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First The Candys Got Burned, Then Wanda. Now Cain International Takes On Huge Beverly Hills Development Project

Rendering of Wanda's proposed One Beverly Hills mixed-use project. Wanda sold the site in 2018.

It has been a roller-coaster decade for 9900 Wilshire, also named One Beverly Hills. The 8-acre site has seen two of the last three owners sell in a hurry. Now the Anglo-American investor Cain International, set up by LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly, has bought the site and could combine it with nearby holdings into one new massive redevelopment.

In 2007, 9900 Wilshire, a former department store, was bought by U.K. luxury residential developer Christian Candy’s CPC Group for $500M, from owners who had paid just $34M three years earlier. His brother Nick’s firm, Candy & Candy, was development manager for a proposed luxury resi scheme.

But as was de rigeur at the time, the deal was completed using plenty of debt, with $366M provided by Mexico’s Banca Inbursa. The credit crunch brought such projects to a halt, and in 2010, after the loan could not be refinanced, the bank took possession of the scheme.

Later that year it was sold by Inbursa to Hong Kong investor Joint Treasure for just $148M. The company was one of the few to make money on it in the past 10 years, selling it to acquisitive Chinese firm Dalian Wanda for $420M in 2014.

Wanda rechristened the scheme One Beverly Hills, and drew up plans for a scheme that included a 134-room five-star hotel and 193 luxury condos with a projected end value of $1.2B.

But in 2017 the Chinese government put the brakes on overseas investment into global real estate, specifically by highly indebted firms like Wanda, and put pressure on Wanda to sell assets. The company sold a hotel scheme in London, and has now sold 9900 Wilshire to Cain International for a reported $450M. Cain bought it in a joint venture with Alagem Capital.

Cain is co-owned by Boehly, who was previously president of Guggenheim Partners, and London-based Jonathan Goldstein, who was also a partner at Guggenheim.

The company owns the neighbouring Beverly Hilton and Waldorf Astoria hotels, and said the purchase gave it 17 contiguous acres and more than 1M SF of developable property in the heart of Beverly Hills, which it called a dramatic opportunity to create a unified development.