Chinese Developer Sets Footprint in San Francisco

Oceanwide Holdings has gotten on the TransBay bandwagon with a mixed-use purchase.

By Keith Loria, Contributing Editor

Oceanwide Holdings Co. Ltd., a publicly traded real estate company headquartered in China, has acquired the two-tower First & Mission development site in San Francisco’s TransBay from TMG Partners and Northwood Investors L.L.C. for $296 million.

TMG Partners will assist Oceanwide on the entitlement process. TMG and Oceanwide were brought together by China SF, a nonprofit that helps local companies attract investment from Chinese companies.

“The TransBay will be the most vibrant new area in San Francisco, enjoying dynamic architecture, a skyline of tall buildings and the mix of residential with office, hotel and retail,” Michael Covarrubias, TMG Partners’ chairman & CEO, told Commercial Property Executive. “It will be a hub of business, residential, culture, tourism and transportation.”

Foster + Partners and Heller Manus Architects are the architects for the approximately 2-million-square-foot mixed-use development. The First & Mission mixed-use project will consist of two towers with 1.35 million square feet of office/commercial and 650,000 square feet of residential units. The building housing the hotel and additional residential space will rise to 605 feet adjacent to the 850-foot residential and office tower.

According to Covarrubias, the towers will be a sustainable model of high density, mixed-use development with the large-floor-plate office tower that will front on First Street and a condominium portion that will be taller than any residential project on the West Coast.

Oceanwide released a Chinese language press release that stated its total investment could reach as high as $1.6 billion for the project.

“We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to own and develop this premier project in San Francisco,” the release stated. “We are really looking forward to working on such a great development, in such an excellent location and in such a fantastic city.”

This is not the Chinese developer’s first entry into the States. Oceanwide previously acquired Fig Central, an undeveloped mixed-use site across from the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, for $200 million in 2013. It’s reported that the company is investing an additional $1 billion in this property.

In 2014, Oceanwide had projects under development with a total floor area of more than 55 million square feet.

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