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Beverly Hills Land Acquired by Overseas Chinese Investors

October 7, 2010 by Samuel Chong

LOS ANGELES - Joint Treasure Ltd, formed by a group of Hong Kong- and Singapore-based Chinese investors acquired on Tuesday a former eight-acre landmark property in Beverly Hills for US$148.3 million, less than a third of its sale price of around US$500 million in 2007.

The site is at the junction of Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards in the heart of Beverly Hills. The new owner is a group comprising three partners - Chow Tai Fook Group of Hong Kong; Wee Cho Yaw Family Group of Singapore and David Chiu of Far East, all of them considered overseas Chinese.

The site was purchased by New Pacific Realty for $33.5 million in 2004, then sold to Nicholas and Christian Candy three years later for $500 million. The brothers planned to transform the property into luxury condos, but defaulted on their loan. The property fell into foreclosure in this year, and was taken over by Carlos Slim’s Banco Inbursa, the primary lender.

The investors intend to develop the site with 235 condominiums and 17,000-square-feet of retail and restaurant space, under a plan given permission by local authorities in 2008.

"The housing market is definitely very depressed right now, but surely one cannot wait until the market picks up to build," says Daniel Yiu, the senior advisor to Joint Treasure, a group representing the investors. "That would be too late."

Joint Treasure intends to oversee the process but expects to hire a project manager from Southern California to look after the details.


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