China’s Wealthiest Man to Spend $1.7B on Australians Beachfront Resort on Gold Coast

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By Vittorio Hernandez | August 14, 2014 8:48 AM EST

Young surfers, nicknamed 'grommets' in local surfing parlance, wait for their friends to finish a post-sunset session on the waves off Wanda Beach in Sydney, July 16, 2014. Many of Sydney's famed beaches remain popular with surfers during the southern hemisphere winter months despite early sunsets and cooler ocean temperatures. REUTERS/Jason Reed (AUSTRALIA - Tags: SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Young surfers, nicknamed 'grommets' in local surfing parlance, wait for their friends to finish a post-sunset session on the waves off Wanda Beach in Sydney, July 16, 2014. Many of Sydney's famed beaches remain popular with surfers during the southern hemisphere winter months despite early sunsets and cooler ocean temperatures. REUTERS/Jason Reed (AUSTRALIA - Tags: SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Wang Jianlin, the richest man in China, is committing to spend $1.7 billion to fund the construction on a 1.3-hectare beachfront resort on Australia's Gold Coast, the country's favourite summer destination.

The new R&R destination would be known as The Jewel. Wang, the chairman of Wanda Group, a publicly listed company in Hong Kong, would finance the project through personal resources and debt and equity.

The Jewel would feature three high-rise edifices made up of a hotel, apartments, office and recording studio, dining establishments and cafes. The lot has 147,000 square metres available as building area. Construction is slated to start in 2015 and expected to finish by 2018.

In a statement on the project's Web site, Wanda said, "The Jewel's design is especially unique and is the first project in the Gold Coast to adopt the façade cladding technique to represent three crystalline forms on the beach."

The recovery of property prices brought Wang to the top of Forbes China Rich List in 2013 with an estimated fortune of $14 billion. Besides the upcoming Australian resort, Wanda has purchased towers in London, the U.S. movie chain AMC Entertainment and Sunseeker yachts.

With the Jewel, Queensland - which welcomed 300,000 Chinese visitors in 2013 - is expected to attract more tourists from China and further boost Chinese tourist spending which rose by 28 per cent last year.

Other Chinese investors are also behind the construction of more tourist-oriented establishments in Queensland such as a cruise ship terminal and resort and a new casino and entertainment complex in Brisbane in a team up with Crown Resorts, owned by Australian billionaire James Packer.

Across Australia, Chinese investment in tourism infrastructure is estimated at $20 billion, including the planned $8.2-billion mega hotel-casino complex at Yorkey's Knob near Cairns being backed by Hong Kong billionaire Tony Fung and a $1.8-billion resort and residential community at Ella Bay to be redeveloped from a cattle station.

More information about China's richest man in this report.

YouTube/The China Investors

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Young surfers, nicknamed 'grommets' in local surfing parlance, wait for their friends to finish a post-sunset session on the waves off Wanda Beach in Sydney, July 16, 2014. Many of Sydney's famed beaches remain popular with surfers during the southern hemisphere winter months despite early sunsets and cooler ocean temperatures. REUTERS/Jason Reed (AUSTRALIA - Tags: SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
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