Lai Sun provides update on Novotown cultural development in Hengqin, China, in an interview with Macau Business Daily.
Lai Sun Group, the Hong Kong property development group behind the project, has completed “70 per cent” of Phase I construction of Novotown. Main construction works are set to be completed by the end of this year.
The project’s head of Business Development, Larry Leung, told Macau Business Daily: “Current development of Phase I construction works has seen good progress, with the official topping out of all buildings by the end of 2017. In 2018 there would be mainly fit-out work, landscaping, installation of equipment, testing, training of staff and, very importantly, installation of technology […] Phase I is expected to open by January of 2019,” he added.
The group expects to spend RMB5 billion (US$759.3 million/MOP6.1 billion) on Novotown’s Phase I.
The first phase of Novotown will occupy 130,173 square metres.
“Novotown does not position itself as a theme park,” said Mr. Leung, “but rather as a cultural and entertainment complex […] The Hengqin government has a very clear vision of the development purpose part of the territory. The land we sit on is set for cultural development.”
Developments in the first phase will include a 22,000-square metre indoor Lionsgate Entertainment World. Lai Sun established a contract with Village Roadshow Theme Parks for consultancy during construction and to oversee the pre-opening and operate the experience centre for a minimum of ten years.
The new immersive experience centre will include attractions, retail and dining with theming inspired by some of Lionsgate’s best known IPs including The Hunger Games, The Divergent series and Now You See Me, as well as three additional properties to be confirmed from around the 16,000 motion picture and television titles owned by the global media company. The 22,000 sq m indoor center is expected to open by the end of 2018.
Also being developed in phase 1 is a 4,500 sq m National Geographic Explorer ‘edutainment’ centre.
Novotown, just 5 minutes from the closest Macau border, is a multi-phase development project, developed by Zhuhai Hengqin Laisun Creative Culture City Co. Ltd.. Zhuhai Hengqin Laisun Creative Culture City Co. Ltd. is 80% owned by Lai Fung Holdings Limited and 20% by eSun Holdings Limited, both members of the Lai Sun Group. The development will feature cultural and entertainment attractions with an ambition to become a ‘a cultural and creative incubator for Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan’.
Image courtesy of Novotown