhere new (and not cheap) to shop now, about a 15 minute walk away and next to the Xiang River is a site in a very different stage of development. I remember walking through narrow alleys in the area during my first visit to Changsha 4-5 years ago. At the time there were many buildings marked for demolition. Now they are gone, and in their place is Kaifu Wanda Plaza. Its towers appear on the far left side in the night scene I shared here. It opened at the end of September, and according to the developer, Wanda Group:
The plaza is Changsha's most complete and high level urban commercial complex project. The project has a total construction area of 1.03 million square meters and is comprised of a commercial center, a pedestrian promenade, a luxury five star hotel, business hotel, office buildings and luxury residences. Big name brands from China and overseas have been brought in as tenants including Wanda IMAX, Superstar KTV, Gome Electronics, etc. The plaza's design, layout, construction quality and overall environment will ensure it becomes a key shopping destination for the city of Changsha.

The plaza's opening is expected to change Changsha's landscape by upgrading the overall grade of the city as a destination for doing business and for consumers.

Changsha Kaifu Wanda Plaza will bring nearly 10,000 new jobs to the area and provide a steady flow of tax revenue to the local government.
Other tenants I saw when I visited last month included foreign brands such as Adidas Kids, Baskin Robbins, Bose, Calvin Klein, Haagen Daz, Lego, and Nautica. With the exception of an area on the first floor, the main building appeared to be mostly occupied, and on a Monday evening there were lines of people waiting to get a table at many of the restaurants on the top floor. The outdoor "pedestrian promenade" surrounding the main building seems to still be getting up to speed and appeared to be at least half vacant. It will be interesting to see what it's like in another year.

Of course, while there I took a few photos, and I'll share some below. They were taken on a Monday afternoon & evening. To make a comparison with other shopping environments, see last year's post about the MixC--Shenzhen's largest shopping mall--or last month's post about an outdoor antique market.

large screen surrounding entrance to Kaifu Wanda Plaze in Changsha displaying video of a female singer
This front entrance is surrounded by a huge video display.

inside of Kaifu Wanda Plaza in Changsha, China
A view from the 4th floor

A view from the 3rd floor

A water fountain that can spell Chinese characters wraps around the back of a set of elevators.

A large video screen next to another set of elevators

Looking up at Wanda Plaza's towers

Crab hats are part of the fashion for staff at Seahood.

A long line for Tiny Pie

McDonald's staff were entertaining this group of kids.

One of the yet-to-open stores

A movie theater on the 5th floor

A variety of luxury cars are on display, including this Bentley GT V8, at a ground floor store.

One entrance to the outdoor pedestrian street

Still more work to complete before Zoo Coffee opens

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