Partnership to develop large tract in Texas

Updated: 2015-12-24 12:13

By May Zhou in Houston(China Daily USA)

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America Modern Green, a US subsidiary of Modern Land China Co Ltd, recently signed a partnership agreement with Houston local real estate developer Sueba USA to develop its $300 million Ivy District in Pearland, Texas, and to join Sueba's other projects in the Greater Houston area.

Under the agreement, the two companies will form a partnership company, Sueba & AMG Development LLC, in January.

Sueba has more than 30 years' experience developing various types of properties with a reputation for quality, said John Chiang, executive vice-president and chief operating officer at Sueba.

"With our reputation, we can get projects more easily," he said. "However, our capital is limited, and we average three projects a year. AMG will function primarily as our investment partner. Together we can handle four to eight projects a year."

Under the agreement, AMG will invest roughly $50 million in Sueba's three apartment-development projects in Bay Brook, Katy and Conroe, for about 1,000 units.

Sueba will invest 20 percent of capital in AMG's Ivy District, and the partnership will also serve as the property management team for Ivy District.

Sueba can help AMG understand the local market better, according to Gavin Liang, general manager and chief architect at AMG.

"We originally planned to build more than 1,000 units of apartments in our Ivy District," Liang said. This was based more on a Chinese concept, because in China the population density is higher."

AMG modified its original plan for Ivy District, a planned community on about 50 acres south of Texas Medical Center. AMG reduced the apartment blocks from six to two and lowered its Continuing Care Retirement Community from 13 stories to five stories.

"We now realized that Pearland cannot support a density similar to downtown Houston yet. We lowered the apartment units by about 30 percent," Liang said.

Despite the local economic slowdown brought on by the oil price slump, Liang is optimistic about Ivy District. Although infrastructure construction just started and won't be completed for another year or so, more than 20 letters of intent have been signed with deposits paid for townhouses in the Ivy District by buyers from China already.

Green energy has been a conscious effort at Modern Land China, and its US subsidiary AMG is no exception. AMG last month signed an agreement with the US-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC), a green energy initiative established by President Barack Obama and former Chinese president Hu Jintao in 2009.

"With CERC's input for design and technology, we want to develop some energy- efficient scheme that's also economically viable for the Ivy District to use," Liang said.

In the past, its sister company Modern Green Canada worked with the University of British Columbia for one of its apartment projects in Canada to create a more sustainable environment.

Partnership to develop large tract in Texas

Aerial view of the Ivy District, where infrastructure construction is under way. Local experienced developer Sueba USA is joining America Modern Green to develop the site. Provided to China Daily

(China Daily USA 12/24/2015 page2)