China firm takes stake in Brooklyn real estate project

October 11, 2013: 3:05 PM ET
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An architect's drawing of the towers that are planned as part of the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

A Chinese firm is taking a majority stake in a major Brooklyn real estate development, one of the largest moves into U.S. commercial real estate by investors from that country.

Under the deal, Shanghai-based Greenland Group will be 70% owners of a joint venture that will develop Atlantic Yards, a 22-acre residential and commercial real estate project in downtown Brooklyn.

The overall project, located at a commuter rail hub, includes the Barclays Center, a basketball and hockey arena that opened last year. It is home to the NBA's Brooklyn Nets and will be home to the NHL's New York Islanders starting in 2015.

But plans to add residential and office towers at the site have lagged behind the arena's development.

Related: 50 largest Chinese acquisitions in U.S.

The joint venture will not include either the Barclays Center or the first residential tower that is planned for the site.

The joint venture plans to build an additional 6,400 apartments, of which 2,250 will be set aside as affordable housing Forest City Ratner Companies, which built Barclays Center and is planning the first tower, will be the Greenland's partner in the project.

The deal still needs regulatory approvals.

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This is the second, and largest, U.S. commercial real estate deal for the Chinese firm. In July, it purchased a 275,450-square-foot site in downtown Los Angeles where it plans to build a hotel and apartments.

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In a statement, Greenland Group says it is one of the largest real estate developers in China, with projects in more than 70 cities in 25 provinces in China, with revenues of $36.6 billion and a total profit of approximately $2 billion in 2012. Fortune ranks it 359th on its Global 500 list of the world's largest companies, up from a ranking of 483 a year earlier.


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