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  • Jason Tuvia

Wanda Group Announces $1.2B Beverly Hills Mixed-Use Project

Beijing-based Wanda Group, speeding up its move into global real estate and entertainment, announced it has won the bidding for a plot of land at 9900 Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills, where the Chinese conglomerate plans to invest $1.2 billion to build a mixed-use development.

Wanda, also known as Dalian Wanda Group Corp. Ltd., with activities in real estate, tourism, hotels, and entertainment, is headed by Wang Jianlin, one of the world’s richest people.

Wanda beat out more than 10 bidders from Asia and North America to acquire the site, widely regarded as among the most desirable development sites for luxury property in Los Angeles, located in a prime luxury residential area 10 minutes walking distance from Rodeo Drive.

The Los Angeles project is the Wanda Group’s "first important step," into Hollywood, the company said in a release. Wanda will set up a Los Angeles office which will handle entertainment sector investments while the company’s New York office will be responsible for commercial sector investments.

The Los Angeles office will be able to leverage on Hollywood’s solid film industry resources to support the Wanda Group’s Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis and Qingdao International Film Festival projects in China.

The office will also be the base for investment in local film production companies or global theatrical releases. Wanda said the Los Angeles project is expected to aid in China’s entry into Hollywood’s film industry and generally promote Chinese culture abroad.

Dalian Wanda Group, founded in 1988, had assets total US $62.8 billion in 2013. Its annual income reached $30.8 billion and net profits exceeded $2.06 billion.

The string of announcements heralding Wanda's jump into global real estate continued today with an announcement that it has purchased the famous Jewel project in Queensland on Australia's Gold Coast in a $900 million investment.

Wanda will jointly develop the project with its original owners to build a luxury five-star Wanda Vista hotel and apartments. The Jewel is Wanda's fifth overseas hotel project announcement.

Wanda aims to have 15 five-star hotels in major foreign cities by 2020. Wanda also plans to enter the overseas financial investment area in the second half of the year, said Wang.

Last month, the Wanda Group said it would invest $900 million to build a tower in Chicago's Lakeshore East development that would be the third-tallest building in downtown Chicago.

The conglomerate purchased U.S. cinema chain AMC Entertainment Holdings in 2012 and United Kingdom-based Sunseeker, a yacht making company, in 2013.

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