As evidence the luxury-home market is as popular overseas as it is in the U.S., Chinese developers are building the largest residential master plan communities Beijing has seen in many years. The project, Majestic Mansion, is being developed in four phases and the first 67 units will be completed in December.

Developed by Greentown China, Majestic Mansion is set on 90 acres in Beijing's Haidan District. The developer aims to recreate the 18th-century neoclassical palaces that once graced the region surrounding the Summer Palace, the largest imperial garden in the world.

The project will encompass 467 units in buildings that look more like single-family homes instead of the usual high-rises that are customary in the country, says Catherine Bezman, marketing and communications manager for Houston-based Meeks + Partners, which designed the land plan as well as the homes. "The buildings relate to the site [and the surrounding structures]," she says. Plus, local historic designations impose height restrictions. In fact, it is the only major residential community being developed in Beijing that is not a high-rise.

Majestic Mansion will include a school, a soccer field, government buildings, and two country clubs-one for the private use of the residents and another for large public gatherings. The larger of the clubs will measure 100,000 square feet and include a banquet room, a ballroom, meeting spaces, restaurants, sports courts of varying types, indoor/outdoor swimming pools, and underground parking. Private gardens and landscaping were designed by American landscaping architecture firm Lifescapes International based in Newport Beach, Calif.

A true luxury development for a new class of wealthy Chinese, each unit has maid/butler quarters and both a Chinese and entertainment kitchen. Over 1,000 different materials will be used, Bezman says, including marble, granite, stone masonry, and ironwork. Phase one is set on 10.5 acres and includes seven buildings and 67 units ranging in size from 3,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet.

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