China Skyscraper Builder Enters Australia on A$480 Million Deal

Shanghai Greenland Group Co., the developer building one of China’s tallest towers, is investing A$480 million ($498 million) in a redevelopment in Sydney, the latest among Chinese homebuilders venturing overseas.

Shanghai Greenland and Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management Inc. bought two buildings at the corner of Bathurst and Pitt streets for the 3,969-square-meter (42,721-square-foot) redevelopment, the state-owned Chinese developer said in an e-mailed statement today. Shanghai Greenland said it is the biggest deal of its kind by a Chinese firm in Australia.

Chinese developers are entering overseas markets as the government puts curbs on residential property at home to damp price gains. China Vanke Co., the biggest developer listed on mainland exchanges, said last month it entered a residential-property venture in San Francisco, while Xinyuan Real Estate Co. in September said it was developing a New York project.

“The healthy and stable property market in Australia has given big confidence to investors,” Zhang Yuliang, chairman of Shanghai Greenland, said in the statement. “New immigrants, including those from China, have boosted property purchase demand in the country and we expect it to be sustainable.”

Home prices across major Australian cities rose 1.2 percent in January and 0.3 percent in February, following a 0.4 percent decline in 2012 and a 3.8 percent drop in 2012, according to figures from researcher RP Data.

Construction is expected to start this year, after it receives Chinese government approval, and will begin to sell early next year, the company said.

Wuhan Tower

Shanghai Greenland, the closely held company set up in 1992, said in 2010 that it will invest 30 billion yuan ($4.8 billion) to develop a 606-meter skyscraper in the central city of Wuhan.

The 660-meter Ping An Finance Center in the southern city of Shenzhen will be China’s tallest building when it is completed 2015, according to the skyscraper center database of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. China’s tallest building currently is the 492-meter Shanghai World Financial Center.

Vanke and Tishman Speyer Properties LP, the owner of New York’s Rockefeller Center, are planning two residential towers in San Francisco that will cost $620 million, Rob Speyer, Tishman’s president and co-chief executive officer, said last month.

Xinyuan Real Estate in September took control of a lot slated for more than 200 units near New York’s Brooklyn waterfront for $54.2 million, a deal the Beijing-based company said was the first of its kind by a Chinese firm in the U.S.