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Dalian Wanda's Potential Exit From Vista Tower May Open Up Opportunity For Hotel Brands Looking To Enter The Market

Chicago Hotel
A rendering of the Vista Hotel Chicago.

If Dalian Wanda Group sells its $900M stake in Vista Tower, it could open up an opportunity for luxury hospitality brands to attach their names to the development's hotel component, according to Crain's Chicago Business.

Dalian Wanda, which operates 100 hotels in China, plans to open a 210-room hotel in what will be Chicago's third-tallest building. But with mounting pressure from the Chinese government on the flow of money being invested abroad, the firm has been on a selling spree in recent months. The firm sold Nine Elms, its London development, in January at a steep discount to valuation. Two other Australian properties are under contract or seeking buyers.

Dalian Wanda owns a 90% stake in Vista Tower, and the project is being funded with a $700M construction loan. Magellan Development President David Carlins said Dalian Wanda has not formally put its stake in the building up for sale yet, but investors have approached the partners about buying out Dalian Wanda's share. If a sale happens, a new developer may partner with a hotel group seeking to enter the Chicago market. Vista Tower's hotel would give a luxury brand a high-profile location. But any hotelier, including Dalian Wanda, would find a highly competitive downtown hotel market filled with high-profile projects opening or under construction.