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Shanghai developer to build big in LA

After unveiling its $2 billion investment plan in London last month, Shanghai-based Greenland Group announced new details of its $1 billion Metropolis Los Angeles project on Feb 14.

The proposed Metropolis Los Angeles project is expected to be one of the largest mixed-use developments on the West Coast and to reshape the Downtown Los Angeles urban landscape. Metropolis is the Greenland Group’s first investment in the US.

Phase one of Metropolis is expected to include the development of a four-star luxury hotel and a residential tower with units ranging from studios to two bedrooms. The hotel will have 19 floors with 350 rooms, and the residential tower will be 38 stories high. Construction is slated to start early this year and be completed by mid 2016.

“Founded in Shanghai 22 years ago, Greenland Group has since expanded to more than 80 cities across China and is known as a leading developer of high-quality, high-rise residential and commercial buildings and urban complexes,” said Zhang Yuliang, chairman and president of Greenland Group.

“International expansion — particularly in the US market — is a strategic priority for us,” Zhang added. “We are making significant investments in the US and as one of the iconic cities of the world, Los Angeles is an important place for us to be.”

“We are excited to welcome the Greenland Group to Los Angeles,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “This billion dollar investment will not only bolster Downtown Los Angeles’ economy by creating hundreds of jobs and generating on-going tax revenue, but it will bring the kind of world-class amenities that will enhance the appeal of our city center nationally and internationally.”

Los Angeles Councilmember Jose Huizar said, “The revitalization and economic resurgence of Downtown Los Angeles over the last decade has really put it on the map as a dynamic urban center — the kind that every great city should have. The message is clear, Downtown LA is open for business and that is attracting prestigious international companies, such as Greenland Group, to make a long-term financial commitment in Downtown LA and be a part of this momentum. We welcome Greenland Group’s investment and look forward to this project’s contribution to the success of Downtown for years to come.”

For phase one of the development, Tishman Construction is providing program and construction management services. Gensler, a leading design firm, will serve as the architect. Turner Construction will be the general contractor and SPAN Architecture will be the interior designer. Rider Levett Bucknall will provide surveying services.

Located on Francisco Street between 8th and 9th Streets, the property is the largest undeveloped site in Downtown LA’s central business district and is situated near popular arts and entertainment, retail and dining establishments such as LA LIVE, FIGat7th, Bunker Hill, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the soon-to-be-opened Broad Museum.

Downtown Los Angeles has experienced an unprecedented renaissance in the last 15 years and is considered to be the place to live, work and play. It is home to a growing residential population of more than 53,000 who are seeking an active, urban lifestyle and more than half a million office workers.

“We believe Los Angeles’ location as a gateway between Asia and North America is ideal in attracting an international clientele who are seeking investment opportunities and an exciting lifestyle near arts and entertainment, sports and fine dining,” said Zhang.

“Greenland Group has strong confidence in the market demand for this project,” Zhang added. “Los Angeles is the second largest city in the United States with the largest seaport and industrial center on the West Coast. It has a stable economy and a large population base with one of the largest concentrations of international immigrants.”

In 2013, Greenland Group was ranked 359th on the Fortune Global 500, 55th among the Top 500 Chinese companies and number one among Chinese real estate enterprises. The company has built or is currently building 23 skyscrapers, with four of its buildings ranked among the 10 tallest in the world.

Foreclosures dog even wealthiest home buyers

By AnnaMaria Andriotis


Andy Dean Photography / Shutterstock.com

Jumbo borrowers who went into foreclosure a few years ago are learning the hard way: You can’t go home again.

Affluent home buyers attempting to get back into real estate after defaulting on their home loan are finding that few lenders are willing to work with them. Those that do often impose long waiting periods, higher down payments and higher interest rates.

Since spring, lenders say they have increasingly been hearing from would-be buyers who went through foreclosure. “We get the calls routinely,” says Al Engel, executive vice president at Valley National Bank, based in Wayne, N.J.

Callers include self-employed borrowers whose income dropped during the recession, causing them to fall behind on their mortgages, but who have since financially recovered. Also affected are borrowers who walked away from their homes after their values plummeted and owed more on their mortgage than the house was worth. Now that home values have stopped falling in most housing markets, they want back in.

