Developer halts work on Oceanwide Plaza megaproject in DTLA

China-based Oceanwide Holdings attributed delay to a recapitalization of 3-tower complex

Oceanwide Holdings CEO Thomas Feng and Oceanwide Plaza
Oceanwide Holdings CEO Thomas Feng and Oceanwide Plaza

A $1 billion mixed-use project in Downtown Los Angeles that is nearing completion has just been halted.

The developer, Oceanwide Holdings, has halted construction over what it says is a recapitalization of the project, according to the L.A. Times. The China-based firm said work would restart in mid-February.

Oceanwide Plaza includes two 40-story towers and another 49-story tower, along with 150,000-square-foot open air mall directly across from the Staples Center and L.A. Live. It topped out in April.

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The project is one of a handful that is of interest to the FBI as it probes possible crimes involving elected city officials and development in Downtown L.A.

A search warrant dating from July sought information about foreign investors in the project in connection to possible crimes including extortion, bribery, and money laundering among others. The investigation appears to center around Downtown L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar.

If work resumes in February, it could still be one of the first major mixed-use projects in L.A. to be completed this year. The Mark Company has been selling the 504 condominium units there since early 2017.

The financing issues could also be a result of recent Chinese capital controls. The Chinese government began plugging the flow of capital to the U.S. in 2017, after wealthy investors sent over billions for development projects and to buy residential units in order to park money outside the country. [LAT]Dennis Lynch