Wee Cho Yaw buys Beverly Hills property

Banking tycoon Wee Cho Yaw has joined a group of Hong Kong investors to acquire a former landmark property in the heart of Beverly Hills for US$148.3 million ($194.2 million).

Joint Treasure International, a Hong Kong-based private equity firm, has bought the eight-acre property next to the Beverly Hilton in California at a private bank auction.

Media reports said the 9900 Wilshire Boulevard site, formerly home to the Robinsons-May department store, will be developed into a luxury condominium and retail complex by the new owners.

The land parcel made headlines in 2007 when British developers Nicholas and Christian Candy bought it for US$500 million, making it one of the largest real estate transactions in the history of Los Angeles County, said the LA Times.

Joint Treasure, which has owned the nearby Beverly Wilshire Hotel since 1995, bought the property on behalf of a group comprising three partners, the report said.

They include Hong Kong’s Chow Tai Fook Group, Singapore’s Wee Cho Yaw Family Group and David Chiu of Far East Consortium International, a property developer listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Joint Treasure’s senior advisor, Mr Daniel Yiu, told the LA Times that the group is familiar with the neighbourhood and “our investor group is interested only in premier properties in premier locations.”

Reports said the consortium has also acquired other US properties, including the New York Four Seasons Hotel and two New York City apartment and condominium buildings.

A spokesman for Mr Wee confirmed the deal but declined to provide any details when contacted by MediaCorp.

Source : Today – 7 Oct 2010

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