Chinese firm picks up large Williamsburg development site in first-of-its-kind deal

October 19, 2012 09:00AM

A Chinese company has purchased a Brooklyn development site in a $54.2 million deal that represents a first of its kind by a Chinese firm in the U.S.,  Businessweek reported.

The Beijing-based developer, Xinyuan Real Estate, took control of the 2-acre site at 421 Kent Avenue in Williamsburg last month — the first time a Chinese company has bought a U.S. development site planned for more than a few units, according to data from Real Capital Analytics cited by Businessweek.

The site had been slated for 216 condo-units, averaging 2,000 square feet per unit and marketed to Hasidic Jewish families before the acquisition. It is unclear whether Xinyuan will stick to the original site plans or present new designs.

The Chinese developer, under CEO Yong Zhang Xinyuan, has built more than 21 million square feet of housing across China, according to its website.

“There’s no question that China wants its domestic companies to spread their wings around the world,” Dan Fasulo, head of research at New York-based Real Capital, which tracks global commercial property transactions, said. “This firm is no joke. Many Chinese real estate developers are looking overseas almost as a training ground for their people, to bring best practices back home.” [Businessweek] —Christopher Cameron