Lendlease China appoints former IKEA China MD with ‘retirement’ his first project

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Former Managing Director (MD) of IKEA China, Hui Ding, has been hired as the new MD of Lendlease in China.

Reporting to Asia Chief Executive, Tony Lombardo, Ding will also oversee Lendlease’s village operations and expansion.

Ding is well-accustomed to handling major infrastructure projects. His twelve-year stint as MD at the furniture retailer saw him heading up the expansion across China.

His first Lendlease project is their RMB 1.9 billion (AUD $270 million) maiden senior living development in Shanghai.

As we reported last July, the first village is scheduled to open in May next year.

Named Ardor Gardens, it will house 1,300 residents across 900 units, priced from $400,000 for a one-bedroom unit to $650,000 for a three-bedroom unit.

(‘Ardor’ in Chinese means “Feelings of great warmth and intensity. Intense feeling of love. A feeling of strong eagerness (usually in favour of a person or cause)”. Same as English.

It was reported in The Australian that the company will target middle to upper-income retirees from a catchment area of about 150M people in the Shanghai and Yangtze River Delta region, with its rollout of retirement villages.

They want 5,000 residents in five villages within the next five years.

Lendlease Asia CEO Tony Lombardo says: the potential is huge.” The affluent, ageing population and the company’s integration with 26 cities in the area will provide Lendlease with a major market outside of Australia.

“About five years ago the government announced the 9073 policy, with a plan for 90% of people ageing in their existing places, 7% being in accommodation which is privately funded and 3% in accommodation provided by government”.

He says: “This is the first time Lendlease have put capital to work in China.  It is a key milestone.”

Lendlease first targeted the Chinese retirement market back in 2015.