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Chinese developer starts selling San Jose projects

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A China-based real estate firm whose co-founders were recently arrested in connection with a bribery scheme is selling a luxury residential development in San Jose, while the fate of two other real estate firms remains unclear.

A former Greyhound bus depot at 70 S. Almaden Ave. in downtown San Jose, owned by Z&L Properties, is for sale, said John Thiel, vice president of commercial real estate firm CBRE, who is part of Team Handling. (Jon Teel) said. list.

The asking price was not disclosed by CBRE.

Exterior view of the former Greyhound bus depot at 70 South Almaden Avenue. The site was recently put up for sale by developer Z&L Properties, the owner of the site. Photo by Joseph Geha.

Z&L has been unable to develop several projects in San Jose for several years, so the sale is not surprising. Chan Lee, co-founder of the company, detained in London at the end of November He received a warrant from authorities in the Northern District of California for his involvement in a bribery and kickback scandal that ran in San Francisco from 2015 to 2020.

The approximately 1.6-acre Greyhound site was previously approved by the city to develop over 700 homes with approximately 14,000 square feet of retail space spread across two high-rise towers.

“I think it’s a great site,” Teel told San José Spotlight, noting that the site will serve as “the missing puzzle piece” in the planned renovation of the area. “Surrounded on three sides by a 5 million square foot new office construction project that fits within two blocks.”

Developer JP DiNapoli plans an office tower project of over 800,000 square feet at 50 Almaden Blvd. just west of the Greyhound site. Just southwest of the site is his 900,000-square-foot office tower, which is mostly completed in Jaypole, known as 200 Park Avenue. The developer also plans an approximately 3.8 million-square-foot triple office tower project known as Cityview Plaza at 170 Park Avenue, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2024. A bridge connecting the new office tower and the current headquarters will be completed.

On January 31, 2023, the former First Church of Christ Scientist building in downtown San Jose is seen covered in a torn tarp. Photo by Joseph Geha.

Increase in stalled projects

Another major project that never materialized under Z&L ownership was the Park View Towers at 252 N. First St., just north of St. James Park. The company has owned the site since 2017 and he plans to build two towers with a total of 221 residential units and approximately 19,000 square feet of retail space.

The site is a former municipal redevelopment site. The developer’s building there is requested by the city to refurbish and restore the First Church of Christ Scientist building that had been shrouded in deteriorating tarps for several years.

The site doesn’t appear to be for sale at the moment.

Yonggang “Frank” Cui, CEO of Z&L Properties, declined to comment when contacted by San José Spotlight. The company’s current attorney, Paul Mann, did not respond to a request for comment.

Development and land use consultant Bob Staedler said: San Jose Spotlight Columnisthe said he was concerned that the church continued to decline and said the city needed to take action.

“All the covers have been torn. all that rain Staedler told the San Jose Spotlight. “Who knows what flood damage is?”

Staedler said the church’s necessary renovations would devalue any land that could be sold, and he said he wasn’t surprised Z&L wasn’t managing the historic building better.

“I think they know what they’re doing. They’re not stupid. They don’t protect it because it doesn’t add value,” he said of Z&L. “This is the city’s responsibility and they should do something about it, but they aren’t.”

Both the Greyhound site and the Park View Towers site currently have entitlement approval to the development plan, but the new developer taking over the project will need to obtain new supplemental approval from the city to proceed with the development. A city spokeswoman said it was likely.

The former First Church of Christ Scientist building in downtown San Jose. Photo by Joseph Geha.

Silvery Towers condos still slow to sell

Z&L also owns a dual tower residential project at 188 W. St. James St. formerly known as Silvery Towers. The project includes 643 condos, but so far he has sold only a few units in one tower, Staedler said.

It is unclear if Z&L plans to sell the Silvery Towers project. $330 million in debt After the project is implemented, Staedler predicts the project could be foreclosed by creditors.

the project faced criticism some workers on the project They were trafficked, forced to work without pay, and lived in poor conditions in the Hayward home.

One of the development’s employees died after falling on a project in 2018, prompting a state investigation.

“The lack of sales at Silvery Towers shows it’s not succeeding. If you look at other skyscrapers around San Jose, they’re selling units,” Staedler said. “At some point, the lender will probably step in.”

Contact Joseph Geha [email protected] again @Joseph Geha16 on Twitter.

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