Chinese developer buys Torrance Marriott South Bay hotel

The Torrance Marriott South Bay, a 17-story hotel next to Del Amo Fashion Center, has been sold to a Chinese real estate developer for $74 million.

Sichuan Xinglida Group Enterprises Co., which has built numerous mixed-use projects in mainland China, bought the hotel through its U.S. subsidiary XLD Group, real estate broker John Strauss said.

The new owner will keep Marriott as the operator of the 487-room hotel but plans to renovate the property and eventually reposition it as a more upscale inn, said Strauss of Jones Lang LaSalle. He represented seller DiamondRock Hospitality Co.

Although Asian investors have often sought out big-city trophy properties in the past, the purchase of a comparatively low-profile South Bay hotel fits in with the current strategy of many buyers from China, Strauss said.

"There is a new wave of first-time Chinese capital looking for real estate opportunities in the U.S.," Strauss said. "They have moved away from strictly gateway city centers."

While Torrance may not have the cachet of Beverly Hills or San Francisco, the Marriott hotel there is about two miles from Pacific beaches and was the subject of robust interest among domestic and international investors, the broker said.

"Torrance is a vibrant L.A. submarket, the North American headquarters for Toyota and Honda," Strauss said. "The multicultural business climate in this part of L.A. is extremely vital."

The Torrance Marriott South Bay was built in 1985 and renovated in 2007. The hotel sits on 8.4 acres adjacent to Del Amo Fashion Center, one of the largest malls in the country. The mall's manager and co-owner, Simon Property Group, is renovating it and plans to open a Nordstrom department store across the street from the hotel in 2015.

roger.vincent@latimes.com

Twitter: @rogervincent

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