ZHAO Weimao, CEO of DDI’s real estate development department, interviewed by www.people.com.cn and Orient Real Estate Business Weekly - “DDI makes the transition to city’s supporting service provider”
“Housing for the Young Generation” is regarded as a business card of Dongdu International Group Ltd. (DDI), which has been used for 26 years.
LI Hailin, CEO of DDI ever said, “In fact, DDI was forced to develop residences for young people due to the situation at that time.” But time makes heroes. DDI’s success is fated. In 1989, DDI began to build residences for the young generation, creating “DDI Youth Fun”, the first-generation product of “Housing for the Young Generation”. Since then, DDI has been strongly attached to young people.
However, both the “Housing for the Young Generation” and the identity of housing developer has become the past.
When speaking of the DDI in the transition, ZHAO Weimao, CEO of real estate development department, said during the interview by Orient Real Estate Business Weekly, the company is committed to becoming a life service provider for the middle class, as well as the supporting service provider for the urban life. Now, it focuses on real estate development and operation management, making club-centered and commerce-centered complex product lines and further exploring the international and domestic markets.
Club-centered commercial complex
DDI Shanghai Enterprise Center is the company’s first high-end commercial real estate product. This year, DDI completed the construction of Town & Country International Plaza that is located in the Changfeng Ecological Park, Putuo District, Shanghai, known as an accumulation zone of financial merger. The plaza is the first business complex that is equipped with a top family club (Shanghai Town & Country Community) in Shanghai.
Shanghai Town & Country Community is the China’s first high-end family club. ZHAO Weimao said DDI hopes to offer a sweet home-away-from-home where elite families can enjoy the happy and relaxing life at any time, so it initiated the Town & Country Center project. The club allows the successful people to have more time with their families, but won’t delay their work. The project can further make up for the deficiency of the leisure and entertainment life of domestic and foreign elite families in Shanghai.
It’s said that Shanghai Town & Country Community has attracted many real estate tycoons to register for the first batch of members. DDI expects to gather high-end businessmen and businesswomen with similar wealth background, taste of life and spending habits through this invisible life and social circle, so as to create a top social circle effect.
ZHAO Weimao told Orient Real Estate Business Weekly that the club product will become one of DDI’s product lines during the transition period. He predicted similar projects will be set up in different areas of Shanghai in the near future. Once the company completes the business layout in Shanghai and increases brand awareness, the club product will be popularized to the country’s first and second-tier cities.
Create customization-centered commercial complex
“Known as China’s leading, Shanghai’s first and Qingpu’s landmark, it makes a unique business mode in Shanghai.” That is ZHAO’s description to DDI Merry Town, the large urban complex project in Shanghai.
As another key product line of DDI during the transition period, DDI Merry Town that is located at Dianshanhu Stop of Subway Line 17, with an area of 450,000 square meters, boasts the large shopping mall, boutique business street, hotels, office buildings, apartments and residences. All of these constitute DDI Merry Town. On its opposite is Wanda Mall. Encountering Wanda, a big commercial real estate developer, is the biggest challenge for DDI. However, compared with Wanda’s unified development standards and replicability, DDI hopes to make its own characteristics and form the “unity & opposites” with the Wanda Mall. In terms of the opposite, DDI makes different product planning and tries to avoid similar products with the Wanda Mall. In terms of the unity, DDI Merry Town will co-exist with Wanda Mall, taking gathering visitors from different places as the product positioning. DDI will work together with Wanda and create Dianshanhu Avenue business circle.
ZHAO, with years of rich experience in the commercial real estate development, showed great confidence in the DDI Merry Town project. He ever took charge of Nanjing’s AQUA city, which has become a landmark project in Nanjing. In his view, the domestic commercial projects are more or less the same. Most of shopping malls are decorated in the European architectural style and the brands used are quite the same. For this reason, DDI chose a batch of talents with rich experience in the foreign and domestic commercial real estate development and operation to make the unique commercial planning, build architectures and attract investments. The well-developed and innovative DDI Merry Town will be a customization-centered commercial complex that features the urban theater and shopping park.
Be based on domestic market while explore overseas market
In 1989, DDI was founded in Shenzhen, and then moved to Nanjing. After ten years of development and exploration for the market, DDI moved the headquarters to Shanghai.
In Shanghai, DDI Shanghai-style Residences for the young generation offer young people the superior living space and start-up site; Shanghai Dongdu Celebrity Building is the small serviced department product; Shanghai DDI Architecture for Young Generation creates a humanities and arts community.
Nowadays, most of property developers begin to focus on the overseas market, so does DDI. It even has the foresight. In 2004, DDI established a subsidiary in California, which has successively invested and purchased many lands and real estate management companies in the USA and Canada.
In 2013, DDI purchased three properties in Detroit, the US bankrupt motor city. People admired its courage, but they didn’t know DDI’s leadership has calculated the relations between “bread and flour”, and mapped out its plans.
Some foreign media reported that the properties that DDI purchased in Detroit got into trouble. So on this issue, Orient Real Estate Business Weekly interviewed ZHAO Weimao. He said, “One year after the purchase, the company has sold two of them at 145 percent purchase price. Moreover, the value of one has exceeded that of the original three. Currently, the domestic residential market has almost saturated. Developing overseas land resources will also become a major trend for China’s property development. ”
After gaining these successful experiences, DDI plans to gradually realize the global strategy layout. Now it has dispatched an experienced team to explore the overseas real estate market further. Facing the rapidly changing market, DDI, on one hand, taps the overseas real estate market, on the other hand, opens up the financial market. Shanghai International Mergers & Acquisitions Trading Center under preparation for construction can show its determination to explore the financial market.
When the real estate market faces a new round of reshuffle, the small and medium-sized enterprises like DDI may confront challenges, for example, how to carve out a niche in the market, create the featured products, seize the pulse of the market and make success in the transition.
Since the last Mid-Autumn Festival activity, DDI has seen the increase in customers and gained a greater reputation. We believe DDI will hand over a satisfying answer in the new home sales at the end of September.
Below are screenshots of the interview, which are published in Orient Real Estate Business Weekly and www.people.com.cn.