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"Golden opportunity" for Chinese lenders in U.S. (5)


08:29, August 01, 2012

Kheay Loke, who works for Lennar's project partner Wilson Meany, said his San Francisco real estate firm is working on Treasure Island. He declined to disclose details about the project.

A senior manager at a local real estate firm, who declined to be identified by name, said discussions with China Development Bank are at an early stage.

Local business and labor leaders have expressed support for the projects, which are to convert two former naval bases into 20,000 new homes, a sports arena and millions of square meters of office and retail space.

San Francisco's city government has pledged hundreds of millions of dollars in bond financing for the projects, but no private lender has shown itself willing to support them.

"We agree it is a shame that no US financial institution has been willing to lend to these projects on reasonable terms," wrote Steve Falk, president of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, and Vince Courtney, executive director of the Alliance for Jobs and Sustainable Growth, in an opinion essay in the San Francisco Chronicle.

"It's no secret that our credit markets have remained incredibly constrained since the housing crisis of 2008.

"Should we be concerned about a Chinese State-owned enterprise investing in the United States? We don't think so."

They said the developments will help to add jobs to the design and construction industries.

"As everyone knows, the Chinese are growing their own economy and are looking to invest in industrialized nations. Frankly, there is no better place for the Chinese to invest their dollars than back in America and especially in San Francisco, the gateway to the Pacific."

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