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China's Largest Property Developer Enters U.S.

Asian Residential Developer Partners With Tishman Speyer On San Francisco Condo Tower
February 20, 2013
China Vanke Co., Ltd. the largest residential property developer in the People’s Republic of China, has signed a joint venture with Tishman Speyer to develop a high-rise condominium at 201 Folsom St. in San Francisco.

The planned development to be managed by Tishman Speyer is the first North American investment for Shenzhen-based China Vanke, which has developed residences for over 400,000 households in China and provided property management services to about 200 residential communities.

China Vanke Chairman Shi Wang and his strategy and investment team joined Tishman Speyer President and Co-CEO Rob Speyer and executives in charge of the firm’s China and San Francisco offices for a formal signing of the JV in San Francisco on Feb. 13. Financial terms were not disclosed, though media report put the value of the project at $620 million.

The project across the street from The Infinity, a pair of residential towers that also were developed by Tishman Speyer, will be comprised of two connected residential towers of 37 and 42 stories for a total of 655 residences.

Units at The Infinity sold at prices ranging from $600,000 to $6 million in 2009, said Tishman Speyer, a leading developer in San Francisco, which is one of the best performing residential and CRE markets in the U.S. The for-sale condo market has joined multifamily rental housing in recent months, particularly in gateway markets such as Boston, San Francisco and New York.

Last year the firm broke ground on its Foundry Square III office project and is finalizing plans to build an office tower at 222 Second. Tishman Speyer also previously developed the 555 Mission St. office building, and its current holdings include 650 California Street, One Bush Street and 595 Market Street.

Tishman Speyer has raised funds successfully in China from Chinese investors and currently has about 20 million square feet at various stages in its development pipeline.

The venture marks the beginning of China Vanke's planned expansion outside China, according to recent public statements by the developer, founded in 1984.

"China Vanke has always been a company with a global view, good at learning from excellent peer enterprises. We are entering the U.S. market to continue this learning process, to understand business models in a mature market and accumulate management experience through project cooperation," said China Vanke Chairman Shi Wang in a statement released by Tishman Speyer.

The landmark joint venture complements the growth of Tishman Speyer's platform in China, "and we could not be more excited about working closely with such a spectacular company," said Rob Speyer.
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