HNA backs Tishman Speyer’s bets in Brooklyn, Hudson Yards

Chinese conglomerate behind purchase of 245 Park has been on NYC real estate shopping spree

Renderings of the Spiral in Hudson Yards, the Wheeler in Downtown Brooklyn, Rob Speyer and Chen Feng (Credit: Tishman Speyer and Getty Images)
Renderings of the Spiral in Hudson Yards, the Wheeler in Downtown Brooklyn, Rob Speyer and Chen Feng (Credit: Tishman Speyer and Getty Images)

HNA Property Group, the Chinese conglomerate behind the $2.2 billion deal for 245 Park Avenue, is backing Tishman Speyer’s Hudson Yards megatower and its creative office redevelopment plans in Brooklyn, the developer said Wednesday.

HNA, headed by Chen Feng, is a partner on the development of the Wheeler, a 10-story creative office project rising above Macy’s department store in Downtown Brooklyn, as well as on the 2.85-million-square-foot, Bjarke Ingels-designed tower known as the Spiral in the Hudson Yards area.

A spokesperson for Tishman Speyer declined to comment on how much HNA had invested in the deals and HNA could not immediately be reached.

The revelation came as part of Tishman Speyer’s reveal of the Wheeler, which is named for 19th century Brooklyn developer Andrew Wheeler. The 620,000-square-foot project at 422 Fulton Street, which includes an acre of outdoor space, will be ready for occupancy in mid-2019, the company said.

Los Angeles-based architect Joey Shimoda is designing the building with architectural firm Perkins Eastman. It’s Shimoda first project in New York.

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Macy’s will continue to own and operate the first four shopping floors and lower level of the two interconnected buildings on the site – a nine-story art deco building built in 1930 and an adjacent four-story, cast-iron structure built by Wheeler in the 1870s. Tishman Speyer paid $270 million for the top five floors of the property in 2015, along with the rights to develop a tower on a garage site next door.

Tishman Speyer CEO Rob Speyer previously told The Real Deal the property would be the “Starrett Lehigh Building of Brooklyn.”

In September, the firm filed plans for a 65-story, 1,005-foot office skyscraper at 66 Hudson Boulevard that’s slated to cost $3.2 billion, one of the most expensive office projects in history. Tishman Speyer spent $438 million acquiring the parcels along West 34th Street in 2014.

HNA has been on a New York shopping spree in recent months. The company, which began in 1989 as a private airline in Hainan, is in contract to pay $2.21 billion the buy the Park Avenue building from Brookfield Property Partners and the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System. It also owns stakes in 850 Third Avenue, the Cassa Hotel at 70 West 45th Street and 1180 Sixth Avenue. The company is exploring a sale of 1180 Sixth, however.

Correction: In a previous version of this story, The Real Deal incorrectly identified the address of the Wheeler building