Swire Properties Plans $1Billion Development in Miami

Swire Properties plans $1 bln development in Miami

Dark clouds pass over the downtown of Miami, July 8, 2005. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

By Alex Frew McMillan

HONG KONG | Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:53am EST

(Reuters) – Newly listed developer Swire Properties Ltd said on Thursday that it plans to build a 2.9 million square foot project in Miami’s financial district.

The Hong Kong-based company had previously said in a filing that the development, Brickell CitiCentre, would cost about $1.05 billion.

It said the project would include three office towers, two residential blocks, 500,000 square feet of shopping and dining space, and a hotel, with construction expected to start in the second quarter.

Swire (1972.HK) bought four plots of land for project in 2008 and 2011, and through to September 2011 had spent $72.8 million on advance preparation of the site, including $69.4 million for the land.

Although Swire focuses on the core markets of China and Hong Kong, it has a 30-year track record in Miami, where it has been developing on an island called Brickell Key. It has hired Miami-based architects Arquitectonica to design the project.

Chairman Christopher Pratt said when Swire Properties listed in mid-January that the company had no immediate plans to raise capital, with the sale of its Festival Walk asset in Hong Kong providing adequate capital for its immediate plans .

One fund manager, who runs a $5 billion portfolio of actively managed property stocks in Asia, told Reuters this week that he expected Swire Properties to go to the equity or debt markets soon to fund expansion.

“Probably one year from now, they’ll raise money,” he said, declining to be identified as he was not authorised to talk to the media.

Swire Properties shares pared earlier losses on Thursday afternoon to trade down 0.8 percent compared with a 0.6 percent decline on the benchmark Hang Seng Index .HSI.

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