Dalian Wanda, the real estate group owned by China’s second-richest man, has accelerated its overseas expansion by outlining plans to invest $1bn to redevelop a landmark property on Sydney Harbour.
Wanda, which is owned by Wang Jianlin, a former Chinese army officer turned property mogul, agreed to pay A$415m (US$327m) for Gold Fields House in Sydney’s central business district.
万达的拥有者王健林（前中国军官，后转身成为地产大亨）同意斥资4.15亿澳元（合3.27亿美元）购买位于悉尼中央商务区的Gold Fields House。
The harbourfront building was previously owned by Blackstone. The US private equity group took ownership of the 1960s office block in 2011 when it acquired Valad property group for an undisclosed sum.
Wanda said it planned to name the building Sydney One and spend $1bn turning it and an adjacent building into a 85,000 square metre complex that will include the five-star, 185-metre high Wanda Wenhua hotel.
“Wanda Group has recognised the iconic location, and intends to create a mixed-use development including a five-star hotel, luxury residential and retail. We look forward to creating a new Sydney landmark,” the company said on Monday.
The purchase is Wanda’s second large investment on the continent following last year’s acquisition of a controlling stake the $970m Jewel hotel and apartment development on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
In addition to Australia, Wanda said it has built or plans to build Wenhua-branded five-star luxury hotels in London, Madrid and Chicago.
Wanda is the largest commercial property group in China, operating more than 100 Wanda Plaza shopping malls.
Last autumn, Mr Wang lost his spot as China’s richest man to Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba, following the ecommerce group’s initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange.
A December IPO in Hong Kong by Wanda’s commercial property unit raised $3.7bn for the group, but has so far failed to restore Mr Wang to the top spot in the Chinese wealth rankings.
Australia has become an attractive destination for Chinese property investors due to its stable regulatory regime, growing population and rising residential price — which have until recently been increasing at 10 per cent a year or higher in Sydney and Melbourne.
Greenland Group, one of China’s biggest developers, is investing A$1.5bn in Melbourne and Sydney, where it is building the city’s highest residential tower and a hotel.
Starryland Australia, a division of Fuxing Huiyu Real Estate Company, is spending $500m on developments in the Sydney suburb of Paramatta.
Mr Wang’s Gold Coast development has been granted state approval for three towers — one a luxury five-star hotel and the other two serviced apartments.