Greenland Holding Group Co. is adding a hotel and museum to a planned downtown Toronto residential complex that's the Chinese developer's first project in Canada.
Greenland, owned by the Chinese government, will build a Primus-brand boutique hotel along with the two condominium towers it's developing on King Street in Toronto. The Shanghai-based company also will add a museum dedicated to Canada's theater culture at the site, located on a strip lined with restaurants and theaters.
"We have projects in New York and L.A. and we thought the next city had to be Toronto," Henry Cao, president of Greenland's Canadian unit, said in a telephone interview. "The whole environment is very stable here. It's not just the economy. Every aspect of the city and the country is stable and growing."
The company is expanding in North America through developments such as the Toronto buildings and large residential projects in downtown Los Angeles and Brooklyn, New York, where demand for high-rise living is growing. Greenland is seeking additional development opportunities in Canada's major cities, including Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary, Cao said.
Greenland, whose 22 employees in Toronto will increase to 35 this year, is building in Canada's largest city as its condo supply rises to a record. Fitch Ratings Inc. said this week that Toronto is among the areas where condos are overvalued and at risk of price declines because of the glut.
A record 80,000 multifamily units are being built in Ontario, the majority in Toronto, according to Fitch, which said prices may drop as much as 10 percent as condos under development come to market. Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp. said on a conference call Thursday that it also considers Toronto overvalued.
Greenland is wagering it will be helped by Canada's relatively stable economy and population growth in Toronto, the country's financial capital, creating demand for more homes. The number of residents in the city is set to balloon 46 percent to more than 9.4 million by 2041, according to Ontario's Ministry of Finance.
Greenland's Toronto project, already approved by the city and scheduled for completion in 2018, will have two condo towers. A 48-story building will include the seven-floor, 122-room Primus hotel, the chain's first location in Canada. A 44-story tower will include the 10,000-square-foot (930-square-meter) theater museum.