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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Wanda Group selling One Beverly Hills
to Beny Alagem, Cain International

Triple Five Group was in talks to acquire the project
By Natalie Hoberman | November 15, 2018 03:00PM

Wang Jianlin, Beny Alagem and One Beverly Hills

In a surprising turn of events, Beny Alagem, the hotel mogul and longtime foe of One Beverly Hills, has emerged as the buyer of the sprawling hotel and condo project entitled by Dalian Wanda Group.

A joint venture between Alagem Capital Group and London-based Cain International have agreed to purchase the site in a deal expected to close next month, the companies announced Thursday.

With One Beverly Hills, Alagem and Cain now hold 17 contiguous acres of land in the prime 90210 zip code. Cain invested $345 million into Alagem’s Beverly Hilton and Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills in August, a deal that valued both properties at a combined $1.2 billion.

The companies declined to disclose terms of the deal, though a person familiar with the transaction told the Wall Street Journal that the buyers agreed to pay more than $420 million.

Another source familiar with the property pegged the value at closer to $350 million.

The Chinese conglomerate paid $420 million for the eight-acre property in 2014. Three years later, the firm agreed to pay the city upfront fees of $60 million, as well as an additional 5 percent surcharge on hotel revenue, for a permit extension.

One Beverly Hills, originally listed at $1.2 billion, is entitled for 193 condos, 134 hotel rooms and restaurants spread across two towers and public gardens.

Earlier reports from September revealed that Triple Five Group, a shopping mall developer based in Canada, was in talks to purchase the complex, plus Wanda’s 60 percent stake in the planned Vista Tower in Chicago. A spokesperson for the company, which is led by the Ghermezian family, cited concerns about rising interest rates and construction costs as part of the reason for why the deal fell through.

The deal comes exactly one year after Wanda listed One Beverly Hills, plus four other massive overseas projects, for a combined $5 billion. Wanda, along with other Chinese firms, has been seeing pushback from their government as China pulls back on foreign spending.

It reflects a major about-face from Alagem’s previous stance on the project.

Since 2008, the Israeli-born developer has been trying to build condominiums, dubbed the Waldorf Astoria Residences, directly across from the proposed One Beverly Hills site. Wanda and its former partner, Athens Group, spent millions fighting Alagem’s proposal, which has gone to voters twice, on two different ballot initiatives.

Now, with Wanda now out of the picture and Alagem owning both properties, his proposal faces a better chance of finally becoming reality.