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$148M Bargain: Asian Investors Buy Site Near Beverly Hilton

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — An uncertain future for the Southland real estate market wasn't enough to scare away a group of Hong Kong- and Singapore-based investors from plunking down $148.3 million for an eight-acre site next to the Beverly Hilton, the purchasers announced Tuesday.

Joint Treasure Ltd. bought the property — where a condominium and retail development is in the works — in a private auction from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim's bank, Inbursa, for a substantial discount from its 2007 sale price of about $500 million.

"This is an incomparable site that cannot be replicated, and we intend to build a superb project offering world-class luxury residences," said Daniel Yiu, senior adviser to Joint Treasure.

Yiu said the investor group is familiar with the turf, because of its 1995 investment in The Regent Beverly Hills.

Inbursa acquired the property when it went into foreclosure earlier this year, according Karen Diehl, a spokeswoman for the buyers. British investors Nicholas and Christian Candy previously owned the property.

Joint Treasure was acting on behalf of three of its consortium partners — Chow Tai Fook Group of Hong Kong, the holding company for publicly held New World Group; Wee Cho Yaw Family Group of Singapore that invests in banks, commercial properties and hotels; and David Chiu of Far East Consortium International Limited, a commercial property and hotel developer.

The city of Beverly Hills approved the development plan — 235 condominiums and 17,000-square-feet of retail and restaurant space — in 2008, according to Diehl.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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