International green home builder debuts US projects

International green home builder debuts US projects

A homebuilder based in China will invest more than $1 billion in the U.S. housing market, building single- and multi-family homes with green features in some of the hottest markets.

Landsea Group Ltd. will begin its U.S. entry with residential developments in three of the country's largest housing markets -- New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco -- using local contractors.

To highlight the company's entry into the U.S., Landsea Founder and Chairman Tian Ming is touring the company's building sites and will conclude his visit with a formal celebration on Sept. 4 at the historic Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, near the company's U.S. headquarters.

"This visit marks the advent of Landsea as an American homebuilder," said Landsea Founder and Chairman Tian Ming. "We have already established our presence in Asia and Europe, but there is no better housing market than the United States, where home ownership will always be a part of the American Dream and a cornerstone of economic prosperity."

The chairman's U.S. tour begins August 25 in Weehawken, N.J., where Landsea plans to develop a mid-rise 200-unit luxury condominium complex overlooking the New York City skyline. Then Tian tours Dublin, Calif., about 35 miles east of San Francisco, to see earthmovers preparing the ground for a 109-unit town home development to be known as Kingswood by Landsea Homes. That project will open for sale in early 2015.

He will then head to Southern California on September 3 and 4 to visit Simi Valley, north of Los Angeles, where the company will introduce three new developments: two single family home projects and an active adult building, which are currently under construction.

Landsea Holdings Corp. will be in charge of the design and development of the homes, which will be built by local companies using domestic materials. It will cater to American tastes, comfort and satisfaction. Landsea earned a 95 percent satisfaction rating in a recent Gallup survey of its Chinese homebuyers.

Landsea Chairman Tian said the three developments are the first phase of its more than $1 billion in home construction by Landsea in America. In addition to the New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles areas, the company also plans projects for Boston and Washington, D.C.

Tian told the South China Morning Post that the company's green technologies add several hundred yuan per square meter to building costs, but yield a price premium of several thousand yuan, an indication that green-conscious buyers had shown they were willing to pay more. He cited a Landsea project that sold at an average 23,000 yuan per square meter, despite a similar development by a leading rival across the street selling for 16,000 to 17,000 yuan per square meter.

Landsea, which was founded in 2001, quickly became one of China's premiere "green" homebuilders, constructing residences with systems for rainwater retention and passive geothermal heating and cooling. The company is also a founding member of China Green Building Council, and a member of the German Sustainable Building Council and the US Green Building Council.

It has won several Chinese and international awards for its sustainable construction designs and holds more than 130 patents in building technology. Three of its "green" developments in China have been declared demonstration projects by the government there.

Landsea's U.S. debut is part of the company's growth strategy, which as led to developments and research facilities in more than 40 locations throughout China and Europe. In 2001, the company started with an initial investment of $1.5 million, and now posts revenues close to $2 billion annually.

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Companies: U.S. Green Building Council

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