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China Oceanwide's Lender Demands Immediate $165M Payment After Default On Seaport Supertall Site

China Oceanwide Holdings has defaulted on its loan for a major development site in Lower Manhattan, another in a line of problems the Beijing-based developer has faced with its U.S. holdings.

80 South Street, a development site in Lower Manhattan owned by China Oceanwide Holdings.

The struggling Chinese developer is in default on a $175M loan against 80 South Street, its stalled mixed-use skyscraper project in New York’s South Street Seaport, documents filed with Hong Kong regulatory authorities show. Monday, lender DW Partners delivered Oceanwide a note demanding immediate payment of the $165M outstanding on the loan.

China Oceanwide has been attempting to unload the property, even at a significant loss, for the better part of three years. The notice of default comes after Oceanwide missed a payment of around $1.3M that was due in January. Its debt on the property matured in November.

A development subsidiary of Oceanwide purchased the site of 80 South Street from Howard Hughes Co. for $390M in 2016, part of a $3.5B spending spree on U.S.-based real estate assets. Its plans for the site — which currently houses a six-story office building — involved a mixed-use skyscraper that would be among the tallest in lower Manhattan. 

But those plans quickly languished, as did a number of Oceanwide’s other U.S. development projects that stalled or otherwise failed to come to fruition. By 2019, the company was marketing the site at an asking price of close to $300M, The Real Deal reported.

In October, Oceanwide put a new asking price on the property as its situation became more dire: just $200M. Colliers is marketing the site for sale.

Oceanwide took out the $175M loan against 80 South Street in 2019, even as the company was trying to sell the property, documents filed with the city show. The loan had an original maturity date of May 2021, but DW Partners granted the developer a six-month extension, according to city property records. The loan appears to be the only debt against the property.

While Oceanwide’s Hong Kong filing states that the company is exploring its legal options following the default, the company has already had one of its premier U.S. properties seized by creditors. Lenders took over the company’s stalled and semi-completed project in the heart of San Francisco, Bloomberg reported in October. The so-called Oceanwide Center was supposed to be the city’s second-tallest skyscraper, but it currently sits as an abandoned construction site. 

Oceanwide’s projects in Los Angeles and Hawaii also appear to be in trouble, with attempts to refinance both projects falling through, according to Bloomberg. 

Neither DW Partners nor the Colliers team representing China Oceanwide responded to requests for comment. 

Bianca Barragan contributed reporting for this article.