By  on July 1, 2013

SHANGHAI — Despite slowing economic growth and an oversupply of commercial property that some analysts warn is forming a bubble in the sector, Hong Kong real estate tycoon Adrian Cheng is forging ahead with plans to open nearly 24 malls across China over the next six years.

Cheng believes his retail concept is one that will attract a growing segment of young, moneyed Chinese consumers seeking individual style and a unique shopping experience. The executive director of both the Hong Kong-based New World Development Co. Ltd., which already operates 40 department stores in 18 cities across China, and Chow Tai Fook Jewelry Group Ltd., Cheng is the mastermind behind K11, a novel retail concept that intertwines green spaces with art installations and luxury shopping. The first K11 art mall opened in Hong Kong in 2009. This year, he introduced the concept in China with the first K11 property in Shanghai, which celebrated its grand opening on Friday. He said there are plans to build 19 art malls in 11 cities across the country by 2020.

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