The US west coast market continues to boom for Chinese investors, as Hong Kong-based developer Create World Group has purchased its second site in the Seattle area, after breaking ground on its maiden project in Bellevue, Washington in August last year.
Create World, which has has developed large residential mixed-use projects in Xi’an, Jilin and Zhuhai, China bought a prime lot in downtown Seattle for $17.1 million.
The company run by mainland property mogul Tom Yang said last year that it plans several residential development projects on the west coast, and it joins a crowd of Chinese developers moving into the Seattle market.
Chinese See Seattle as a Global Gateway City
This time, Create World bought a vacant 8,748-square-foot site one block from Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market. The site, which was purchased from Iowas-based real estate private equity firm Principal Real Estate Investors, will be home to a high-rise residential building featuring condominiums.
Seattle has become a hot market for Chinese investments. Skip Whitney, EVP and head of China Services for Kidder Mathews China Services Team of Seattle and San Francisco, which brokered the Create World deal for both sides, attributed the rise in Chinese interest to the greater upside potential for the city’s real estate, compared to more crowded markets such as New York and San Francisco.
“Seattle is being recognized as a first-tier gateway city, given the activity and the other Chinese investing in the market,” said Whitney. The Create World deal is the second Chinese investment brokered by Kidder Mathews in the last few months,” Whitney said. “And we have several more that we’re working.”
Chinese Acquire a Taste for Real Estate in the Great Northwest
This latest Create World acquisition follows a deal earlier this year by China Vanke, the mainland’s largest residential developer, to invest in an apartment complex near the iconic Space Needle in Seattle. The $200 million joint venture deal with California-based Laconia Development marked Vanke’s first foray into the Seattle market, after the Shenzhen-based developer earlier took on US projects in San Francisco and New York.
Last June, Hong Kong’s Gaw Capital led a group of Asian investors in buying Seattle’s tallest building, the 76-story Columbia Center office tower, for $725 million. Gaw bought a second Seattle office project in October, spending $49.5 million for a 27-story commercial block.
Real Capital Analytics and the Seattle Times reported that overseas investors purchased $2.8 billion worth of property assets last year in the Puget Sound area, a 214 percent increase over 2014.