Robert De Niro and his business partners are set to develop land on Shanghai's Huangpu River waterfront, along Nanjing Road in the once glamorous Bund district. Project plans include a five-star hotel, major retail and cultural destinations, cinema and performing arts centers, as well as upscale dining designed to "reflect classic 1920's Shanghai."
Named Project 179 (after a city-designated tract of land), the development will restore four vacant buildings in a historic district originally constructed in the 20's and 30's. Since the early 90's Shanghai has been restoring the Bund and adjacent neighborhoods to meet upmarket housing and shopping demands of the city's booming class of nouveau riche. De Niro's business consortium will be working with the Chinese government-backed Shanghai Bund Investment Group, which was granted the right to develop the property in 2011.
The area still boasts a wide array of the original Art Deco and neoclassical buildings erected during the city's pre-People's Republic banking and cultural boom.
“By ensuring a design that reflects the vibrant history of Shanghai, Project 179 can serve as a jewel in its crown: ushering in a bright future while paying homage to its rich and storied past,” De Niro recently said. New York City native De Niro has owned restaurant properties since the 80's when he co-founded the Tribeca Grill, and has since launched and lent creative direction to the global chain of Nobu Restaurants, as well as Ago Restaurant in West Hollywood and New York (the NYC site is now De Niro's Locanda Verde).
"I am looking forward to helping realize the Bund as one of the premier visitor destinations across the globe," De Niro said.
Development is projected for completion in 2016.