- Greenland USA, a subsidiary of Chinese developer Greenland Group, has announced that its four-building, $1 billion Metropolis development in downtown Los Angeles is complete. The Los Angeles Department of Buildings and Safety (LADBS) issued a temporary certificate of occupancy for the final tower, the Thea at the Metropolis condominium high-rise, in December.
- Greenland broke ground on the 6.3-acre Metropolis project in 2014 and has already opened two residential towers, one in 2017 and one in 2018, as well as the Hotel Indigo.
- With the completion of the 56-story, 650-unit Thea, the Metropolis development will provide a total of 1,500 residences, 350 hotel rooms and 70,000 square feet of retail space. During the course of construction, Greenland said that the Metropolis employed 1,700 union workers each day and will create 430 permanent jobs.
Greenland said it will announce the tenants for the 70,000 square feet of retail soon and expects the first residents to move into the Thea this coming winter. The Thea and Tower II, which has 514 residences, will share the Skypark, a 67,500 square foot outdoor amenity that includes a heated pool, cabanas, garden pavilion, children's playground and a dog park.
Greenland credits the LADBS's Parallel Design-Permitting Process with helping them complete the Metropolis efficiently and on time. The program allows plan inspectors to begin work checking and identifying elements that need correction during the conceptual design phase. This method of plan review and approval, according to the LADBS:
- Can help designers avoid revisions to the completed plans by identifying and correcting potential code violations early in the process;
- Makes it possible to obtain approvals from other agencies as early as possible;
- Can reduce permit processing time through the life of the project;
- Allows contractors to begin and finish construction ahead of schedule; and
- Provides the cost savings that go along with a shorter construction timeline.
The goal of the program, according to LADBS, is to run permitting and design as parallel processes, seeing both resolve at approximately the same time. Geared toward major developments, the types of projects eligible for the program are those with a $5 million or more valuation, 30,000 square feet of commercial floor area, more than 30 dwelling units or more than six stories.
Another China-based developer, Oceanwide Holdings, has not fared as well as Greenland in the California market, as one of its projects, the $1 billion Oceanwide Plaza in Los Angeles, has halted construction and has had approximately $100 million of mechanics liens filed against it for unpaid bills. Workers appeared on the site for a few days early last year but there has been no significant activity since. Oceanwide reportedly seeks to refinance the development or otherwise raise the additional cash in order to move forward.
The company also has stopped construction on one building at its $1.6 billion Oceanwide Center project in San Francisco. The joint venture of Swinerton Builders and Webcor have continued to give regular updates about the project as work proceeds on the largest tower of the development.