Chinese firm to pay $390M for Seaport development site

Property could give rise to supertall tower
August 07, 2015 09:45AM

China Oceanwide Holdings purchased a large development site near the South Street Seaport from the Howard Hughes Corp., paying $390 million. The deal could give rise to Manhattan’s latest supertall tower. 

The site, at 80 South StreetAnd 163 Front Street in the Financial District, on the outskirts of the Seaport, previously received permission from the City Planning Commission for redevelopment into a roughly 820,000 square foot mixed-use tower, comprised of 440,000 square feet of residential and 380,000 square feet of commercial space, Crain’s reported.

The Beijing-based investment firm is a 59-percent-owned subsidiary of Chinese developer Oceanwide Holdings, controlled by billionaire Lu Zhiqiang, the 248th richest person on earth, with a net worth of $5.9 billion, according to Forbes. The company owns several buildings on the West Coast, but this appears to be their first purchase in New York.

Howard Hughes Corp., the would-be developer of the South Street Seaport, assembled the site in two recent deals, according to Crain’s. It purchased the 8,128 square foot 80 South Street, where a six-story office building now stands, from Cord Meyer Development last year for $100 million. And, in March, it picked up the 6,552 square foot parcel at 173 Front Street, currently home to a 10-story commercial building, for $24 million.

The deal adds to a long string of major purchases in the city by Chinese buyers. [Forbes] and [Crain’s]Ariel Stulberg