There hasn’t been this much action in Hawaii since Magnum PI parked his Ferrari. But in 2016 the stories of the island paradise are centred around Asian real estate developers instead of mustachioed private detectives, after China Oceanwide Holdings announced it had purchased a $103.4 million site on the state’s most populous island from a local firm.
The 514-acre plot, known as Kapolei West, is already approved for development of up to 2,500 homes, a golf course, an elementary school and a transit hub, Pacific Business News reported. As part of the deal, Oceanwide has agreed to spend an additional $23 million on infrastructure improvements.
Local developer James Campbell Co has been looking for a partner to develop the site for eight years before receiving this helping hand from the mainland. Richard Dahl, president and CEO of Campbell Co, explained that Oceanwide will help bring to life long-standing plans for the site.
The Oahu plot also fits well with Oceanwide’s plans, with its location between two beachfront land parcels the Chinese company had already purchased for $290 million and the town of Kapolei. In September, the Beijing-based developer had announced the signing of a deal with Kerzner International to develop a super-luxury Atlantis on its beachfront land in Hawaii.
Hawaii Is Heating Up
While known for its laidback lifestyle and big surf, it is a wave in investment that has caused some to sit up and take Hawaii a little more seriously as firms look to capitalize on a tourism market being propelled by visitors from Asia.
Oceanwide’s Atlantis project will be situated next to Disney’s Aulani resort and spa in the master-planned 642-acre Ko Olina Resort in West Oahu. Colony Capital facilitated the deal between the Shenzhen-listed developer and the resort operator.
In October, South Korea’s Mirae Asset made a splash when it handed Blackstone $755.6 million for the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa. It was Mirae’s second major Hawaiian investment after it spent $206.9 million on the Fairmont Orchid Hotel on the Big Island in 2015.
Oceanwide Continues To Spend In The USA
Oceanwide’s billionaire chairman Lu Zhiqiang has his sights firmly set on the US and continues to make purchases of all shapes and sizes. Last week, the conglomerate acquired struggling US-based mortgage and life insurance firm Genworth Financial for $2.7 billion.
Meanwhile, construction continues on its $1 billion Oceanwide Plaza in Los Angeles, which is scheduled to open in 2019. Additionally, the firm has spent $236 million on sites in Northern California.
The developer also has a presence in New York after acquiring a pair of adjacent Manhattan sites for $390 million last year. The sites received permission for redevelopment into a single tower that could reach more than 304 metres (1000 feet) tall.