LONDON, July 31 (Xinhua) -- East London's development need Asian money, in order to maximize the Capital's geological advantage on bridging the two hemispheres, and lure more companies and talents from Asia. It sounds like a fair deal and simple equation, and actually, it has also been happening over the past years.
During the media visit in the Royal Docks this week, Xinhua could easily feel Asia's strong presence on the dock lands, and the wider area -- east London.
The Royal Docks, glorious marine commercial hub in Victoria's era, are engaging in regeneration since the beginning of the 21st century. And the blueprint is matching the strategic outlook of London's eastern expansion.
London's Royal Docks were built in the mid 19th century, one of the symbolized Victorian engineerings. 13m deep and 4km long, they cover an area the size of central London, and are recognized as the largest enclosed dock land in the world.
Hit by the economic transformation, they were closed to commercial vessels in 1981. However, since the beginning of the 21st century, the Royal Docks and the east London have been on the trajectory of renovation, and was largely propelled by the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Mike Luddy, managing director of the Royal Docks Management Authority, told Xinhua that the Royal Docks "absolutely come to life since the Olympic Games," and are still leading the way of "Londonpush-in."
Now connected by light railway DLR and Thames river cablewayEmirates Air Line, and highlighted by new landmarks around, including the O2 Arena, Siemens Chrystal and the ExCel London exhibition center, the Royal Docks have the assets to incubate a new economic engine to the Capital.
Illustrating with designing plots, Luddy said that couples of "master projects" are being constructed or in the process of planning application. They are: the Floating Village at the Royal Victoria Dock, the Asian Business Port at the Royal Albert Dock, the expansion of London City Airport, mixed use development projects likeSilvertown, etc.
Besides, when the 118km railway line Crossrail begin its full operation in 2018, the commuting time between the east and west London will be largely shortened. And this will be significantly beneficial to the balance growth of London.
It is hard to imagine that without the huge amount of investment injected by Asian capital, the fate of the Royal Docks revival could still grip its solid ground.
The Asian Business Port, a real estate project developed by Chinese property company Advanced Business Park (ABP), has been one of the most highlighted and triumphed commercial developments program for the Council of the London Borough of Newham and the Greater London Authority.
With 4.7 million square feet of floor space, ABP aims to build a new business district, by attracting Asian companies to open European officers in east London, as well as European companies to do Asian businesses here.
The company claims that it hopes the project will become London's third financial hub after the City of London and Canary Wharf. They say the program will create 20,000 jobs.
Neil Robinson, Director of Marketing and Communications of ABP, told Xinhua that the Asian Business Port is the "next and most exciting project of the Royal Albert Dock."
The scheme was granted the planning approval by the Newham Council on 23 July. The first phase of the project is expected to be completed by late 2017 or early 2018, then the whole project will be completed by 2025.
Diagonally opposite to the ABP's site, the Royal Wharf, a new town project with nearly 3400 riverside homes, is developed by Singapore'sOxley and Britain's Ballymore. It is one the biggest residential developments in London. Works have already begun on site with Royal Wharf's first residents moving in during 2016 and the whole project expected to be completed by 2020.
Meanwhile, Xinhua was told that one of the largest residential developments in Britain will be announced in September. With 10,000new homes in plan, the project, which is funded by Hong Kong-based Knight Dragon, aims to redevelop the Greenwich peninsula in southeast London.
Knight Dragon is owned by New World Development, which is reigned by Hong Kong's billionaire Henry Cheng Kar-Shun.