Beijing has changed again. This time in Beijing, the new development on Sanlitun North Street (known as ‘Sanlitun Bar Street’) came to me as a surprise. Sanlitun Village is something completely new to me, and it is apparently very bustling, full of luxury shops, bars, restaurants and cafe that aim at the new ‘middle-class’ in Beijing. Beijing’s Apple Store is also based here. The whole complex is quite visible from distance, and it has an inner courtyard space with fountain areas as well as roof-top terrace that accommodates fancy bars. It certainly is a new type of development that Beijing has not seen before, and I am wondering who is behind this development. Perhaps another Hong Kong-originated capital?

Right next to the complex situates another new development site of Sanlitun SOHO, and the name makes it clear who the developer is (correct me if I’m wrong). It is another huge complex of seemingly mix-use, and does stand out in this whole area. I am not quite sure but in my memory, the area used to be a low-rise hutong-like area, which accommodated some small bars (less fancy but cozier than those bars on the main Sanlitun Bar Street), but it seems to have been all demolished fairly recently.

Obviously, this part of Beijing is a prime site, and it is not so surprising that this area is going through this type of development. Perhaps it has come too late from the government and developers’ perspective. What is interesting is that these new development projects are making the previous development obsolete in style. Those residential and commercial buildings built in the 1980s and 1990s (or even in the early 2000s) appear to be outdated when they are juxtaposed with the new development. We will see what new development is going to be triggered in the near future.