Greystar Real Estate Partners has begun marketing its maiden project in China, as the US-based multi-family developer and operator notches another milestone in its Asia expansion.
Dubbed LIV’N 833, the upscale rental housing project is set to open in Shanghai at the end of this year, marking the first of a series of rental properties to be launched under the LIV’N Residences brand.
“Greystar sees China as a hugely important market, with the LIV’N brand being our initial step in a market the company continues to have confidence to grow and invest in, ” Greystar’s managing director for China, Charlie Ma, told Mingtiandi.
Show flats for the 474-unit property, which overlooks Zhongshan Park inside Shanghai’s inner ring road, will be launched in July, while the grand opening for the location is slated for November.
The project milestone comes six months after Mingtiandi sources revealed that Greystar had secured fresh capital commitments from a Middle Eastern institutional investor, bringing its Greystar China Multifamily Ventures fund to $550 million.
Targeting Shanghai Professionals
Located at 833 Changning Road just west of Shanghai’s central business district, Greystar is hoping the Shanghai property’s location two stations west of Jing An Temple on Shanghai’s metro line 2, along with a trendy design will appeal to the upper end renters.
LIV’N 833 borrows some features familiar from the millennial-focused co-living and co-working operators, such as regular happy hours and a flexible office space, but Ma said Greystar’s venture achieves a balance between community and privacy by providing most of the units with en-suite bathrooms and kitchens.
Ma said the property offers studios as well as one, two and three bedroom flats, with the smallest of the units measuring 50 square metres (538 square feet) and the largest 150 square metres. The former China Vanke executive said that, although the LIV’N brand mainly targets single professionals, the Shanghai project is also set to accommodate families.
“There’s an evolution in terms of renting, and we want people at LIV’N 833 to upgrade to larger spaces over time if necessary,” Ma said, adding that the firm’s intention was to “create a space that people are comfortable living in on a long-term basis”.
Greystar has invested in what Ma describes as world class amenities to help keep its tenants in the complex long term.
In addition to a 300 square metre sky gym, the complex has a swimming pool, a 1,500 metre communal area for private dining and events, and a pet wash.
Reviving a Serviced Apartment Block
The unveiling of LIV’N 833 comes a year and four months after Greystar bought the former serviced apartment property then known as Belvedere All Suites.
Mingtiandi understands that Greystar purchased the building from local commercial real estate investment manager Go High through its Greystar China Multifamily Ventures vehicle for around RMB 1.7 billion.
The multifamily fund, which Greystar established in 2018 as a joint venture with a unit of Australia’s Macquarie Group, reached its first close in February 2019 thanks in part to commitments from Dutch fund managers APG Asset Management NV and Bouwinvest Real Estate Investors.
Originally a 260-unit building, the building has been reconfigured to add a further 210 units across its 36,000 square metres of gross floor area.
Expanding an Asia Rental Footprint
The Shanghai project unveiling comes five months after Greystar opened an office in Japan, appointing Akira Kosugi as managing director of its Japan business last December.
The company’s newly launched Tokyo office brings Greystar’s Asia Pacific bases to four, adding to its offices in Shanghai, Sydney and Melbourne.
The Japan team is anticipated to grow to a core of five staff, with the aim of completing three deals by the end of 2020 with the value of Greystar’s first Japan deal said to be in the region of $200 million.