Chinese developer buys prime downtown San Jose property site

Updated: 2014-09-02 04:58

By LIAN ZI in San Francisco(China Daily USA)

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Chinese investors continue to look favorably on California real estate as Chinese developer Full Power Properties purchased a downtown San Jose property from KT Properties, a Silicon Valley-based real estate firm.

The transaction was regarded as one of the most substantial downtown San Jose deals in a long time, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal. KT Properties sold its two-acre site at 190 W St and James St, which is now a surface parking lot, but approved for 643 residential units in two towers, to the Chinese developer.

According to the Business Journal, it is a major high-rise apartment development site and there are plans to start construction next year. Full Power Properties is an affiliate of R&F Properties, a Chinese real estate giant.

Both Full Power Properties and KT properties were reluctant to disclose more details about the purchase two weeks ago.

Since 2012, Chinese developers and real estate buyers have been eager to explore opportunities in the California real estate market.

"From March 2013 to March 2014, more than $22 billion in Chinese money flushed into California's real estate market," said Xia Xiang, economic and commercial counselor of the Chinese Consulate General office in San Francisco.

In 2013, Chinese real estate developer, Vanke Group, broke ground in San Francisco for a $175 million luxury condominium development project. In 2014, a $1.5 billion Brooklyn Basin investment deal between Beijing-based Zarsion Holding Group and California-based Signature Development Group broke ground on a project that could create up to 10,000 jobs and build 3,100 units.

Last month, Alexandria Theater, located in San Francisco, was sold to an anonymous Chinese company whose representative announced that the property would be used for a project that has already been approved by the San Francisco Planning Department.

With its strong economic development, large population and beautiful scenery, California has been regarded as one of the best locations for Chinese investment. "During last 10 years, bilateral investment between California and China was very active," said Xia, adding that the volume of investment from China to US increased from $4.5 billion in 2011 to $14 billion in 2013."

California state policy is pretty open for foreign investors, said Brian Peck, deputy director of the California governor's office. He told China Daily in August that "the economy is recovering in California and our budget is back in the black. So we think it is the right time for Chinese business groups to expand their investment in California."

R&F Properties was established in 1994 and is focused on the design, development, construction, and management of property and related services in China.

KT Properties was founded in 1988 as a real estate development and investment company. Until now, KT has leveraged its homebuilding and commercial experience to include suburban, urban, and downtown development projects in the San Francisco area and beyond.