[Image by Omar Bárcena via flickr]
Chinese Real Estate Investment in Los Angeles Continues
China has continued to increase its investments abroad, especially development projects in big U.S. cities. Among the projects is the revival of the historic downtown in Los Angeles, an eagerly awaited face lift for downtown LA. Los Angeles has many beautiful Art Deco buildings from downtown all the way to mid-Wilshire, most in good shape. Despite that, many investors have neglected downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) for many years, something this new Chinese real estate investment is changing.
One knowledgeable blogger, Brigham Yen, the founder of DTLA Rising, looks forward to the revitalization of downtown, which, for some reason, is moving rapidly. “Over the years, I have heard the skeptics say that it will never happen, it will never happen, but every year more things happen. More investors come to downtown, and we prove the skeptics wrong,” Yen said.
One proof of DTLA revitalization by Chinese real estate investors is the historic Broadway corridor. In early 1900s up to about the 1950s or early 60s, the corridor was the heart of LA where movies and vaudeville reigned. According to the downtown enthusiasts, revitalizing Broadway is the linchpin to more growth.
Carol Schatz, CEO & President of Central City Association/Downtown Center, said, “Los Angeles is the last great urban frontier in the United States and what is happening is putting us in another category that we were not in before, a world class city, because to be world class city, you need to have a vital center.”
The transformation focuses not only on making the old new again, but it also involves pouring of billions of dollars into new multipurpose projects by the overseas investors. The Shanghai Greenland Group is among three Chinese developers whose major projects last year totaled $2.5 billion. Greenland’s $1 billion investment is called Metropolis, which when complete will comprise a hotel and three residential towers. The company has another $6 billion investment in New York City.
The company believes these two projects are only its start to its investment in the U.S. “The projects have a lot of influence over the American real estate market and on the market potential. However, our view is that the two are not enough. We are in negotiations for other projects, and we hope to get more opportunities from the public affairs projects and American urban development,” Zhang Yuliang, Chairman & President, Greenland Real Estate, said.
Fig Central next to the Staples Center sports arena is another beneficiary of a $1 billion Chinese project. Oceanwide Real Estate group (based in Beijing) bought the lot for $200 million. When complete, it will have a hotel, many retail outlets and three high-rise residential towers, all in downtown Los Angeles.
Do you agree that this time after so many promises that downtown will rise again due to Chinese Real Estate Investment in Los Angeles? Share your views in the comments section below.