Terri Conrad and her husband saw their 4,500-square-foot, five-bedroom home in Carbondale, Colo., foreclosed on last year. They purchased the home for $1.25 million in 2007, but its value had dropped to roughly $700,000 by 2012. Ms. Conrad, who manages finances of affluent families, says the couple tried refinancing but was denied. Although they could afford the payments, they decided to walk away because they didn’t want to keep paying for a home that was worth significantly less than the loan. They are now renting in Houston and plan to wait at least a couple of years before applying for a home loan again. “I’m worried about who’s going to give me a mortgage,” she says.

Most lenders who offer private jumbo mortgages, which start after $417,000 in most parts of the country and at $625,501 in pricier housing markets, remain very selective and limit themselves to borrowers with the strongest credit profiles.

Foreclosures stay on credit reports for seven years from the time homeowners default on their mortgage. What’s more, a foreclosure can lower a borrower’s credit score by 100 points, says John Ulzheimer, a former manager at FICO, the credit score used by most lenders. Borrowers who were previously always on time with payments would see a bigger drop. For instance, someone with an 820 FICO score (FICO scores range from 300 to 850) could drop to 580 following foreclosure, he says. That borrower could need more time to work his or her way back to a top score before getting a mortgage.

Separately, many affluent borrowers went into foreclosure later largely because they were able to tap their savings to pay their mortgage. Foreclosures on homes worth over $1 million peaked in 2011, while foreclosures on homes worth less than $1 million peaked in 2009, according to RealtyTrac, which tracks real-estate data. By delaying foreclosure, they will likely have to wait—possibly until after housing has fully rebounded—to get a home loan.

Borrowers who intentionally default—the ones who walked away from their homes—are less likely to be approved for another mortgage soon after. Lenders that originate private jumbos often follow guidelines set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which require strategic defaulters to have re-established their credit profile for at least seven years after foreclosure in order to get a mortgage.

But experts say more flexibility among lenders could emerge in the next year. A recent change allows certain borrowers to become eligible for mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration in as little as one year after their foreclosure. Previously the waiting period was at least three years. “This may be an influence on the private lenders to loosen a little bit on their waiting period,” says Daren Blomquist vice president at RealtyTrac.

Borrowers who overcame a financial hardship that was out of their control and improved their credit profile and are shopping for a mortgage should consider smaller lenders. Valley National Bank and Fremont Bank, which is based in the San Francisco Bay area, say they are open to working with some private jumbo applicants in as little as 2&GBP 189; to three years, respectively, after the date of foreclosure.

China Billionaire Invests $1.6 Billion in London Land and Sunseeker Luxury Yacht

Dalian Wanda Group (DLWGCZ), the Chinese developer controlled by billionaire Wang Jianlin, is investing 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) in a British yachtmaker and a London site to build Western Europe’s tallest residential tower.

Wanda will spend 700 million pounds on a 62-story luxury hotel and apartment building on the land on the South Banks of the Thames. It also agreed to pay 320 million pounds to buy 92 percent of Sunseeker International Ltd. whose yachts have been featured in James Bond movies, it said in a statement today.

“The bigger Chinese developers need to develop overseas markets as their domestic expansion is limited by the property curbs” on residential homes, said Zuo Hongying, a Shanghai-based analyst at AJ Securities Co. “And they’re fairly cash-rich.”

London has emerged as a haven for foreign wealth, with the pound’s decline attracting investors from Malaysia to Russia to developments like Battersea Power Station, where about half of the project’s apartments have been sold in overseas markets. Chinese developers, including China Vanke Co. (200002), also are expanding overseas to take advantage of demand for real estate abroad from increasingly rich nationals.

“Investments in London despite being perceived as much safer than Shanghai, still carry higher yields,” said James Macdonald, head of China research at Savills in Shanghai. “A weak sterling has made investments comparatively cheap for overseas investors, especially for Chinese.”

The pound has lost about 37 percent against the yuan since the middle of June 2007.

Tallest Building

Wanda will erect the tallest residential building in Western Europe, at 205 meters (673 feet), on the site upstream from the Houses of Parliament, Stephen Vernon, executive Chairman of Green Properties, the seller of the site, said in an interview today. It is in one of the clusters where tall buildings can be constructed in the city in an area called Nine Elms, he said.

Western Europe’s tallest residential tower is the 190-meter HSB Turning Torso in Malmo, Sweden, according to the Skyscraper Center website of the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

Luxury Hotels

The number of millionaires in China has climbed 4 percent from 12 months earlier to 2.8 million, according to the Hurun Research Institute’s findings this year.

