Hollywood actor Robert De Niro is joining a U.S. consortium to develop a property complex on Nanjing Road near Shanghai's historic waterfront Bund district.
"Project 179" -- named after the municipally-designated blocks of land -- will include a boutique hotel, retail space, a cinema and a performing arts center. The project, scheduled to open in 2016, will redevelop four vacant buildings and build a fifth to create an 850,000-square-meter hospitality center.
The Academy Award-winning Mr. De Niro is collaborating with his son, Raphael De Niro, a well-established broker and developer in New York. The group signed an agreement last week for the project's development with the property's owner, government-backed Shanghai Bund Investment Group. The group won the property's development rights in 2011.
The historic Bund district once housed Shanghai's biggest banks and companies. The four vacant buildings in the complex date back to the 1920s and 1930s, the companies said.
"I am looking forward to helping realize the Bund as one of the premier visitor destinations across the globe," Mr. De Niro said in a statement. "By ensuring a design that reflects the vibrant history of Shanghai, Project 179 can serve as a jewel in its crown: ushering in a bright future while paying homage to its rich and storied past."
Commercial terms for the deal have not been disclosed. Other participants in the U.S.-Chinese partnership include Ira Drukier and Richard Born of BD Hotels, Sam Natapoff of Empire Global Ventures LLC, and Wilson Lu of Amerasia S&T Corp.