Today's Huaihai Road comprises three sections, which were formerly three distinct streets. West Huaihai Road, formerly called Jordan Road, is 1,510 meters (4,950 ft) long and forms part of the boundary between Changning District and Xuhui District. East Huaihai Road, formerly Ningbo Road, is 373 meters (1,224 ft) long and was the boundary road between Huangpu and Nanshi districts before the two districts merged. Middle Huaihai Road, the main section, is 5,500 meters (18,000 ft) long. Most of this section lies in the former Luwan District (which was also merged into Huangpu in 2010), and extends west into Xuhui and Changning districts.
The 5,500-meter (3.4 mi) long Middle Huaihai Road has a large number of shops lining its route, from small boutiques to major department stores and shopping malls, as well as hotels and restaurants. Major buildings include Lippo Plaza, Shui On Plaza, Central Plaza, Shanghai Square, Shanghai Times Square, Hong Kong Plaza, and Hong Kong New World Tower, most hosting shopping malls or department stores on the lower floors with offices on top.
The eastern section of Middle Huaihai Road near the popular Xintiandi precinct has recently seen an influx of a large number of Western luxury brands, including Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Cartier, and Ermenegildo Zegna. Many of the stores were opened in 2010 to coincide with the Shanghai Expo.
A section of Line 1 of the Shanghai Metro runs underneath Middle Huaihai Road with three stations: Changshu Road (interchange with Line 7), South Shaanxi Road, and South Huangpi Road, all named after streets that intersect with Huaihai Road. East Huaihai Road is served by the Dashijie Station on Metro Line 8.
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