Wanda's Chicago Project Latest Big Chinese Real Estate Deal in U.S.

  • 01jul

China’s richest man is taking on the windy city.

Chinese property-and-entertainment conglomerate Wanda Group, owned by billionaire Wang Jianlin, announced plans on Tuesday to invest $900 million to build a new tower that would be the third tallest building

The 89-story skyscraper “is just Wanda’s first move into the U.S. real estate market,” said Mr. Wang in a statement posted to Wanda Group’s website, promising more investments in major U.S. cities within a year.

The project is the latest in a series of high-profile real estate deals by Chinese companies in the U.S., which come asChinese property looks 

less alluring. These have included state-owned property developer Greenland Holdings Group’s agreement to buy a majority stake in a 15-tower apartment project on Brooklyn’s Atlantic YardsChina Vanke Co.000002.SZ -1.62%’ deal last year with Tishman Speyer Properties Inc. to build two luxury condo towers in San Francisco; and Soho China Ltd.0410.HK -0.92% chief executive Zhang Xin’s purchase, along with Brazil’s Safra family, of a 40% stake in New York’s General Motors Building.

For its part, Wanda Group has made several real estate grabs in other world cities, including buying a skyscraper in Madrid from Spanish lender Santander for EUR280 million. Wanda is perhaps best known in the U.S. for buying U.S. cinema chain AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.AMC +1.59% for $2.6 billion in 2012.

Away from the big glitzy deals, American housing is also increasingly attractive to Chinese buyers at all ends of the spectrum. Chinese customers purchased $22 billion in U.S. housing for the 12-month period ended in March, or around 24% of all foreign sales by dollar volume, up from $12.8 billion, or 19%, during the year-earlier period, according to a survey published this week by the National Association of Realtors.