Chinese Developer Buys Major L.A. Site

02/02/2014 10:27 pm

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Chinese investment continues to increase in downtown Los Angeles as buyers from Shanghai have paid nearly $150 million for a site near the 110 Freeway where a billion-dollar mixed-use complex is on the drawing board, the L.A. Times reports.

Chinese real estate developer Shanghai Greenland Group bought a parking lot next to the freeway north of 9th Street in a deal that closed on Chinese New Year, real estate brokerage CBRE Group Inc. said.

The full city block known as Metropolis has been approved by the city for 1.65 million square feet of hotel, condominium, office and retail development on a site that links the financial district with L.A. Live and Staples Center.

Major Chinese developers have been looking for large-scale commercial projects in so-called gateway cities on the East and West coasts, said real estate broker John Eichler of Cushman & Wakefield, who helped put together the Oceanwide deal. Cities such as L.A., San Francisco and New York are well-known to Chinese investors and have large Asian populations.

Between 2000 and 2013, Chinese investors pumped $2.6 billion into California, according to New York policy research firm Rhodium Group.

The recent arrival of Chinese developers in downtown Los Angeles means that two stalled high-profile projects planned by previous owners will spring back to life fairly rapidly, industry observers said.

Greenland Group is expected to build a 350-room hotel and 38-story condominium tower in the first phase.