The Real Deal Los Angeles

WATCH: Top US developers talk Chinese investment and Trump

By Alistair Gardiner | November 25, 2016 10:00AM

Throughout The Real Deal’s second annual U.S. Real Estate Showcase & Forum in Shanghai, there was one subject on everyone’s mind: President-elect Donald Trump and what impact his leadership could have on the industry. It was only a quarter of the way into the panel on “Opportunities for development” before the future president was mentioned and the rest of the conversation was dominated by speculation on the topic.

“I think our new president-elect is going to help the market in general,” said Gil Dezer, CEO of Dezer Development. “Rising tides raise all ships and that’s going to keep the real estate market going.”

Many on the panel spoke of the future president with optimism. Don Peebles, head of the Peebles Corporation, believes that Trump will deregulate the financial sector and encourage foreign investment from China and elsewhere. “I can assure you that the EB-5 program will be extended for a longer period of time,” he said. But Peebles also assured the audience that Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric did not reflect the values of the United States.

The panel, moderated by TRD Editor-in-Chief Stuart Elliott, also featured: Shang Dai, CEO of Kuafu Properties; Scott Alper, president of Witkoff; Sharif El-Gamal, CEO of Soho Properties; Stan Gale Jr., president of Gale International; and Ziel Feldman, founder of HFZ Capital Group.

Thousands of real estate professionals from New York, Miami, Los Angeles and other major U.S. markets hobnobbed with Chinese investors, homebuyers, wealth managers and brokers at the event, held at the Jing An Shangri-La from Nov. 17-19.