Ifei Chang Leaves Chinese Firm Invested in Brooklyn Development

  • Chang departs Shanghai-based Greenland after two years
  • Head of Greenland's U.S. unit led NYC, Los Angeles projects

Ifei Chang, who engineered Chinese developer Greenland Group’s foray into major real estate projects in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, stepped down as chief executive officer of the firm’s U.S. unit.

Chang, 50, was the driving force behind Greenland’s acquisition of a 70 percent interest in the $4.6 billion Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn, 22 acres (8.9 hectares) of mostly residential construction that also includes offices and the Barclays Center sports and entertainment arena, a project now known as Pacific Park. She also oversaw the acquisition and development of the company’s $1.4 billion Metropolis residential-and-retail complex being built in downtown Los Angeles.

With those projects under way, it was time for Chang to move on, she said. Chang said she now wants to offer her “talent and passion” for helping companies break into new markets, serving as a consultant.

“It’s a graduation day for me as a professional,” she said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “I’m hoping there will be other projects, perhaps with startup companies, where it will be equally important for me to step up and provide my expertise.”

Both the Pacific Park and Metropolis projects have been described by local officials as transforming their communities. Greenland’s investment with Forest City Ratner Cos. in Pacific Park, where 14 apartment buildings are planned, helped expedite development as rents surge in downtown Brooklyn and surrounding neighborhoods. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti last year said the Metropolis project would enhance the “city center nationally and internationally.”

‘Real Drive’

“Ifei Chang has been a great partner,” Forest City Ratner CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin said in an e-mailed statement. “She’s been critical for moving Pacific Park forward, something that required a high level of technical know-how and a real drive.”

Chang, who has master’s degrees in architecture and environmental design from Yale University, worked for Japanese architect Osamu Ishiyama, and later oversaw a $4 billion master-planned community called Baltic Pearl in St. Petersburg, Russia, before returning in 2013 to Greenland, where she had worked before.

“Greenland is already well positioned for important projects -- it’s in good hands,” she said. “I’m very glad that my chairman understands my own personal targets,” Chang said, referring to Zhang Yuliang, chairman and president of Greenland Group.

Shanghai-based Greenland said in a Nov. 6 statement that Gang Hu, a former executive vice president and founding member of its U.S. operation, will take over Chang’s responsibilities.

“We thank her and wish her the best in her future endeavors,” Greenland USA said of Chang in the statement.

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