Wanda answers Hollywood call with $1.2b development project

Wanda answers Hollywood call with $1.2b development project
Wang Jianlin, chairman of Wanda Group. [Photo provided to China Daily]

After snapping up high-end property in Madrid and allocating nearly $1 billion to build a luxury hotel in Chicago earlier this year, Dalian Wanda Group Co Ltd has unveiled a plan to invest $1.2 billion to build a mixed-use development in Los Angeles that will help it make inroads into Hollywood.

Wanda, China's largest commercial property developer, said in a statement on Thursday that the project, which has a construction area of 110,000 square meters in a premier site in Los Angeles, will be a high-end landmark in the city.

The investment marks Wanda's first move into the Hollywood film industry. The group, which owns United States-based exhibition giant AMC Theaters, said it will set up an office in Los Angeles to handle Wanda's cultural investment and make full use of Hollywood's rich resources in the film industry.

The cash-rich Wanda, owned by China's richest man Wang Jianlin, has not hidden its ambitions to make a mark in the cultural industry. Its statement said the Los Angeles project is expected to aid China's entry into Hollywood's film industry and promote Chinese culture abroad.

Even after having made some heavy investments in overseas markets this year, Wanda has no plans to slow down. Wang told an internal meeting in July that Wanda will strengthen its globalization strategy in the second half of this year.

"We need to be sure to acquire one or two large foreign cultural enterprises and make investment to build two five-star hotels in major cities abroad," said the ambitious Wang.

Wang, who sealed Wanda's first overseas high-end property investment in London last year, said Wanda is expected to have 15 five-star hotels in major overseas cities by 2020.The project in Los Angeles is expected to include Wanda's fourth hotel overseas.

Wanda's overseas real estate investments usually involve three different businesses: five-star hotels, apartment buildings and retail space.

Wanda answers Hollywood call with $1.2b development project
Wanda answers Hollywood call with $1.2b development project
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