Idle for years, Expo Stage to get makeover

Updated 2016-12-20 09:26:55 Shanghai Daily

Shanghai plans to redevelop the Expo Stage complex on the banks of the Huangpu River in a multi-million dollar project that will include building new indoor theaters, walking and cycle paths and public squares, the city's top planning body said yesterday.

Three public squares are planned at the entrances to the complex, including a 1,000 square-meter main square, according to the Shanghai Planning, Land and Resources Administration.

And riverside paths for pedestrians, joggers and cyclists will be built along the Huangpu. The 3-5 meter-wide, zigzag paths will each stretch about 1.2 kilometers along the riverside park built for the 2010 World Expo.

"These lanes and public squares aim to attract more residents to enjoy recreational activities in the area," an official with the administration said.

The 11,200-square-meter, 3,500-seat complex was originally developed from a former Baosteel factory for the World Expo and is part of Shanghai's Expo Park.

The redevelopment will focus on the inner structure to turn the current two open-air stages into three indoor theaters, each about 30 meters high. No additional structures will be built, the administration said.

The Hangzhou-based Songcheng Performance Development company, famous for its Song Dynasty (960-1279) style theme parks across China, has signed a contract with the post-Expo development authority to invest 700 million yuan (US0 million) to turn the complex into a popular cultural venue.

"The investment is more than it would cost to build a new stage, because we will preserve the industrial heritage while creating modern stage facilities," said company chairman Huang Qiaoling.

A major singing and dancing show will highlight the history of Shanghai, from it's growth from a fishing village about 6,000 years ago to the modern metropolis it is now. Two other shows will be about the city's nightlife and stories about local families, the company said.

In its heyday, during the World Expo from May to October in 2010, the complex featured about 1,000 performances from China's provinces, regions and cities.

But there have been few performances since then and the complex and Expo Park, at the intersection of Expo Avenue and Changqing Road N. in the Pudong New Area, have been little used despite the picturesque riverside location.

Also known as the Baosteel Stage during the World Expo, the complex was originally a special steel workshop. The Shanghai World Expo organizers preserved the workshop during the redevelopment because the plant's foundations were too difficult to remove and also to highlight the energy-saving concept of the World Expo.

The city planning administration is soliciting public opinion on its plans for the redevelopment. People can send their comments and submissions to the administration's email at xiangguichu@163.com until January 6.

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