Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hutongs - Coming Down Alert

Down in the series of wind tunnels that form the streets around the back of Beijing's Wanfujing and into the boringly named 'CBD' the hoardings are up for yet another dreary mall/office complex on Jinbao Jie. While a few of the hutongs behind the project and on what will be the developments will be saved a hell of a lot are slated to go to clear the land. So hurry on down and see them while you still can before the wreckers get in. The area is as dreary as hell on the main street - the ridiculous Hong Kong Jockey Club Building and the half-finished Jinbao Palace mall are opposite where the demolition will occur. The street is bookended by the cookie cutter Regent Hotel and the faux chateau abortion that is the Legendale Hotel at one end and a boxy Jinjiang Hotel and boring PSB building at the other. Behind all this lies a full functioning community but sadly they'll be moving out so a few more thousand metres of retail and Grade A office space can go in. I wouldn't leave taking a last look until 2009 if I were you.

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