Chinese developer buys LA site for $1b project

Updated: 2013-07-27 03:19


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Shanghai's Greenland Holdings Group acquired a site in downtown Los Angeles from a California teachers' pension fund on Friday to build a $1 billion project that will include a hotel, office units and residences. The property purchase marks the latest foray by Chinese developers into overseas markets.

The state-owned real estate developer – which is building China's second-tallest tower – acquired the 25,600 square-meter site from the California State Teachers' Retirement System, the second-biggest US pension fund. "We have a signed agreement for purchase of the property," said Michael Sicilia, media-relations manager for CalSTRS. He would not disclose the purchase price. The company expects to begin construction in six to nine months, he said.

Greenland could not be reached for comment.

Chinese developers are moving into the US and other overseas markets as China's leadership maintains residential-property curbs aimed at holding down skyrocketing prices. Greenland said earlier this month it planned to spend 10 billion yuan ($1.63 billion) on overseas property projects this year.

"We are extending the China market abroad, and we prioritize our investment to countries where Chinese immigrants, students and tourists like the most," Greenland Chairman Zhang Yuliang was quoted as saying in a statement Friday.

In February, China Vanke Co, the largest Chinese developer traded on the nation's stock exchanges, announced a $620 million luxury high-rise condominium project in San Francisco with its New York-based partner, Tishman Speyer Properties LP. Xinyuan Real Estate entered the US market in October with a $54.2 million residential-land purchase in Brooklyn, New York.

Three years ago, Greenland said it would spend 30 billion yuan ($4.8 billion) to build a 636 meter (125-story) tower in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province. The Wuhan Greenland Center, which would be the country's second-tallest after a proposed 660-meter structure in Shenzhen, is expected to be completed in 2016.

The developer said on Friday that its $480 million redevelopment project in Sydney that it announced in March has been approved by Chinese regulators and sales will start this year, according to Bloomberg News. Shanghai Greenland and Canada's Brookfield Asset Management bought two buildings for the redevelopment, which Shanghai Greenland said at the time was the biggest deal of its kind by a Chinese firm in Australia.