360° Coverage : Communist Turned Capitalist Feng Lun Readies For One World Trade...

2 Updates
Communist Turned Capitalist Feng Lun Readies For One World Trade Center Debut
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

Communist Turned Capitalist Feng Lun Readies For One World Trade Center Debut

Apr 2 2014, 10:29pm CDT | by

New York’s symbolic One World Trade Center tower is nearing completion, and its owner-agency is contending with various thrill-seekers trying to breach security to get to the top. But one welcome...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

29 weeks ago

Communist Turned Capitalist Feng Lun Readies For One World Trade Center Debut

Apr 2 2014, 10:29pm CDT | by

New York’s symbolic One World Trade Center tower is nearing completion, and its owner-agency is contending with various thrill-seekers trying to breach security to get to the top. But one welcome visitor is Feng Lun, head of China’s Vantone Holdings. The residential-commercial developer was the first to lease space in the replacement skyscraper after the Sept. 11 attacks, and today it is building out floors 64 to 69 for what will be remarkable views at next year’s opening.

In some part of that 191,000-square-foot space Vantone is planning a members-only China Center, combining elements of a business and a social lounge. The idea is to connect Chinese companies with those in the world’s commercial capital who want to transact with them. (Nobody is saying how big the club will be, beyond 500 or so joiners, but it has partnered with Singapore’s TungLok Group to have celebrated chef Susur Lee lead its restaurant.)

Vantone itself has an unusual history. Feng joined the Communist Party at age 20 in 1979 and spent more than a decade working in various state capacities. “I hadn’t given any thought to going into business myself,” he says.

Yet in 1993, with national enthusiasm about Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms running high, the young Communist took the plunge with some friends into real estate as Vantone. Among his cofounders who eventually left were those who made a name for themselves: familiar billionaire Pan Shiyi and Yi Xiaodi, chairman of developer Sunshine 100 China Holdings, which went public in Hong Kong this year. An early Vantone executive was Zhang Suyang, now a China partner in venture capital at International Data Group. Beijing’s Vantone, meantime, has amassed $2 billion in assets, including a listed business in China and a project in Taiwan.

With the China Center and its comforts, including a tea lounge, as a gateway, Feng hopes to bring more Chinese interests together with the Western parties. These would include businesses already present among the large diaspora in the New York metro area, as well as provincial-level representatives from the homeland.

Although the One World Trade Center project has dragged on for years, Feng’s timing looks good. Chinese investment into the U.S. last year doubled to $14 billion. He views the China Center as an experiment that he may reproduce in Paris, Berlin and elsewhere.

Feng himself started investing in the U.S. in the 1990s when he was buying real estate and putting money into tech investments. That gave him experience dealing with U.S. regulations. “I don’t feel like I’m a stranger in the U.S.,” he says.

Feng started to talk to businesspeople, scholars and officials involved in the World Trade rebuilding as early as 2003 and says he recognized that the path would be slow. “This real estate is the most complicated and challenging in the world,” Feng says, owing to design and psychological issues. Yet, even as others were balking, he put Vantone down for that first lease in 2009, pledging nearly $100 million all in.

“Real estate is a business that requires time to be successful at,” Feng says. Even if his China Center will be beyond the reach of most of the thousands of global tourists who visit the Sept. 11 site in any given week, One World Trade is “a place that a lot of Chinese want to come and look at.”

Feng Lun’s Vantone is first in the door.

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new company (NewCo) and slashing the workforc ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

8 weeks ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH370 and MH17" hits ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

US Healthcare worker tests positive for Ebola
New York, Oct 24 (IANS) A healthcare worker in New York, who had returned form Guinea last week, has tested positive for Ebola, media reports said.
 
 
India stands firm on objections to WTO Doha Round deal
United Nations, Oct 24 (IANS) Even as the World Trade Organisation's trade deal remained stalled due to India's objections, an Indian envoy at the UN stood firm on them, declaring a "permanent solution on food security with necessary changes in World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, if required, is a must and cannot be kicked down the road".
 
 
India firm on objections to WTO Doha Round deal over food security
United Nations, Oct 24 (IANS) Even as the World Trade Organisation's trade deal remained stalled due to India's objections, an Indian envoy at the UN stood firm on them, declaring a "permanent solution on food security with necessary changes in World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, if required, is a must and cannot be kicked down the road".
 
 
Twitter declares war on passwords
San Francisco, Oct 24 (IANS/EFE) Twitter formally declared war on passwords during a developers' conference in San Francisco, unveiling a new system that allows users to log-in to mobile apps with a phone number.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Second MERS case reported in Qatar
Doha, Oct 23 (IANS) A 43-year-old man in Qatar has tested positive for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the second confirmed case of the deadly virus in 10 days, media reported Thursday. The patient had...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Two people die in Pakistan bomb blast
Islamabad, Oct 23 (IANS) At least two people were killed and 12 others injured in an explosion that took place in Pakistan's Balochistan province Thursday, media reported. The bomb was planted on a motorcycle, Dawn...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Trott extends contract with Warwickshire till 2017
London, Oct 23 (IANS) England batsman Jonathan Trott, whose mental issues led to his abrupt departure from last winter's Ashes tour, has confirmed his successful comeback to competitive cricket by signing a new three-...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Srikanth, Kashyap big movers in BWF rankings
Kuala Lumpur, Oct 23 (IANS) Indian men shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and Parupalli Kashyap jumped seven places each in the latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings released Thursday while Olympic bronze medallist...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Alvin Stardust dead
London, Oct 23 (IANS) English singer Alvin Stardust died after a short illness. He was 72. Stardust's manager confirmed the news about his demise Thursday, reports mirror.co.uk. He was recently diagnosed with...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Indian man reunited with family after 40 years
Dubai, Oct 23 (IANS) An Indian man, who had disappeared from his hometown in Kerala nearly 40 years ago, has been found by his family at a hospital in Dubai in the UAE, a newspaper report said. Now in his 60s, Abdulla...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Srikanth, Kashyap, Saina rise in world rankings
Kala Lumpur, Oct 23 (IANS) Indian men shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and Parupalli Kashyap jumped seven places each in the latest released Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings Thursday while Olympic bronze medallist...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Flintoff signs for Big Bash side Brisbane Heat
Brisbane, Oct 23 (IANS) Former England captain and all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, who retired from international cricket in 2009, Wednesday confirmed that he will play for Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League (BBL) this...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
OPEC daily basket price falls again
Vienna, Oct 23 (IANS/WAM) The basket of 12 crude oils of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) closed at $81.94 a barrel Wednesday compared to $82.09 Tuesday, the OPEC Secretariat said. The new OPEC...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Lopez to sign multi-million dollar deal?
Los Angeles, Oct 23 (IANS) Singer-actress Jennifer Lopez is reportedly in the final stages of securing a multi-million dollar deal to perform in Las Vegas. The 45-year-old is being offered $350,000 per show at The...
Read more on Celebrity Balla