[CHICAGO] China's largest commercial property company, Dalian Wanda, and a Chicago real estate developer on Monday announced they will build a US$900 million skyscraper, the largest-ever real estate investment by a Chinese company in Chicago.
Builders will break ground this summer on the Vista Tower, a 95-story condominium and hotel complex that will be Chicago's third-largest skyscraper, the two companies and Chicago city officials said in a statement.
Last week, affiliates of Chicago-based Magellan Development Group and Beijing-based Wanda Group completed a land purchase for the building, which will have 406 residential units, the 200-room Wanda Vista luxury hotel and approximately 9,000 square feet of retail space.
The companies did not say what percentage of the investment each of them owns.
Developers said the project would employ 2,000 construction workers and, eventually, 500 permanent, full-time employees in the completed building.
"This is very important day, a significant day for the city of Chicago, and allows us to continue to be the destination for major international investment that creates jobs here," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told reporters at a news conference.
Dalian Wanda, owned by China's richest man, Wang Jianlin, acquired US movie theatre chain AMC Entertainment in 2012 and owns buildings from Spain to Australia.
An executive for the Chinese hotel chain said the Chicago building would represent the company's signature project. "It's the perfect city to showcase our capabilities," Eddy Tiftik, Wanda hotel's deputy general manager for overseas development, said in a statement.
"We have been the market leader everywhere we have opened. We have practiced this. We know it works, and we are ready to present our concept to America." The building will be located near Chicago's Lake Michigan shoreline at the end of the city's Upper Wacker Drive, south of the Chicago River.