Robert De Niro Signs Agreement to Develop Hospitality Center in Shanghai

Robert De Niro

The actor, along with interested business parties, have signed on to establish Project 179 -- an 850,000-square-foot complex -- in the financial capital of China.

Robert De Niro has signed an agreement to develop Project 179 -- a 850,000-square-foot hospitality center -- in Shanghai, China.

The Silver Linings Playbook actor, along with Ira Drukier and Richard Born of BD Hotels, Sam Natapoff of Empire Global Ventures LLC, Wilson Lu of Amerasia ST&T Corp, and Raphael De Niro of Douglas Elliman and Tribeca Enterprises, agreed to the project in a signing ceremony held in Shanghai with the property's owner, Shanghai Bund Investment Group.

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"I am looking forward to helping realize the Bund as one of the premier visitor destinations across the globe," De Niro said in a statement. "By ensuring a design that reflects the vibrant history of Shanghai, Project 179 can serve as a jewel in its crown: ushering in a bright future while paying homage to its rich and storied past."

Project 179, named after the municipally-designated blocks of land, will include a five-star boutique hotel (similar to New York's Greenwich Hotel and Bowery Hotel developed by De Niro, Drukier and Richard Born), fine dining by internationally recognized restaurateurs, and a cultural performance center and multi-screen cinema on Nanijing Road in the waterfront Bund district.

The U.S.-Chinese business partnership originated with Empire Global Ventures (EGV) in summer 2012 when Natapoff and EGV CEO Alexandra Stanton envisioned the project, raising the idea with Shanghai Bund Invest Group and then approaching De Niro and Drukier about it.

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In addition to Project 179, De Niro's business ventures also include Tribeca Productions, Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival, as well as renowned restaurants and hotels, including the Nobu Hospitality Group, Tribeca Grill and Locanda Verde.