Xinyuan gives update on Hell’s Kitchen development, Oosten condo sales

Chinese developer nearly 70% “pre-sold” at 216-unit Williamsburg project
By Rey Mashayekhi | May 12, 2016 01:20PM

Chinese developer Xinyuan Real Estate provided insight into its growing New York City operations this week, revealing that its upcoming Hell’s Kitchen condominium development is “in the planning and design stage” and sales at its Oosten condo project in Williamsburg are moving along briskly.

Speaking on the Beijing-based company’s first quarter earnings call Tuesday, Xinyuan – which is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange – Xinyuan CFO George Liu said that “architectural, engineering and marketing teams have already been assembled” for the Hell’s Kitchen project at 615 10th Avenue.

Xinyuan paid $57.5 million, or just under $550 per buildable square foot, for the property between West 44th and West 45th streets – having closed on the deal in January after entering contract on the former gas station site last fall, as The Real Deal reported.

The site holds nearly 105,00 buildable square feet and, in addition to holding up to 90 residential condo units, “will be a mixed-use project which will include some retail space,” Liu said.

Xinyuan indicated earlier this year that the Hell’s Kitchen project’s condos will be priced far below the struggling high-end luxury market – with the apartments to be listed at up to $2,000 per square foot, compared to the $2,775 per square foot average for new development listings in Manhattan last year, according to data from Halstead Property Development Marketing.

“New York’s luxury condo market is now at a very, very dangerous edge of bubbles,” John Liang, managing director of Xinyuan’s U.S. operations, known as XIN Development, said in January. “It’s a myth that Chinese buyers all come to the U.S. loaded with cash.”

The project at 615 10th Avenue is Xinyuan’s first Manhattan development and second in New York City, after its upcoming Oosten condo building at 429 Kent Avenue in Williamsburg. Liu said the company’s foray into the Manhattan market has been “good to our brand image” as an “international homebuilder.”

The 216-unit Oosten was nearly 70 percent pre-sold at the end of the first quarter, with Liu noting that demand and pricing at the building “remain healthy.” Xinyuan expects to “fully deliver the entire project in the second half of this year earliest,” Liu added.

In August, a six-bedroom, 5,000-square-foot penthouse at the Oosten sold for $6.5 million – reportedly a Williamsburg neighborhood record. Xinyuan is seeking a nearly $381 million total sellout at the Piet Boon-designed building, as The Real Deal reported last year, and invested $270 million into the development.