Wanda quits Spain and turns attention to France and $3.3bn EuropaCity

EuropaCity: Billionaire Wang Jianlin’s Dalian Wanda Group has agreed to sell the Edificio Espana building in Madrid to Spanish investment group Baraka, in a move that will see the Chinese company exit the Spanish real estate market  and turn its focusonto France and the 80-acre €3bn EuropaCity retail and leisure project on the outskirts of Paris.
The Group’s decision to pull out comes after a two-year battle with the authorities in Madrid over its plans to demolish the existing building before turning the site into a luxury hotel and shopping complex to meet demand from the growing number of Chinese tourists visiting Western Europe. In a television interview broadcast this May, Wanga said that negotiations were still under way  but that, if they broke down, “
we would sell the building, and never invest again.” The experience was  a “lesson” for Wanda and other Chinese enterprises who aspire to overseas markets, he added. 
Wanda’s European focus will now turn to  EuropaCity at Gonesse, 16km north-east of Paris. Designed by Denmark’s BIG architectural practice and destined to become Europe’s biggest leisure, culture and entertainment village, EuropaCity will include around 2,700 hotel rooms, restaurants, shopping centres, concert halls with a combined capacity of 3-5,000 seats, parks, night clubs and bars. A new subway station will enable tourists  to access the site directly from the Paris metro network and EuropaCity is expected to attract 31 million visits each year and to generate 11,800 new jobs in the area.
In February, Wanda announced that it had joined forces with the Auchan Group’s real estate subsidiary Immochan to invest $3.3bn in  the project. “We have wanted to develop ourselves in France for a while, and particularly in Paris,” Wanda said at the time. “EuropaCity allows us to finally reach that objective, and we are pleased to collaborate with a famous French stakeholder to develop this ambitious and innovative project. For us, it is the most important project outside of China.”
Construction will kick off in 2019. 

Source: scmp