Sunday, September 21, 2014


[SEATTLE] As the Chinese wealthy stash more of their fortunes overseas, they're bidding up the value of everything from bitcoins and Burgundy to Picassos and pink diamonds.
And, increasingly, China's rich are also offshoring their families along with their cash. That has created a real estate boom in an unlikely corner of the United States: suburban Seattle.
Wealthy Chinese have become far and away the biggest foreign buyers of property in Seattle in recent years, accounting for up to one-third of US$1 million-plus homes sold in certain areas, brokers say. Seattle property agents are hiring Mandarin speakers and even opening offices in Beijing. Builders are designing much of their new construction for Chinese buyers.
Seattle property agents have even added a new term of art to their deal language: "the feng shui contingency". Before closing on a house, many Chinese buyers are asking to have a feng shui master or consultant approve the house as part of a general inspection. Bad feng shui means no deal. Or, sometimes, some last-minute landscaping.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Bank of China in New York

Bank of China eyes stake in 7 Bryant Park

Already negotiating to become 7 Bryant Park's anchor tenant, the financial giant also is weighing a possible ownership stake and a post as mortgage lender.
This article from Crain's was published on 2014 September 9

Bank of China is negotiating for more than just office space at the gleaming new tower across from Bryant Park that it is hoping to anchor.
The bank, which in recent years has become a major lender on large commercial buildings in the city, wants to provide the property’s mortgage and also potentially take an ownership or condo interest in it as well, several sources say. 
Bank of China is in negotiations to take about 200,000 square feet at 7 Bryant Park, the 30-story, 471,000-square-foot tower that is nearing completion in a partnership between Hines, Pacolet Milliken Enterprises and JPMorgan Asset Management on the full block-front along Sixth Avenue between West 39th and West 40th streets.
Sources say the bank’s tenancy is being structured either as a condo interest, in which Bank of China would buy its floors, or in an ownership stake, in which it would join the building’s partners as an owner or perhaps buy one or more of them out.
The Beijing-based financial institution, which is one of the world’s largest banks, is also seeking to provide the property with a mortgage, which it will likely need once construction is finished. According to information previously released by Hines, that company, plus Pacolet Milliken Enterprises and JPMorgan Asset Management, financed the tower’s construction using their own cash and no loans.
In recent years, Bank of China has provided several large office towers with mortgages, including 245 Park Ave. It also helped finance Joe Chetrit’s acquisition of the Sony Building last year for $1.1 billion.