Senior Editor- San Francisco Business Times
Chinese developers and investors are increasingly jumping into Bay Area real estate, drawn by a sizzling office and residential market, robust job growth and strengthening economic ties between the region and Asia.
Beijing-based Oceanwide Holdings is the latest big Chinese real estate firm to pour money into San Francisco. The company has an agreement to buy a massive Transbay site for $296 million from developer TMG Partners and capital partner Northwood Investors LLC.
[Click on the photo for a slideshow of 7 major Chinese real estate deals in the Bay Area]
Oceanwide will still need to secure entitlements for the proposed 2 million square feet of mixed-use space, but could win approvals as early as the end of the year.
While Oceanwide’s investment so far is not the largest by a Chinese developer in the Bay Area, it may be by the time the project is built, since construction costs are expected to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Oceanwide joins a slew of Chinese firms that have spent more than $600 million on Bay Area real estate during the last two years, according to Real Capital Analytics.
Some of the big investments by Chinese firms look promising, such as China Vanke’s partnership in Tishman Speyer’s Lumina luxury condo towers. But others are in the early stages — such as Oakland’s Brooklyn Basin— and it will be many years before it’s clear how the investments turn.
Not all deals with Chinese investors have come to fruition. What would have been perhaps the largest such investment in the Bay Area — a deal for the China Development Corp. to invest $1.7 billion to bankroll 12,500 homes on Treasure Island and Hunters Point— died in the spring of 2013.
To learn more about other major Chinese investment and development players in Bay Area real estate, click on the photo to see the slideshow.
Emily Fancher is a senior editor at the San Francisco Business Times.