19 December 2014 was a momentous occasion in the illustrious history of Raffles City, CapitaLand’s flagship integrated development brand that had its beginnings in Singapore. That was the day the Group celebrated the 10th anniversary of the brand’s presence in China. Fittingly, eight Raffles City developments in seven of China’s major cities - Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Shenzhen and Chongqing – came together to mark the occasion with great fanfare beginning with shopping promotions and irresistible prizes for shoppers at the four operating Raffles City developments in China and ending with a multi-city laser light-up which set the world record for the most number of handheld lasers lit simultaneously.
“The outstanding performance and reception of the Raffles City brand in China have firmly placed CapitaLand in the forefront of the real estate sector in the country. Our experience as a leading international developer with presence in more than 120 cities across over 20 countries, our years in integrated developments, our deep understanding of the urbanisation process of China, and our successes thus far will give CapitaLand the impetus and support to propel it into the next level of growth here,” said Lucas Loh, CEO of CapitaLand China.
United as One in Celebration
The festivities kicked off on 19 December with a chance at a lucky draw for shoppers who spent at least RMB810 at any of the four operating Raffles City developments. The grand prize was the use of a BMW i3, a five-door electric hatchback, for a year to encourage eco transportation. Other rewards for Raffles City shoppers included a return trip for two on a relaxing getaway and a night’s stay at an Ascott serviced residence. In addition, after 1p.m. on this day, hundreds of mystery gifts were handed out every 10 minutes past the hour as a timely reminder of Raffles City’s big 10 celebration.
As night fell, thousands of shoppers gathered across the various Raffles City developments in Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Ningbo and Hangzhou for a special laser light-up. Each was given a laser pointer to aim at the 10 th anniversary sign in unison. The event put the Raffles City brand in the book of Guinness World Records for the most number of handheld lasers lit up simultaneously.
Shortly after the record-setting feat, floodlights beamed into the skies of Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Shenzhen and Chongqing - where Raffles City developments are located in China - to light up these cities in celebration of a decade of brand success. The "Light Up Your City" display, aptly named by the organizer, adorned the night skyline beautifully, signifying strength and hope for the future.
At the joyous occasion, CapitaLand also announced the construction of a new CapitaLand Hope School in China, its 25 th in the country since its philanthropic arm, CapitaLand Hope Foundation, started building CapitaLand Hope Schools in China in 2004.
Adding to the significance of the day was the fact that 19 December marked the official launch of Raffles City Hangzhou, the fifth of eight Raffles City developments to be completed in China. Like the other Raffles City developments, Raffles City Hangzhou is an iconic landmark that enjoys a strategic location and distinctive design. It is, to date, the largest Raffles City development completed, with a shopping mall, Grade A offices, Conrad Hotel by Hilton, serviced residences and residential apartments.
Raffles City Hangzhou pulled out all the stops on that day. It showcased the record-setting light-up via a 360 degree panoramic screen that wowed the city.
Many Uses All Under One Roof
Raffles City, a brand that began in Singapore in 1986, was introduced in China in 2004 with the building of Raffles City Shanghai. Today, there are eight Raffles City developments in seven Chinese cities. The Group set up its first integrated development fund in China, the Raffles City China Fund, in July 2008. Currently there are five Raffles City-branded integrated developments in China held through this fund, namely Raffles City Shanghai, Raffles City Beijing, Raffles City Chengdu, Raffles City Ningbo and Raffles City Hangzhou - totalling US$1.18 billion. From this year till 2019, four new Raffles City developments will open their doors in Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Chongqing, generating a total construction area of more than 3.1 million square metres and creating assets worth RMB 62 billion for all eight Raffles City developments across China.
At the recent celebration of CapitaLand’s 20 th anniversary in China, President and Group CEO of CapitaLand Limited, Mr Lim Ming Yan, underscored the importance of the Raffles City brand to the organisation’s strategy for growth in the country.
“In the next three years, the Group’s businesses are focused on its core markets of Singapore and China. We intend to develop 12 integrated developments, half of which will be in China as a strategy to ride the rising wave of the country’s urban development.”
The Raffles City brand has transformed the Chinese real estate scene in the last 10 years with its revolutionary concept of ‘a city within a city’.
In the cities that Raffles City developments have been established, the integrated development is linked to a complex network of public transport systems from buses to trains, making the property highly accessible. This has added to the buzz of the areas. In Shanghai, for example, Nanjing Road where Raffles City Shanghai is situated is now one of the world’s busiest shopping streets.
In addition, the Raffles City developments were among the earliest developments to transform the skylines of the cities they were in with their landmark designs.
Raffles City Beijing, with its iconic Crystal Lotus as its centerpiece, was designed by Steven Pimbley, founding director of award-winning architecture firm, SPARK. Raffles City Chengdu was designed by Steven Holl to echo the structure of the Three Gorges. Raffles City Chongqing was the masterpiece of Moshe Safdie, the man who gave the world Habitat 67. Ben van Berkel, Co-Founder and Principle Architect of UNStudio, created the Raffles City Hangzhou to mirror the ebb and flow of the Qiantang River in Hangzhou.
One integrated development to bring the many functions of work, play and living together. One name synonymous with iconic and quality design. One brand that has created a buzz in every Chinese city it has been in. In its 10 years in China, Raffles City has been the one to redefine urban living.