BEIJING, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- Beijing has broken ground on a five-story building to replace the outdoor stalls of the city's largest wholesale produce market Xinfadi, which is in the southern suburbs of the national capital.
The project, with a total investment of 1.5 billion yuan (220 million U.S. dollars), is expected to be completed in 2018 and put into full operation in 2019, according to Zhang Yuelin, general manager of Xinfadi.
The new building, with three floors above ground and two underground, will be built so that large trucks can drive in to the building, according to Zhang.
Xinfadi has an annual trade volume of 14 million tonnes of meat, fruit and vegetables. It is the source of 70 percent of Beijing's vegetables.
After the building is finished it will reduce the area of the market, which currently stands at 112 hectares, by 60 percent, Zhang said, adding that the free land will become a park.
The market has upgraded its services, by allowing online transactions before produce arrives at the market.
Zhang promised its online services will continue to improve in the future.