$1 Billion Mixed-Use Complex Halts Construction in L.A.

The example of Oceanwide Plaza, which recently halted construction across the street from the Staples Center, raises more questions than it answers about foreign investment in Downtown Los Angeles' revitalization.
January 28, 2019, 2pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Construction on Oceanwide Plaza pictured left, across the street from the Staples Center and the Los Angeles Convention Center.

"Construction on Oceanwide Plaza, one of the biggest real estate development projects in downtown Los Angeles, has stalled in what may be a shortfall in financing from the project’s Chinese owner," reports Roger Vincent, Emily Alpert Reyes, and David Zahniser.

"The condominium, hotel and retail complex across the street from Staples Center is expected to cost more than $1 billion and be a key part of the flashy entertainment, hotel and residential district emerging along Figueroa Street," according to the article.

Oceanwide Holdings is financing the project. "The company said in a statement Thursday that the hold-up is due to a recapitalization of the project and that work will resume by the middle of next month."

But that statement is met by skepticism in the article, given the complicated political circumstances of the moment. First, there are Chinese policies restricting the flow of money out of the country, and then there are the ongoing FBI investigations into corruption surrounding downtown development projects in Los Angeles.

"Federal agents have inquired about Oceanwide and other downtown development projects with foreign investors as they seek evidence of possible crimes including bribery, extortion, money laundering and kickbacks that could involve L.A. city officials and development executives," according to the article.

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Published on Friday, January 25, 2019 in Los Angeles Times
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