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Chinese Developers Build in America, but Look for Buyers at Home

DEC 29, 2015

In a low-slung building near an artsy riverfront area known as West Bund district, a group of more than 10 families gathered on Thanksgiving Day for a tutorial about the American holiday, complete with a golden-brown roasted turkey.

This wasn’t a cooking class.

Instead, the attendees were being sold new condos in the U.S. being built by Chinese developer Greenland Holding Group, coupled with a culinary and cultural lesson on the autumnal holiday.

Greenland is in the process of building two large apartment projects, one in Los Angeles and the other New York, and is turning to its standard client base—Chinese investors—to help fill them up.

Commercial property development has long been a local sport in the U.S., dominated by local firms catering to local demand. Greenland’s savory sales pitch offers a glimpse at a nascent effort by Chinese developers to turn that model around, converting demand from China into Chinese-built condos an ocean away.

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