Following through on a deal originally announced in June, Chinese real estate developer Dalian Wanda last week completed the acquisition of the One Nine Elms project for more than US1.1 billion from the UK’s Green Property.
According to an announcement on the Nine Elms website, the £700m mixed-use development includes 103,000 sqm of residential, office and retail space within two towers of 45 and 60 storeys respectively. The 200-metre, 60 storey tower will be taller than the London Eye, the residential section of the scheme will include 436 private homes, and the complex will also incorporate a five-star hotel.
CBRE advised Green Property on the sale.
Pushing All of Wang’s Buttons
The Nine Elms project was the first major deal announced as part of Dalian Wanda’s plan to launch a new international hotel brand and was followed by the company’s agreement later in June to build a $1 billion hotel in New York. Dalian Wanda is owned by China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, who is said to have amassed a fortune of more than $14 billion in China’s real estate industry.
Wanda Group announced the successful incorporation of its UK property development subsidiary Wanda One (UK) Limited on October 14th. Wanda One is responsible for the development of the One Nine Elms project, Wanda’s London hotel and residential development.
The residential element of the project fits with the current trend of Chinese developers opening projects in cities where they can easily market units to their existing clientele from China. London, along with the US, remains a favorite target for wealthy Chinese buying homes overseas, giving Wanda the opportunity to mine its existing customer list for sales.
Shanghai-based Greenland Group, which acquired the $4 billion Atlantic Yards project in the US last month, announced only last week that London was next on its shopping list for acquisitions.
New Start for a Troubled Area
Commenting the sale, Michael Tapp, director of Green Property, said: “This is an important transaction for London, which helps to cement its status as the real estate capital of the world.”
Green Property acquired One Nine Elms from Allied Irish Bank in 2008, in a structured deal where the bank retained a carried interest in the uplift in the value from 2008 as properties are sold.
The area that near Nine Elms includes the Battersea Power Station, the land surrounding which was earlier purchased by the now defunct Treasury Holdings as part of a failed development scheme.