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Historic market revamp and all that jazz
By Yang Jian

Huangpu District unveiled a jazz music center near the Bund — part of a revamp of a historic market on July 6.

Led by the jazz star Wynton Marsalis, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Shanghai will open and begin performing later this year, the district government said. The center is the only foreign branch of the New York-based Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra,

Shanghai’s jazz center is based in “The Central” on Nanjing Road E., part of the development of four classic properties built in the 1930s.


The former Central Mall building near the Bund yesterday. The first phase of “The Central” renovation project, including the restored Central Mall and the jazz center is scheduled to open this year. — Jiang Xiaowei

The revamp will produce a commercial landmark for upmarket shops, fine dining, performing arts venues, as well as a boutique hotel, said Shanghai Bund Investment (Group) Co, the project’s developer.

The jazz center is leading the way by opening this year. The whole project will be completed and open to the public by 2019, according to the group.

The renovation site is at the location of the Central Mall, a long-time market that for decades was known for selling and repairing electronic appliances.

The five-story mall, covering about 6,000 square meters, was closed in 2007 along with nearby historic buildings for the renovation project.

Pan Hongwei, a 54-year-old retiree who once lived on the nearby Sichuan Road M., said that as well as electronic repairs, Central Mall was used by local people for buying various commodities, such as glasses, cigarette lighters and watches, as well as imported products.

The mall had a reputation for reliable quality and a wide of variety of goods, said another nearby resident surnamed Liu.

However, the impact of online shopping platforms hit the mall’s profits and it was relocated to nearby Tianjin Road, operating on a much smaller scale.

While the appearances of the buildings in the Nanging Road E. project have been preserved, their inner structures have been demolished and sensitively rebuilt, Shanghai Bund Investment said. Many historic features of the neoclassical, European style Central Mall building have been preserved.

Once completed, “The Central” complex will cover 45,000 square meters, the group said.

The first phase of the project, including the jazz center and the renovated Central Mall building is scheduled to initially open this year.

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