The Los Angeles real estate investment community is abuzz with news of Oceanwide Real Estate Group’s pending acquisition of Fig Central, a 4.6-acre entitled development site located downtown, just across from Staples Center and the multi-billion-dollar L.A. Live entertainment destination.
The Beijing, China-based company, acting through its Tohigh Construction Investment subsidiary, will purchase the shovel-ready property from The Moinian Group. According to papers filed with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, Oceanwide will invest $200 million on the acquisition, but industry insiders suggest that the publicized price tag likely includes additional investment costs related to the project, which has already been approved for 1.5 million square feet of high-end mixed-use development.
Much has changed since the asset last changed hands. Moinian acquired the parking lot from AEG, developer of L.A. Live, in 2006 for a mere $80 million and soon after announced plans for a $700 million mixed-use development to be called L.A. Central. That project evolved into Fig Central and, when Moinian tapped commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield to market the property, the global investment arena stood up and took notice. David Hasbrouck and John Eichler, the agents for the property, were not able to be reached for comment; however, sources familiar with the investment sales market in Los Angeles told Commercial Property Executive that Fig Central commanded a great deal of attention from investors in Asia as well as the Middle East.
Law firm Allen Matkins served as legal counsel to Moinian on the transaction, while Nixon Peabody L.L.P. advised Oceanwide on the deal that marks the real estate company’s entrée into the U.S. Nixon Peabody, which will also serve as development counsel going forward, notes in a statement that Fig Central will be developed to include a five-star hotel, apartments and retail space.