Chase ManhattanGus Delaporte reports for the Commercial Observer, Oct. 18, 2013, that Chinese conglomerate Fosun International has agreed to acquire JPMorgan’s former headquarters in Manhattan — the 60-story, 2.2 million square-foot One Chase Manhattan Plaza at 16-48 Liberty Street — for $725 million.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. had put the 60-story, 2.2 million-square-foot building up for sale in August.

Tyler Durden of ZeroHedge calls the $725 million price tag “measly” and notes that the iconic 1 Chase Manhattan had been built by none other David Rockefeller, and that Fosun International, also known as “Shanghai’s Hutchison Whampoa,” is China’s largest private-owned conglomerate which invests in commodities, properties and pharmaceuticals. More than that, 1 Chase Manhattan is also the building that houses JPMorgan’s commercial gold vault — reputed to be the largest in the world.

According to Bloomberg, Fosun International is owned by Chinese billionaire Guo Guangchang. Jane Zhang, a Shanghai-based spokeswoman for Fosun, declined to comment on how the company plans to use the building when contacted by Bloomberg News by phone.

The One Chase Manhattan Plaza deal is just the latest. Over the past year, other Chinese developers and wealthy investors have been buying real estate in the U.S., including:

  • Greenland Holdings Group, a Chinese state-owned developer, signed a preliminary deal last week to buy a majority stake in the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn.
  • Earlier this year, the family of Chinese developer Zhang Xin, co-founder of Soho China Ltd. (410), the biggest developer in Beijing’s central business district, acquired a 40% stake in New York’s General Motors Building in partnership with Brazilian banking billionaire Moise Safra, for approximately $1.4 billion.
  • In February 2013, China Vanke Co., China’s biggest homebuilder joined a residential real estate venture in San Francisco.

JP Morgan Chase Bat Signal

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Dr. C is the Editor of Consortium of Defense Analysts.