Chinese housing developments like old European cities

Chinese housing developers are luring that country's burgeoning middle class with theme-park-style housing developments that hearken to romanticized versions of European cities: Merrie Olde England, Venice, Italy, Zurich, etc.

In Nanjing, there are Balinese retreats and Italian villas. In the southeastern city of Hangzhou, there are Venice and Zurich. In downtown Beijing, everything is about Manhattan, with Soho, Central Park and Park Avenue.

"Many people in China today associate the exotic with wealth. They buy into these developments to differentiate themselves from ordinary people," said Tino Wan, a manager of ERA Real Estate in Shanghai…

Workers took three trips to Britain to learn different roof tiling, stone molding and other techniques.

In the end, they were so skilled at old techniques, Ho said, that the team was asked to help work on a new Thames Town-like development – in Britain.


(Thanks, Roger!)