A little known Chinese developer is planning a nearly $500 million project in southern California that would create a new urban district combining homes, a shopping centre and a hotel.
The mixed-use project by a US subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed LT Commercial Real Estate Limited would be adjacent to the California Angels baseball stadium in Anaheim on a 14 acre (5.7 hectare site), according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.
LT Commercial’s plans call for a 28-storey condo tower, a 26-storey hotel, a shopping centre and an indoor surfing park. The Anaheim project would be the second US property venture for the Hebei-based developer, which acquired a southern California shopping mall in December of last year.
Reviving a Decade-Old Plan in Anaheim
The Chinese developer’s project represents a revival of a decade-old plan for a “Platinum Triangle” which would serve as a downtown for sprawling Orange County, however, it may first have some hurdles to overcome.
The plan, which has not yet been approved by Anaheim authorities, is already being opposed by the California Angels baseball team, whose stadium sits adjacent to the proposed site.
The team points out that in order for the Platinum Triangle to be built, much of the land that would be used for parking is currently part of the Angels’ parking facilities. The baseball club is currently pressuring the local government to make improvements to the stadium if it wants the Angels to remain as tenants.
LT’s project is part of a surge of interest in southern California by Chinese developers that has seen mainland companies take on major developments in downtown Los Angeles, and has included a number of acquisitions of hotels and other assets.
Among the most noteworthy new undertakings for Chinese developers in the Los Angeles area is Dalian Wanda’s acquisition of a site on Beverly Hill’s Wilshire Boulevard last year for a $1.2 billion residential project. Greenland Group and Oceanwide Real Estate have both already broken ground on projects in Los Angeles with a combined value of more than $ 1 billion.
Second-Tier Developer Aims at LA Suburbs
LT, which is a subsidiary of China Lerthai Commercial Real Estate Group, has developed projects in second tier cities around China including Shijiazhuang and Tangshan in Hebei province, as well as Xi’an in Shaanxi province.
Now the company, which claims assets of RMB 30 billion, appears to see suburban southern California as its sweet spot.
The group is said to have bid unsuccessfully for the $1 billion Metropolis project near the Staples Center which was acquired by Shanghai’s Greenland Group in 2013, and also was unable to secure the Fig Central project in downtown Los Angeles that was acquired by China’s Oceanwide Real Estate Group.
Following those misses, LT Global, whose US operations are headed by Chinese-born USC graduate Max Yang, last December spent $20 million to acquire the 11,200 square metre (120,589 square foot) South Hills Plaza mall in West Covina, California in December 2014.