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Oceanwide Weighs Taking on Partner, Sale of Stalled Billion-Dollar LA Project

China-Based Developer Said Earlier It Was Going All-In on Three-Tower Downtown Project

By Jack Witthaus CoStar News April 27, 2022 | 4:24 P.M.

The China-based developer of a stalled three-tower project in downtown Los Angeles is examining multiple options to revive or walk away from a construction project it stopped work on more than a year ago.

China Oceanwide Holdings, parent of developer Oceanwide Holdings, has received several letters of intent and proposals about its stalled project at 1100-1198 S. Flower St., including offers to purchase the property and solicitations to finance or joint develop the remaining work, according to an April 27 filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Still, the company said it wants to make every effort to attract financing and introduce strategic investors to complete the project, according to the filing. It did not disclose the names of those who had sent letters.

Construction of the project stopped in October 2020 after the developer ran into financial trouble. The development was conceived to feature a hotel, apartments, a shopping mall and the largest LED sign panel on the West Coast. China Oceanwide has invested at least $1.2 billion into the unfinished development, according to multiple filings to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The developer at one point had five real estate projects in the works in the U.S., but revealed in March it was selling four of them to stay afloat and to focus on its Los Angeles project. It controls a site in New York and three in Hawaii and expects it will sell all of these sites this year, according to the filings. One of its Hawaiian sites is expected to sell for nearly $93 million, with Colliers marketing the property, according to the filing. It also relinquished the site of a proposed 2 million-square-foot tower in San Francisco to creditors in November.

In total, China Oceanwide Holdings said it has invested at least $2.2 billion into its U.S. real estate projects.

Roughly 38 contractors recorded liens against the Oceanwide Plaza site totaling about $364 million, with the biggest lien totaling roughly $219 million, according to a March 29 filing in Hong Kong. About 34 contractors were suing China Oceanwide at of the end of 2021, with 32 of those saying they'd prefer to settle and continue construction rather than litigate, the filing said.

China Oceanwide Holdings expects the downtown Los Angeles project may take two years to complete when it restarts construction, according to the filing. China Oceanwide's building started in 2014, meaning the project may take at least a decade to finish.

A China Oceanwide Holdings representative did not respond to a request to comment from CoStar News.

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