A $50,000 electric bill? The cost of cooling L.A.’s biggest houses in a heat wave? Your tax dollars at work?
Those were just a few of the controversies generated by the $9 billion sale of the West Hollywood property to a Chinese property developer with ties to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The Chinese property tycoon had promised jobs and prosperity for Los Angeles, but instead he’s put the city on the path to bankruptcy and pushed a city government that has been dealing with a $2.75 billion budget deficit into the red.
The deal, which was first reported by the Los Angeles Times, is one of many deals the Chinese property tycoons have been making across the globe, to build high-tech cities with jobs, homes and public services.
The two top executives for the company that purchased the West Hollywood site are in China helping to oversee that deal and will be paid $90 million a year for the deal, according to a new book report by a former Los Angeles Times reporter.
So how come the Chinese property tycoons are not being prosecuted?
“It’s not because they live in China,” said Dan Hesse, the former L.A. Times reporter who filed a lawsuit alleging that the deal with Wang Jianlin and his brother was illegal.
Instead, the Chinese government is simply allowing the tycoon-developers to buy land, build buildings and sell them to the Chinese government if it pays a fair price.
Those deals have been used as an example of the so-called “Hua-Zi-Ji” phenomenon in China. Hua means public, Zi means land, and Ji means people or people.
Hesse’s book reported on the three deals he followed — with the West Hollywood property, a shopping mall in Shenzhen and another in Xiamen — along with the Chinese government’s use of the “Hua-Zi-Ji