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Oceanwide Plaza Developer Facing Lawsuit Over $1B Loan

Oceanwide Plaza in downtown Los Angeles

A top Chinese lender is suing developer Oceanwide Holdings and its former chairman, Chinese billionaire Lu Zhiqiang, over loans valued at more than $1B. 

The lawsuit seeks to compel Chinese developers Wuhan Centre Co. and Wuhan CBD Co. to repay the loan's principal amount, according to a filing by China Minsheng Banking Corp. with the Hong Kong stock exchange and reported by Nikkei Asia. China Minsheng is China’s largest privately owned lender by assets, according to the publication.

The loan is secured by "five pieces of land under the name of Wuhan CBD Company and guaranteed by Oceanwide Holding and Lu Zhiqiang," the filing says. Zhiqiang is described by Nikkei Asia as Oceanwide’s "de facto controller."

Oceanwide has its own financial troubles. Following a $175M default in Manhattan last year, it lost control of a site where it had previously planned a skyscraper. In 2021, creditors took over its 2M SF Oceanwide Center project in San Francisco. It has jettisoned all its U.S. properties but one: Downtown Los Angeles’ Oceanwide Plaza, a trio of towers that has been sitting unfinished on prime real estate for nearly three years. The company has spent at least $1.2B on the project and anticipates it will take about $1B to finish it. 

Cranes came down in November at the LA Oceanwide site, CoStar reported. Oceanwide reported to investors in December that it had a potential buyer on the line for an undisclosed price, but that contract was entered into in August 2022, and there haven't been additional updates about the possible sale since. 

Related Topics: Oceanwide Holdings