China Developer Broadens Its Reach, subtitled "Greenland Holdings Moves Fast, Makes Big Deals Abroad; Stepping on Gas in Brooklyn," begins:
Forest City Ratner Cos.' giant, 6,400-unit development near the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn has faced delays for over a decade.Greenland already has $6 billion in development under way in the United States, and it could double next year. That would put it in the top rank of developers nationally.
Enter China's Greenland Holdings Group, which has different plans: finish the 15-tower project in less than 10 years. Forest City has only one tower under way and had been planning to take nearly two decades to complete the remaining buildings.
"We're very high-speed," said I-Fei Chang, head of the U.S. division of Shanghai-based Greenland, which bought a 70% interest in the project from Forest City at the end of June. "We see a lot of opportunity."
The Journal described Greenland, with $58 billion in assets last year (Forest City Enterprises is at about $9 billion), as "the most aggressive of Chinese property developers, with thousands of apartments and soaring mixed-use skyscrapers under way."
Faster than the others
Greenland is far faster than developers in the United States, because it has sufficient equity on hand to start projects without raising additional financing:
The strategy was on display in the company's deal with Forest City. Greenland executives had a handshake to buy the 70% stake within weeks of their first meeting with Forest City executives about a year ago and ultimately signed a binding contract in December.Let's see how "in many ways, they're a dream partner" plays out.
"They have a very determined agenda," said MaryAnne Gilmartin, Forest City's chief executive. "In many ways, they're a dream partner—they understand our business, they want to build quickly and they have the equity."
Surely a real "dream partner" would have paid a little more than $200 million to get a claim of 70% of the project going forward, given that Forest City had invested over $500 million.