Oosten, the Chinese-developed mega-project rising on Kent Avenue between South 8th and South 9th streets, is, unsurprisingly, an attractive place to Chinese buyers. The large project, believed to be the first building developed by a Chinese firm without a local partner, has a few distinctly Chinese features, like ranges that vent outdoors, which make it "better for cooking with a wok," reports WNYC. A construction overseer for the building suspects that 20- to 30-percent of the apartments will be occupied by Chinese buyers, with other non-native New Yorkers drawing up the rear.
One particular buyer interviewed by WNYC says that he doesn't plan on living in the apartment he signed a letter of intent for; instead, he will rent out the one-bedroom apartment for about $3,000 a month. The foreign buyer phenomenon shares similarities with the new foreign development phenomenon,
Chinese firms are now sitting on piles of cash after years of exporting iPods and Barbie Dolls to the rest of the world. At the same time, the Chinese economy is actually slowing down, so investing that accumulated cash inside the country may not be such a good idea. So large institutions are looking abroad and shopping for real estate. Sales at the Oosten have been so successful, that prices on the apartments have been nudged up three times, and XIN Development Group, a subset of Xinyuan, is already exploring the option of developing more buildings like Oosten. "Chinese money wants to be in America," a WNYC reporter says, "China-watchers say these may just be the first drops in a heavy rain of Chinese money beginning to fall on cities like New York."
· The Chinese Guide to Buying Real Estate in New York [WNYC]
· All Oosten coverage [Curbed]