Sunday 21 January 2018

New York real estate kings seek Chinese partners

Related developed the Time Warner Center in New York
Related developed the Time Warner Center in New York

Sarah Mulholland

New York City developers including Vornado Realty Trust and Related are seeking Chinese partners for new projects, according to top executives at the companies.

"We do have aspirations to do some things which would involve Chinese capital and Chinese investors," said Steven Roth, chairman and chief executive of Vornado, at a forum hosted by the China General Chamber of Commerce at Bloomberg's New York headquarters. "It's likely that Vornado would do something important with Chinese investors over the next year or two."

Chinese institutions are becoming a formidable force in New York City real estate as they seek to invest stockpiles of cash.

Beijing-based Anbang Insurance Group bought the landmark Waldorf Astoria hotel in February for $1.95bn (1.7bn), the largest deal ever for a US hotel. Also that month, the firm agreed to purchase the office portion of 717 Fifth Avenue, a 26-storey office tower in midtown Manhattan, according to people with knowledge of the transaction.

Chinese companies are interested in developing projects as well as in providing cash, according to Jeff Blau, CEO of Related, the developer of Manhattan's Time Warner Center and Hudson Yards.

"Many of the Chinese companies don't perceive themselves just as capital investors," Blau said at the event. "The conversations are much more about an active partnership."

Related's Hudson Yards, a $20bn undertaking that aims to transform an industrial area at the city's western edge into a business center and residential enclave, will need capital from around the globe, he said. With more than 17 million square feet planned, the project is the largest private real estate development in US history, according to the company. (Bloomberg)

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