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SHANGHAI-Urban Retail Properties LLC, based in Chicago, is joining with Washington, DC-based Long Runn Investment Group to form a venture that plans to build retail developments throughout China. The company, Long Runn Urban Development, will begin its partnership by developing the six-story Greenland Galleria, about 500,000-sf of retail that will be inside Greenland Square Zifeng Tower in Nanjing, China, an 88-story, mixed-use office/hotel/retail tower being built by Greenland Properties. The new company will be based here.

Ross Glickman, CEO of Urban, said in a statement that the company is the first commercial developer to create such a joint venture with a China property specialist. “Our partnership already has several large-scale projects in the works that we know will set a new standard in the China commercial property market.”

A spokeswoman for Urban tells GlobeSt.com that she cannot say how much the Greenland Galleria will cost, or any other financial information for the new company. The Galleria is set to be completed in 2008. “We see tremendous potential in the China market, and in Nanjing specifically, because of its standing as a modern economic center and population of seven million people. Additionally, most European retailers are already represented…but only a handful of US retailers have had a chance to take advantage of this growing market.”

Consumer spending in Shanghai alone was around $50 billion in 2007, according to the city’s mayor Han Zheng. According to DBS Bank in Hong Kong, retail sales in China will jump 18% in 2008.

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