Press Release

Gafcon and Zizhu Establish a Successful Partnership Across the Pacific Rim


Addressing a Los Angeles Conference, Gafcon and Zizhu leadership highlight their collaboration on a Shanghai megaproject, creating an ideal partnership.

LOS ANGELES (May 7, 2018)---Yehudi ‘Gaf’ Gaffen, CEO of Gafcon Inc., stressed the importance of relationships when discussing the successful collaboration between his firm and the developers of a waterfront community in Shanghai. “Developments at this scale are about so much more than buildings and infrastructure—it’s about shared vision and purpose,” Gaffen said. “For both Chinese and American team members the goal is to build community at a local level. We are dedicated to creating new connections across the globe.”

Gaffen’s remarks came last week at a conference planned around the theme “Build the Future.” The CityAge conference focused on how to make Los Angeles the most livable, resilient and globally-connected city in the world by the 2028 Olympic Games.

In his address to roughly 150 attendees, Gaffen discussed his firm’s innovative, international waterfront planning and development efforts, sharing the importance of prioritizing human connection in managing global partnerships.

Gaffen was joined on stage by Xiaofei Shan, Executive Planning Director, and Fei Peng, Senior Manager, of the Zizhu Hi-Tech Development Park in Shanghai. The presentation by Gaffen and Peng, “Mega Projects That Can Reshape Cities and Build Future Competitiveness” was one of 11 presentations at the CityAge conference.

The Zizhu Shanghai project was a focus at the conference, which occurred during China Week in Los Angeles. Gafcon is a San Diego-based program management firm and recognized leader in the management of forward-looking megaprojects, including Zizhu Purple Bay, a 50,000-resident master-planned community in Shanghai, and Seaport San Diego, a $1.2 billion reimagining of the San Diego waterfront.

“Besides the importance of the Zizhu Hi-Tech Development Park construction, what we’ve been able to build is a dynamic, sustainable international partnership,” Shan said. “Working with Gafcon has been a great opportunity to foster strong connections between our teams, and to learn from each other, while bringing an incredible megaproject to life.”

Zizhu Purple Bay in Shanghai rendering

Stretching across 13 square kilometers, Zizhu’s Purple Bay community features a live, work, play layout with businesses, residences, public spaces and educational facilities.

Phase 2 commenced in March with Gafcon at the helm. It will include the 800-acre InnoTown, a business, technology and university hub, an active marina, and a walkable downtown center.

In Los Angeles, where preparations are already underway for the Los Angeles Olympics, strategies for tackling a project the size of the Purple Bay community in Shanghai generated particular interest from public officials.

Informed by Gaffen’s commitment to legacy projects with long-term public benefit, both Purple Bay and Seaport San Diego incorporate a range of environmental, educational, recreational and commercial strategies. Gafcon focuses on community-driven decision making, using public input to guide planning for site design and placemaking.

“At our best, working on projects like Zizhu Purple Bay allows Gafcon to channel the will of the people into a concrete vision for the future,” Gaffen said. “The best decisions are inspired by what we’ve learned from locals. This is their home—designed from their unique hopes and dreams. These sites will be around much longer than any of us, and they should stand as a testament to the community’s identity and values.”

Seaport San Diego rendering

Gaffen’s work on Seaport San Diego is aimed at enhancing the community through public space and bringing people to the water’s edge. Plans for the 70-acre downtown site along the San Diego Bay include a learning center, an aquarium, hotels, a public market, parks and walkways, a revitalized commercial fishing basin at the historic Tuna Harbor site, and flexible space for blue-tech and other businesses.

Gaffen is the managing partner of Protea Waterfront Development, which is partnering with the Port of San Diego to redevelop the Seaport site. Gafcon is the program manager for the project.

To learn more about Gafcon’s work, visit

For information on the CityAge conference, visit

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About: Gafcon is a leader in construction project management with major projects throughout California and worldwide. Gafcon delivers complex projects to power vibrant communities. For more information, please visit 

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