The mixed residential/commercial development is located on top of the train depot serving Shenzhen metro's Longhua Line which is operated by a subsidiary of MTR.

"We are delighted to be pioneering the well-proven 'rail-plus-property' model in the mainland," said MTR's chairman Dr Raymond K F Ch'ien. "We believe this project will not only drive forward development of the community in Longhua District but also contribute to the sustainable urban development of Shenzhen overall."

The new development, which is scheduled for completion in 2016, includes 1700 apartments and a shopping mall. Future residents will have all-weather pedestrian access to Longsheng metro station on the Longhua Line.

MTR won the bid for the site above Longhua depot for a premium of about Yuan 2bn ($US 330m) in August 2011. The total investment in the project is estimated at Yuan 4bn.

"The integrated development model has provided Hong Kong with high quality, sustainable communities conveniently linked to our rail network," said MTR's CEO Mr Jay Walder. MTR has used its "rail-plus-property" model in Hong Kong to help fund the construction of new lines once they have been completed. The provision of apartments above metro stations also helps to increase ridership.