China’s Greenland Group has received global attention for its flurry of projects in New York, London and Sydney, but the Shanghai-based developer seems to have a soft spot for Toronto, after picking up its second project in the Canadian metropolis this week.
Greenland’s decision to pursue an additional project in Canada’s largest city comes soon after Vancouver slapped a 15 percent tax on foreign home buyers. Vancouver placed the restriction on non-resident buyers following years of surging real estate prices driven by Asian buyers, with many analysts trying to guess which city would become the next global target for Asian homebuyers.
State-owned Greenland is casting its vote for Toronto as the next Asian investment destination, after the developer purchased a condo development site at 215 Lake Shore Boulevard East in the city’s waterfront area from Greybrook Realty Partners for C$166 million ($124.5 million). Greybrook is calling the transaction a record deal for the Toronto market with the company’s CEO Peter Politis saying in a statement that Greenland will use the site to build a landmark project.
Greybrook had intended to develop the site itself after purchasing it as part of a joint venture with Castlepoint Development Group and Cityzen Development Group for C$60 million ($44.9 million) in 2014. Those plans called for 2,000 residential units with views of Lake Ontario being one of the major attractions.
Greenland Invested In Toronto Imminent Policy Moves
Greenland’s decision to jump back into the Toronto market comes at a time when both the provincial and federal governments are trying to find ways to cool the overheated housing market in the city.
In 2015, the Shanghai-based homebuilder broke ground on the King Blue development in Toronto’s entertainment district. That project will feature 44 and 48-storey blocks and boast 910 condominiums, a 122 room boutique hotel and Canada’s first theatre museum.
However, when units start going up for sale at its new site, the market temperature could feel much different from today.
As in Vancouver, home prices in Toronto have skyrocketed in recent years — rising 23.5 percent in the last year. Unlike Vancouver, where the jump in home prices was due to an influx of Asian buyers, no one in Toronto seems to know why the market has been jumping at a double-digit rate. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced in September that the government was investigating the matter further.
Canada’s federal government has gone beyond just investigating and is taking action to cool down the real estate market in the country’s biggest city.
For the first time ever, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp issued a red-level warning for the Canadian housing market as a whole due in part to elevated prices in Vancouver and Toronto as well as a spillover from those cities into nearby markets. The federal government also enacted new mortgage rules, which experts believe could dampen home sales throughout the country.
More Landmark Projects From Greenland
With one being built and another potential one on the way in Toronto, Greenland now has so-called landmark projects in the works in Los Angeles, New York and London.
Construction continues on its Metropolis Los Angeles mixed-used development that will be one of the largest of its kind on the west coast when completed. The $1 billion project will include a four-star luxury hotel and a residential tower.
In September, China’s second largest developer by sales launched Spire London, a 67-story project that will be the UK’s tallest residential tower once finished. The $1.1 billion skyscraper will be located in London’s Docklands near Canary Wharf.
Greenland also picked up a stake in Steve Witkoff’s Park Lane Hotel project in Manhattan earlier this year. The cashless deal ended up reviving the moribund project that plans to turn the upscale hotel into a luxury condominium.