Yareton Investment LLC's owner wants to build skyscrapers in downtown Tacoma
Chun Yang, the owner of Yareton Investment LLC wants to build two 24-story towers in the heart of downtown, Tacoma. Based on the initial timeline in the development agreement, a four-star hotel with street-level retail space could be open by December 2018. If the developers decide at that time that an apartment/condo building with more retail space is feasible, it could open by 2022.
Yang is the owner of Yareton Investment & Management and president of its parent company,Shanghai Minqiang Investment Group. In Shanghai, Yang’s company built the Shanghai Mingde Grand Hotel, a five-star hotel in the city’s commercial center; and Hui Yang Plaza, a 1-million-square-foot commercial complex that recently opened. In the United States, Yareton is building the Four Points by Sheraton, Seattle Airport South in Des Moines, which is scheduled to open in late summer 2015.
That project is Yareton’s first in the United States, and is being partially financed through the federal government’s Immigrant Investor Progran, also known as “EB-5” for employment-based fifth category.
EXTENDING TO TACOMA
Yareton has a regional center designation for the Des Moines project, and Yang plans to ask the federal government to extend it 20 miles south to include downtown Tacoma. Such an extension is very common, said Peter Joseph, executive director of the Association to Invest in USA, the nonprofit trade association for the EB-5 Regional Center program. An extension request takes an average of 8.5 months to process, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which oversees the program.
Yareton’s development agreement with Tacoma gives it until about fall 2016 – almost two years from now – to secure its financing for phase one of the project, which is estimated to cost about $85 million.
The city requires the project to have at least 40 percent of that, or about $34 million, come from investment in the project. The rest would be a conventional construction loan from a local bank. Yang and Sze said they have several offers they’re evaluating.
RAISING THE MONEY
The number of immigrant investors allowed on a regional center project is determined by the number of jobs it generates. The federal government must approve the number.
Yang and Sze estimate the first phase of the project will generate about 900 jobs.
At 10 jobs per investor, about 90 investors at the $500,000 level would be allowed. That would raise almost $45 million – about $11 million more than they’re required to have for the equity component, so it gives them a cushion.
The calculations are about the same for the second phase of the project – the apartment/condo building – if Yang decides to build it after the hotel is done and financially stable.
Ultimately the two towers could result in about 180 immigrant investors.
The first project milestone Yareton must meet will be in the spring, when it has finished its due diligence and come up with a development plan for the city’s review. Part of the process is beginning the design process, which will involve the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission after the new year.
The site of the project sits in two designated historic zones. Yang said he plans a design that will respect the historic architecture of the UWT campus to its south and the post-modern design of the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center to its north.
Source : http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/11/28/3512496/meet-the-developer-who-wants-to.html?sp=/99/261/
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