The Real Deal New York

Silverstein makes huge bet on China free trade zone

January 28, 2014 11:30AM

Silverstein Properties, behind the original World Trade Center sites and 3 WTC and 4 WTC, has invested $2.21 billion into a China free trade zone that would allow the country to build a mecca for financial services — rivaling that of Hong Kong, he said.

The developer scored the winning bid for an undeveloped site in the Qianhai Economic Zone, located in the city of Shenzhen in southern China, Forbes reported. The acquisition of the more than 550,000-square-foot lot is the largest land sale  — and the priciest — in Shenzhen to date.

The site is zoned for a mixed-use property and 5.1 million buildable square feet. Silverstein was the first non-Chinese investor in the so-called free trade zone, which the country approved in September.

Other developers have invested in China recently, as well. Tishman Speyer is investing in a large mixed-use project in Shanghai known as the Springs and nabbed Nike as its anchor office tenant, as reported earlier this month.

Larry Silverstein said in June he is also looking at opportunities in Beijing and Shanghai, where he hopes to build communities similar to the World Trade Center neighborhood.

Earlier this month, Martin Burger formally took over as CEO of Silverstein Properties, as The Real Deal reported. [Forbes]Mark Maurer