- Chinese development company Oceanwide Holdings has been forced to stop construction on the second tower of its $1.6 billion Oceanwide Center project in San Francisco due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a company statement to the San Francisco Business Times. Oceanwide said it was hopeful that it will be able to restart construction in two to three months.
- The company said that while the fallout from the novel coronavirus caused a temporary pause in vertical construction at the downtown site, contractors were able to complete the ground floor concrete structure, which wrapped up construction of the foundation.
- The company stopped work on the smaller of the project's two towers in November last year, which the joint venture of Swinerton and Webcor announced on its website. The last project update was in August when the construction team was still engaged in foundation work.
Construction Dive reached out to representatives of Swinerton for comments but received no response before press time. Webcor declined to comment as per the requirements of its contract with Oceanwide.
When finished, Oceanwide Center will feature 265 residences, about 1 million square feet of office space, a 169-key Waldorf-Astoria hotel and a public plaza with a five-story-tall public square. The anticipated completion date before Oceanwide announced the halt in construction was 2021.
Construction at the developer's Los Angeles project, the $1 billion Oceanwide Plaza, has been stalled since early 2019, shutting down under a cloud of late payments and approximately $100 million in mechanics liens. The company admitted its problems with maintaining sufficient capital and said it was committed to finishing the project, but, except for some minor activity shortly after the initial shutdown, Oceanwide Plaza has not yet restarted construction.
Long before the novel coronavirus hit the U.S., there were also indications that Oceanwide was having money problems on the San Francisco project as well. According to the Real Deal, Oceanwide sold its ownership interest in the property in January at a $276 million loss.
Oceanwide Center is not the only project to shut down recently due to the effects of COVID-19 on the economy.
Developer AEG stopped work on its portion of the $1 billion Nashville Yards last month, delaying construction of a 4,000-person music venue, a movie theater, 90,000 square feet of office space and a 315-room hotel and conference center until after the pandemic has eased. AEG spokesman Michael Roth told Construction Dive that the company is still "enthusiastic" about the project.
The novel coronavirus-ravaged economy has also necessitated the postponement of two other multibillion projects — FG LA's $9.4 billion Sunshine Project petrochemical plant in Louisiana and Foxconn’s $10 billion LCD manufacturing plant in Wisconsin.