As excited as Chinese fans of the House of Mouse are to finally welcome their very own homegrown Disneyland, expectations are running extremely high for the summer opening of the Shanghai Disney Resort to bring equally high economic returns for the city’s realty and retail sectors.
According to Centaline Property Agency, the average price of commercial properties within a 5 kilometer radius of Shanghai Disney Resort, including shops and restaurants, has grown more than 300 percent in the past five years.
Examples include properties worth 20,000 yuan per square meter in 2011 now costing more than 60,000 yuan per square meter. The most valuable properties are priced over 72,000 yuan per square meter, some 50 percent higher than that of other suburban areas in Shanghai.
The drive to access retail space in the vicinity of the Disney resort is compelled by the idea that the massive crowds attending the tourist resort will attend restaurants in the area.
Lu Wenxi, manager of Centaline Property Agency, said it is estimated that for every 1 yuan spent on resort admission tickets, another 8 yuan will be spent on retail consumption such as dining, hotels, and franchised products.
The combined consumption of the 70 million visitors to the Shanghai 2010 Expo exceeded 48 billion yuan with money spent on dining totaling 2 billion, according to data of Shanghai’s Statistics Bureau.
The local government is also helping promote retail expansion by setting up the Shanghai International Tourism and Resort Zone, an international tourism area covering 20.6 square kilometers. 13 square kilometers of the zone will be designated for hotels, restaurants, entertainment centers, parks and sports facilities. All areas are to be linked by two subway lines connected to the city center.
And the developers have responded to the opportunity. Hotel chains like GreenTree Inn and Jinjiang Inns have been developing new locations around the Disney project. Retail outlet developers Value Retail and Shanghai Shendi Group announced a joint venture in 2014 to build a 50,000 square meter luxury shopping compound next to the Shanghai Disney Resort, offering more than 100 brands.
And before we forget, the Chinese knock-off “Pentagon” shopping mall that has largely been abandoned for years may suddenly welcome a wave of investors due to its proximity to Shanghai Disney Resort.