Chinese owners set to break ground on sprawling L.A. complex
New Chinese owners are set to break ground on a sprawling hotel and residential complex that’s expected to alter L.A.’s skyline and cement a growing Asian footprint in downtown Los Angeles.
Moving at a pace rare in Southern California development, owner Greenland Group of Shanghai vowed Friday to start work shortly on the first phase of a $1-billion project that will be constructed on a vast parking lot along the Harbor Freeway just north of?Staples Center?and LA Live.
Known as Metropolis Los Angeles, the development will feature a 38-story residential skyscraper and a four-star luxury hotel. Greenland unveiled the plans at a lavish ceremony for local dignitaries that featured dragon dancers, gongs and champagne.
This is the first U.S. project of Greenland, one of China’s largest developers. But it’s part of a larger wave of international investment pouring into Southern California, especially downtown L.A.
Just a few blocks away from Metropolis, Korean Air is spending $1 billion to build the Wilshire Grand hotel and office tower, which will be the tallest building west of the Mississippi.
On Saturday, more than 2,000 truckloads of concrete will be pumped into the project’s foundation at Figueroa Street and Wilshire Boulevard in what is being touted as the world’s largest continuous concrete pour.
In late December, another big Chinese developer, Oceanwide Real Estate Group, bought a sprawling parking lot east of Staples Center, where it plans to build a five-star hotel, apartments and stores.
Last year, Singapore investor Overseas Union Enterprise Ltd. purchased what is now downtown’s tallest building, US Bank Tower, for $367.5 million.
The gusher of investment underscores Asian investors’ growing familiarity with Los Angeles and its large Asian population and prime location on the Pacific Rim. Some of China’s largest developers have been looking for large-scale commercial projects in so-called gateway cities on the U.S. East and West coasts.
“They feel very comfortable doing business here and they have been increasing investments here significantly in the last few years,” said Chief Executive Bill Allen of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., which has been courting Asian investors to the region.
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