“Chinese consumption, particularly high-end consumption is booming,” Wang told reporters in Beijing. Five of six private jets at a General Dynamics Corp. Gulfstream factory in the U.S., where Wanda bought a plane last year, were earmarked for China, he added.

Wanda plans to expand its investment in the U.K. and build luxury hotels in eight to 10 cities globally, Wang said. The company may announce more overseas investments next year, and investors will have a chance to buy Wanda shares in future, he said, without giving a time period for an initial public offering of the closely held company.

Manhattan was the top choice for Chinese investment in overseas properties in the past two years and $2.1 billion was spent, according to Real Capital Analytics data. London was in the No. 2 spot with total investment of $2 billion, the data show.

Sunseeker

Wanda decided to buy Sunseeker because it is building three yacht clubs in China and each needs at least 10 yachts, Wang said.

Sunseeker sold about 190 boats in Asia, excluding Australia, in the past decade, with more than 60 percent of the purchases coming from China including Hong Kong, Gordon Hui, chairman of Sunseeker Asia said in an interview this month. A lowest-priced Portofino 40 cruiser costs about five million yuan ($815,000) and the most expensive model costs as much as 230 million yuan, Hui said.

Wanda, which last year bought U.S. cinema chain AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. for $2.6 billion, is among Chinese companies seeking acquisitions overseas to gain foreign expertise, brands and technology. Shandong Heavy Industry Group-Weichai Group purchased Italian yacht builder Ferretti in 2012 and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. bought Volvo Cars in 2010.

ABP (China) Holdings Group Ltd., a Beijing-based Chinese developer, last month signed an agreement with London officials to transform the 35-acre (14-hectare) site at Royal Albert Dock into the capital’s third business district after the City of London and Canary Wharf.

Malaysia’s SP Setia Bhd. and Sime Darby Bhd. bought the site of London’s Battersea Power Station, featured on the cover of Pink Floyd’s 1977 album “Animals,” for 400 million pounds in July last year.

Military Family

Vanke, China’s biggest developer by sales, in February signed a deal with Tishman Speyer Properties LP, the owner of New York’s Rockefeller Center, to develop residential towers in San Francisco.

Wang, 58, is ranked 166, with a net worth of $7.4 billion, on the Bloomberg Billionaire’s list. He was born to a military family in western China’s Sichuan province and served for 16 years in the People’s Liberation Army before he was honorably discharged, according to Bloomberg Billionaires.

He later took a job at an indebted residential developer affiliated with the district government, changed the company’s name to Dalian Wanda and became the general manager in 1992. During the next 20 years, he developed Wanda into a diversified company with interests in commercial property development, tourism, entertainment and department store chains.

Developers build foundations for global growth

Developers build foundations for global growth

Hu Yuanyuan  2013-02-20 09:04:38

Property companies home in on lucrative deals amid slowdown

Chinese property developers are increasingly looking overseas for opportunities created by the global economic slowdown.

China Vanke, the country’s largest real estate developer by market value, has teamed up with the US real estate firm Tishman Speyer Properties to develop a key site in San Francisco, Vanke confirmed this week.

The move marked the developer’s first venture into the US market.

Details of the deal will be released on Friday, the company said.

The deal came after Vanke set up a research team last year to examine development prospects in the US.

The company’s global strategy will be boosted after it announced a plan to move trading of its non-renminbi shares to Hong Kong last month.

Also last month, the Shenzhen-based developer joined hands with New World Development to purchase a residential site in Hong Kong for HK$3.4 billion ($439 million), its first project outside the Chinese mainland.

“After 30 years of development, our go-global strategy is ready to be implemented. And access to an open international capital market is necessary for such a strategy,” said Tan Huajie, Vanke’s board secretary.

Qin Xiaomei, director at the strategic consulting department of Jones Lang LaSalle Beijing, an international real estate service provider, said: “It is just the beginning of Chinese property developers going global.”

Other Chinese real estate companies have made inroads into overseas markets.

Guangzhou-based Country Garden, which trades its shares in Hong Kong, set up a joint venture with Malaysian real estate firm Mayland in 2011 to develop two residential projects, taking a 55 percent stake. This was foll-owed by Country Garden’s development of a commercial complex in Malaysia last year.

These projects, targeting local as well as Chinese buyers, will open for sale this year.

