Renewed concerns over Oceanwide Plaza megaproject as developer misses deadline

Work has not resumed at the $1B Downtown mixed-use project by Oceanwide Holdings

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

Late last month, the Chinese company developing the $1 billion Oceanwide Plaza project in Downtown halted work, but said construction would resume in a couple of weeks.

But despite assurances, work never started back up, renewing questions about the financial viability of the massive mixed-use project — set to be completed sometime this year — and the embattled firm, Oceanwide Holdings.

Work ground to a halt at the three-tower project, which was expected to include 500 condos, a hotel and 166,000 square feet of retail space.

As an explanation, Beijing-based Oceanwide Holdings said at the time it was recapitalizing the project. But as of Friday work had not restarted, and Oceanwide Holdings would not comment on its status, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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The company is also facing a number of other setbacks. Contractors claim Oceanwide failed to pay them more than $62.5 million over the last six months on Oceanwide Plaza constructions.

And earlier this month, Oceanwide Holdings listed a development site in Manhattan’s Financial District for $300 million, another sign that the firm is facing financial troubles.

Regarding the Oceanwide Plaza project, which was financed entirely in-house, the company could have trouble getting funds out of China because of the country’s restrictions on moving capital abroad.

Major Chinese international investors including HNA, Fosun International, and Dalian Wanda Group have all sold off major assets since the capital controls were enacted in 2017. [LAT]Dennis Lynch