San Diego Business Journal

Gafcon Planning and Designing China Project


San Diego Business Journal: By Ray Huard

February 18, 2021 — Gafcon, Inc. based in downtown San Diego is leading the planning and design of the third phase of a 3,200-acre waterfront project in China – the Zizhu Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone.

This part of the mixed-use project centers on the construction of the Orchid Lake Hotel, a business resort and conference center along the Huangpu River about 18 miles south of Shanghai.

The 360-room hotel will include conference, reception, and workspace and an executive lounge, a spa, and a gym.

The hotel will incorporate the surrounding natural landscape and the newly built Orchid Lake, as well as botanical and sculpture gardens. It will be China’s first-ever “sail up” hotel with a yacht club providing access from the River, according to Gafcon.

Gafcon planned and designed earlier phases of the development.

“China has emerged as a leader in the post-COVID-19 pandemic world and has seen hotel occupancy return to its pre-pandemic rates, so we know the time is right to pick up where we left off,” said Bryan Benso, Gafcon chief development officer.

“After a delay because of the pandemic, Gafcon is excited to continue working on this visionary development. The Orchid Lake Hotel will be the next feature in Zizhu’s forward-thinking strategic planning, which incorporates sustainability, health, and safety within the fabric of community connectedness,” Benso said.

Gafcon is partnering with seven shareholders, including Minhang District People’s Government, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Zijiang Holdings and Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd. on Zizhu.

"Working in China amid the current political climate, travel restrictions due to the pandemic, and trade war requires an unprecedented level of trust between us and the client. Based on our work together over the past four years, this trust and confidence is firmly in place and has allowed us to continue our work together in an uninterrupted and mutually supportive manner,” said Gafcon CEO Yehudi “Gaf” Gaffen. Read More>

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