Dalian Wanda Group is off to a strong start on its first luxury hotel-residential joint venture in the third-largest city in the US, with its development partner reporting that 20 percent of its available condominiums were sold since the project’s April sales debut.
Vista Tower Chicago, which Wanda is jointly developing with that city’s Magellan Development Group, is under construction and targeted for completion in 2020. The mixed-use, billion-dollar luxury tower will be the city’s third tallest upon completion.
Chinese Buyers Key to Chicago’s 3rd Tallest Tower
Jim Losik, national marketing director for Magellan Development Group, said Dalian Wanda’s status among Chinese buyers was a key to the venture. “Our hope is that other Chinese buyers will be interested because of the relationship we have with Dalian Wanda.”
Wanda Vista is located in the pricey Lakeshore East area of downtown Chicago, just west of Lake Michigan and near the city’s famed Gold Coast, one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the US.
While New York and Los Angeles have a long history of attracting international investors and buyers, “Chicago hasn’t experienced that to a degree,” said Losik. “The Chicago market has been coming out of the doldrums for a couple years now,” particularly in the luxury condominium market. “We’re taking advantage of that pent-up demand.” JLL is the sole agent in Asia for the Vista Tower project.
A five-star hotel with 191 rooms (called the Wanda Vista Hotel) and 406 apartments are planned for the project. The sale of 80 condominiums has so far generated $200 million, according to Magellan, with some Chinese buyers jumping in thanks to heavy marketing in Shanghai and Beijing.
Units start at $1 million for a 1,000 square foot, one-bedroom apartment, with the penthouse suites on floors 92 and 93 selling for slightly over $17 million. If the penthouse is sold at that rate, it would set a record for Chicago’s biggest sales price.
Wanda Making Progress on Second US Deal
Wanda acquired 90 percent of the Vista Tower project from Magellan in 2014, making the development only the company’s second acquisition in the US. The Chinese property conglomerate acquired Kansas-based theatre chain in 2012 in a deal which the Chinese firm valued at $2.6 billion.
Prior to the Vista acquisition, Wanda had announced plans in 2013 for a $1 billion hotel in New York, however, no actual acquisition was ever made and the company closed its New York office last year.
The company has focused on Los Angeles more recently, investing in a $1.2 billion project in a Beverly Hills, California mixed-use development near the famed Rodeo Drive shopping district. Wang has also been active in the city’s entertainment industry, buying Hollywood production company Legendary Entertainment for a reported $3.5 billion earlier this year.