“We are also on the lookout for quality land parcels overseas. If there are appropriate opportunities, we will not miss them,” one of the company’s executives, who requested anonymity, said.

Beijing Capital Land signed an agreement last year to purchase a land parcel in France on which it plans to establish a Sino-French economic zone.

Wanda Group, the country’s largest commercial property developer, has revealed plans to invest $10 billion in the US over the next decade, particularly in hotels, retail and commercial properties.

Developers are following the trail of Chinese buyers of overseas properties, Qin, from Jones Lang LaSalle Beijing, said.

“But a number of institutions are also finding opportunities overseas amid the global economic slowdown.”

Chinese make up the largest group of overseas buyers in the US property market, accounting for 11 percent of sales, Wang Shi, Vanke’s chairman, said on his micro blog.

Qin added that Chinese buyers have been encouraged by the appreciation of the yuan and the government’s tough real estate policies at home to invest in properties overseas.

“We have noticed a growing enthusiasm among Chinese investors to buy overseas real estate, and the UK and the US are their favorite markets.”

Meanwhile, institutional investors from China are also active in examining overseas opportunities.

China Investment Corp, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, is reportedly one of a trio of Asian investors vying to buy an 800 million pounds ($1.3 billion) office complex in London. The Financial Times, citing unnamed sources, said the deal would be the most expensive property deal in the UK since the start of the financial crisis in 2008.

“A number of real estate funds and property developers have contacted us seeking bargain projects overseas,” said Zhang Ping, head of research in Beijing for the international real estate service provider Cushman & Wakefield.

According to Zhang, compared with international competitors, Chinese property investors are sometimes a bit slow in the decision-making process, and as a result have missed some good prospects.

“In some cases they are still unfamiliar with the legal and investment environment in target countries, but generally I think they are still a bit conservative.”

huyuanyuan@chinadaily.com.cn

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Brilliant Space – Create your dream

Renovation/Remodeling 
As necessary, we coordinate real estate renovations, remodeling project to create added value and/or reposition the property
in the market.

Our Services
We have overall responsibilities for the planning, management, coordination and financial control of a construction project.
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Most of the time we will work together with you, and we will be responsible for the leadership of the project from inception to completion. We will work with all the project stakeholders, leads the team and enhance communication.

Why need us?
A well planned project can save your time and money, leading earlier return on your investment.
We have seen many of our clients spending excessive time on managing projects themselves but are unfamiliar with the project processes and are also lack of the relevant design and construction knowledge.  These lead to redundant work procedures and efforts; therefore wasting both money and time. Also our clients wasted too much time getting involved in tedious details on unimportant issues and overlooked the bigger picture.
Why waste time if we can assist? Instead, you can better spend your time on other important issues, and explore more investment opportunities.
With our engagement, we will enable smoother processes and better workflow of your project. We are here to assist you to managing your project in effective and efficient manners while maintaining a strategic focus and staying on top of your budgets.
We will coordinate works between complex multidisciplinary teams, and we are able to facilitate in a collaborative work environment. We initiate harmony between the different stakeholders in multiple ways; like the Architect, Contractors, Surveyor, Engineers, Government departments, utilities and etc. to achieve project success.

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We set target with you from day one and we will balance the details and the big picture throughout the projects, we will solve your problems and know how to work through project challenges based on our past experiences. We will report to you on a periodic basis so that you can always stay on top of your project.
We are also your strategic partners and have visions for the course and goals of the project. We will make sure the project meets your objectives and achieve project success.

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从规划、管理、协调和财务管控,我们对建设项目的各方面都进行严格的把关。
我们的任务包括:
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当然,我们将为您预留大部分的时间,时刻监督和指导项目启始到完工的每一步骤。我们将与所有相关方紧密合作,带领团队并加强各方的沟通协作。

我们的优势
一个规划完善的项目能节省您的金钱和时间,帮助您尽早的获得投资收益。
我们遇到过很多客户,花了大量的时间来自行管理他们的项目。但是由于对项目进程的不熟悉,以及缺乏相关的设计和施工专业知识,往往导致金钱和时间的双重浪费,还有一些客户因为在那些乏味冗长的细节和无关紧要的事情上花费了太多的时间而忽视了大局。
我们能帮您解决这些问题!您的时间讲被更好地使用在处理重要事宜和寻找更多投资机遇上。我们将协助您在有效管理您项目的同时,确保达到战略重点和投资及时间预算。
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