Jones Lang LaSalle wraps fourth China deal

As exclusive advisor to Singapore-Wuxi Investment Holdings, a subsidiary of SembCorp Industries, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels has arranged the sale of Sheraton Wuxi Hotel and Towers and adjoining Wuxi Garden City Mall retail complex to Park Hotel Strategic Investments.Mr. Craig Collins, Executive Vice President, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, together with Miss Heng Sue Lin, Vice President, negotiated the transaction on behalf of Singapore-Wuxi Investment Holdings Pte Ltd.

The Sheraton Wuxi Hotel and Towers is prominently located in the heart of downtown Wuxi within a critical mass of commercial and retail developments. Comprising 417 guestrooms including 33 suites and 67 serviced apartments, the hotel also features five food and beverage outlets, function/meeting facilities, health club with fully equipped gymnasium and indoor swimming pool, as well as a total of 10,398 sqm in lettable retail space within the Wuxi Garden City Mall complex.

The sale of the Sheraton Wuxi Hotel and Towers is the fourth deal that Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels has accomplished this year, the first being the development project of the luxurious 21st Century Tower in Pudong, Shanghai, the Fortune Plaza in Beijing and most recently, the Somerset Olympic Tower which is the company’s first serviced apartment sale in China.

Mr. Collins, commented “This transaction is a milestone achievement for us in China: it is the fourth deal in this market in 12 months, our first deal in Wuxi and second deal outside of Beijing and Shanghai.”

He added that while many investors still have their sights set on getting a piece of the action in key gateway cities of Beijing and Shanghai, interests in the second-tier cities have intensified. “Nobody can afford to ignore China as it grows into a tourism superpower over the next decade. Our experience in China and ongoing conversations with regional investors from Singapore and Hong Kong as well as international investors from the United States and Middle East confirm that there is no lack of demand - the challenge is finding suitable, investment-grade assets that meet the investment criteria of international investors,” Mr. Collins said.

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Earlier this year, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels successfully secured Hotel Properties Limited as a joint venture partner to Hines for the development of 21st Century Tower, a 48-story mixed-use tower comprising a luxury 190-room Four Seasons Hotel, 60 Four Seasons Residences and 51,000 m2 of Class-A office space located on Century Boulevard in the heart of the ‘Little Lujiazui’ Financial District of Shanghai. The company also acted for Beijing Xiangjiang Xingli Real Estate Development Co., Ltd. in the sale of the hotel component of Fortune Plaza to Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc. The 520-room 5-star hotel will be called The Millennium Beijing and is situated in the heart of the Central Business District in Beijing and is a part of the second phase of Fortune Plaza. Both projects are scheduled to be completed in 2008. The 30-storey mixed development Somerset Olympic Tower with 172 serviced residence units in Tianjin was sold to Singapore-listed Ascott Residence Trust on behalf of Realand Pte Ltd and Consco (Tianjin) Investment Ltd.

Strategically located between Shanghai and Nanjing in the heart of the rapidly developing Yangtze River Delta, Wuxi is one of China’s fastest developing cities and a major manufacturing hub for the region. Featuring a thriving open economy, Wuxi is now home to over 60 “Fortune 500” companies. In 2005 alone, the city recorded a 15% year-on-year growth in gross domestic product to US$35 billion and a 20% year-on-year increase in actual foreign invested capital to US$2.5 billion.
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