As the Evergrande crisis continues to unfold in China, one of the country’s largest companies is trying to unload a pricey Manhattan development site — and willing to swallow a big loss.
Oceanwide Holdings is looking to sell its development site at the South Street Seaport, where plans for a supertall luxury skyscraper have languished for several years.
The developer is seeking to get about $200 million for 80 South Street, sources familiar with the offering told The Real Deal. That’s a significant break from the $390 million Oceanwide paid for the property in 2016, when Chinese capital was rushing into the United States.
Since then, Oceanwide has struggled with billions of dollars in investments stateside and is on the verge of being crushed by a mountain of debt. All the while, the Evergrande Group’s $300 billion credit crisis is threatening China’s economy.
A representative for Oceanwide could not be immediately reached.
The company has labored the past five years to develop the property at 80 South Street. It had planned to build the tallest building in Lower Manhattan by roof height at roughly 1,500 feet above the street. Renderings surfaced in 2019 showing a glassy tower piercing the downtown skyline.
But the plans never got off the ground, and that same year Oceanwide quietly marketed the property for sale with Cushman & Wakefield, asking $300 million. This time around, a team at Colliers International led by Peter Nicoletti is marketing the property. A representative for Colliers declined to comment.
Across the United States, Oceanwide has been struggling with some $3.5 billion worth of investments, including a site in San Francisco where it planned to build the city’s second-largest tower.
The company’s Hong Kong-based subsidiary has been warning regulators that it might not be able to continue as a going concern if it can’t shore up its finances by selling parts of its portfolio and restructuring debt, Bloomberg reported.
China Oceanwide Holdings has crossed each of the “three red lines” the Chinese government drew in an effort to get developers to reduce their debts.