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Another rowdy market will move

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Another rowdy market will move

Customers inspect rolls of fabric at Shanghai's Dongjiadu Fabric Market. The city's top spot for raw textile goods and made-to-order suits and dresses will be relocated and moved completely indoors.

THE Dongjiadu Fabric Market - Shanghai's top spot for raw textile goods and made-to-order suits, dresses and topcoats - is joining the increasing number of rough and tumble bazaars that are becoming gentrified.

The market, a maze of small shops covered by only a partial roof, will be relocated 500 meters from its present location to 399 Lujiabang Road and moved completely indoors.

The new 10,000-square-meter facility will also get a new name. It will be called the Shanghai South Bund Fabric Market and will start trial operation on April 1, said Manager Zhang Shengxiang.

Total investment is expected to reach 130 million yuan (US$16 million).

The existing structures will make way for an urban renewal project, according to Huangpu District government. Details on the development weren't released.

"The new building will provide better facilities and improved management for the fabric market," Zhang said.

The Dongjiadu market, which opened in 1997, is known for its colorful collection of fabrics of all types and its handy tailors who can turn out a traditional high-collared qipao dress or man's suit in a day or two.

Foreign tourists find the prices of these generally good quality products are a fraction of what they'd pay back home.

Feelings about the relocation were mixed among the market's many fans.

"It might be more comfortable, because I remember it being really horribly hot in the summer and freezing in winter," said Emma Connolly, an Irish expat who's lived in Shanghai for more than a year. "But it also might lose some of its character. I just hope it doesn't get more expensive to cover the costs of the new building."

Connolly also said she may miss the market's somewhat tumble-down surroundings.

"The area around Dongjiadu Road is interesting and gives us a chance to experience the old Shanghai. It reminds us that we're in China," she said.

Dongjiadu is far from the only old market that's undergoing modernization.

The 40,000-square-meter Xiangyang Fashion and Gift Market, Shanghai's landmark bargain bazaar for clothing, shoes, sunglasses and dozens of other consumer goods, will be closed at the end of June to make way for Metro lines and a proposed commercial project, the market operator said last week.

And more than 700 open-air stalls on Zhabei District's Qipu Road - the source for many of the city's fashion boutiques - were moved into a new six-story complex in February to clean up the area and reduce traffic congestion.

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