Chinese developer to build $1bn hotel scheme in London

20 June 2013

China’s commercial property and entertainment conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group will develop a $1bn hotel and residential project in London featuring the company’s five-star luxury Wanda hotel.

Dalian Wanda claims the twin-tower scheme will be the first luxury hotel opened by a Chinese firm overseas.

Located at the Nine Elms area of London’s South Bank, the 105,000-sq-m project comprises the 160-room hotel plus premium apartments in two towers 45 and 60 storeys high.

If built, the taller tower would be London’s second highest behind the 87-storey Shard.

Dalian Wanda bought the two-acre development site, One Nine Elms, from Irish developer Green Property for approximately $140m, according to The Financial Times.

Planning permission is already in place for the site, now home to two run-down office blocks built in the 1970s, according to the local council.

Dalian Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin

"We are confident that we will be the leader in bringing branded Chinese luxury hotels to the global market, where they have long been absent," said Wanda Chairman Wang Jianlin.

"The London property market has excellent investment opportunities and we have confidence that Wanda’s strength and expertise will make the Wanda London’s premier hotel, further promoting development in the area."

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, called it a "cracking deal".

"I warmly welcome Dalian Wanda’s investment into London as part of our plans to dramatically transform Nine Elms into a stunning quarter of the capital, providing thousands of new jobs and homes," he said.

"City Hall and my promotional agency, London & Partners, have worked tirelessly with Dalian Wanda Group to secure this cracking deal, which is yet another sign of the soaring global confidence in London as world-beating place to live, work and do business."

This is the second large investment in London real estate by a Chinese developer to be announced within a month, following the revelation of plans for a $1.5bn investment by Chinese developer ABP into the Royal Albert Docks for a new business district.

The new Wanda development

The Nine Elms scheme is part of a bigger investment by Dalian Wanda in the UK. The company is also acquiring a majority shareholding of 91.81% in British luxury motor yacht manufacturer Sunseeker for approximately $495m, bringing its investment in the UK to nearly $1.5bn.

Dalian Wanda Group is a rapidly expanding conglomerate active in hotels, department stores and entertainment. This year’s UK investment follows its $2.6bn acquisition of US cinema operator AMC Entertainment Holdings last year.

See Dalian Wanda announcement here.

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