Saturday, March 01, 2014

New investor Greenland controlling Atlantic Yards? Chinese investors typically want control, even if not the manager

Remember, even though Forest City Ratner will manage the Atlantic Yards buildout on behalf of the pending joint venture, the 70% majority partner, the Chinese government-owned Greenland Group, will be in control, as a document revealed.

That means that the buck will stop for Atlantic Yards no longer in Cleveland, home of FCR parent Forest City Enterprises, but in Shanghai. Anticipate, however, that the Forest City Ratner folks will maintain that nothing's changed.

Apparently, the push for control is hardly an isolated example. From a 2/27/14 Wall Street Journal article, China Demand for U.S. Property to Boost Investment:
“Liquidity is really abundant in China, there’s a lot of hidden liquidity in institutions that they need to deploy capital. Cap rates have been compressed to very low levels they need to look for yield and opportunity,” said  Lee, senior executive director of the real estate investment department at Ping An Trust, adding that Chinese investors are looking overseas for yield....
“I think (capital from) China is multifaceted–high net worth, insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds, and now developers,” said Goodwin Gaw, managing principal and chairman of Gaw Capital Partners. “They are making big bets in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York.”
There are challenges, Mr. Gaw said, including different types of rental contracts...
Another challenge lies in management styles. “Chinese investors want full control of what they’re investing in, even if they are not the manager. China will have more decision making power than what the westerners will expect,” said Mr. [Hing Yin] Lee [of Ping An Trust].
(Emphasis added)

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