Wanda Group to List One Beverly Hills For Sale
High Profile Development Project Expected to be Listed with JLL as Part of Chinese Developer's Global Disposition of Assets
Beijing’s Dalian Wanda Group on Monday will officially put One Beverly Hills, its proposed $1.2 billion luxury hotel and condominium development, on the market for sale.
The Chinese conglomerate is planning to list the property at the former Robinsons-May department store site at 9900 Wilshire Blvd. with a brokerage team from Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. (JLL) that includes International Director John Strauss in Los Angeles, according to sources.
Wanda Group, one of the world’s largest property developers and cinema chain operators, has denied reports that it intends to sell the property since the South China Morning Post reported late last year that the firm would seek to sell its top five trophy properties globally.
The Chinese government last year began imposing controls on capital outflows from the country by restricting the types of overseas projects that domestic Chinese companies can pursue. Since then, Dalian Wanda quietly has been selling off major assets globally, including a 77-hotel portfolio, and shopping its interest in the One Nine Elms project in London and its two luxury properties in Australia, according to Bloomberg News.
The Beverly Hills property has traded hands several times since 2005. The first proposal to build the project by British developers Nicholas and Christian Candy, who purchased the site for a jaw-dropping $500 million, was approved in 2008 and included two towers with 235 condominiums and 16,000 square feet of retail space.
The Candy brothers lost the project in foreclosure during the Great Recession to Carlos Slim’s Banco Inbursa financial services company. A group of investors led by Hong Kong private equity real estate firm Joint Treasure International bought the site in 2010 for $148 million, and Wanda purchased it from the group and modified the plans after the former department store was demolished about three years ago. Wanda's local development partner, Phoenix-based Athens Group, walked away from the project last year.
Athens Group officials, however, have publicly declared their interest in acquiring the property, potentially with a different partner. The scope and asking price in Wanda's sale offering memorandum is not yet clear. At the time of Wanda's purchase in 2015, several real estate observers considered the $420 million price tag inflated.
Wanda has two outstanding mechanic's liens totaling more than $2.5 million on the property for overdue payment to two of its contractors.
JLL and Wanda Group could not be reached for comment on the decision to list the property for sale.