INTERNATIONAL: Canada Pension Plan Investment Board Forms JV to Develop Massive M-U Project in China

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board's construction plan for a major mixed-use development in China’s Jiangsu Province marks the company’s first project of its kind in this part of the world.
Times Paradise Walk in Suzhou China

In a joint-venture partnership with Chinese developer Longfor Properties Co., Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has agreed to invest more than $195 million (C$234 million or RMB 1,250 million) in the construction of a major mixed-use project in China’s Jiangsu Province. The initiative marks the company’s first project of its kind in this part of the world.

Called the Times Paradise Walk, the new development is rising in the central area of Suzhou, the fifth most affluent city in China with a population of 10 million. It will comprise residential, office, retail and hotel space with a total gross floor area of nearly 8 million square feet (about 735,000 square meters). Construction began in 2013 and it is scheduled to be complete in multiple phases between 2016 and 2019. So far, the project’s residential component has been quite successful following two separate launches in 2014 with total contract sales of approximately $310 million (RMB 1.9 billion).

“This is CPPIB’s first direct joint venture in a mixed-use development in China and we are pleased to be doing this alongside Longfor, a well-respected and experienced developer in China,” said Jimmy Phua, managing director and Head of Real Estate Investments Asia for CPPIB in a statement. “We look forward to building a long-term strategic partnership with Longfor that will allow CPPIB to continue to invest in large scale mixed-use and retail projects in China, a market in which we see long-term growth potential.”

Pinnacle Real Estate Capital Partners acted as the independent advisor for the investment and will continue to assist CPPIB and Longfor throughout the development process.