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Singapore billionaires eye American property

Michigan residents may want to know about the real estate practices of some of the wealthiest brothers of Singapore. The Kwee brothers have a net worth of $5.2 billion, and they currently serve as Singapore's fifth most wealthy family. The four brothers now are embarking on a new venture to purchase a 1,050 foot skyscraper between 53rd and 54th streets in New York City. The brothers will be creating a building that contains 145 luxury apartments and some art galleries for the Museum of Modern Art. Similar venture projects have also arisen in Oakland County, where investors are snatching up low-cost homes to turn into luxury living spaces.

In 2007, discussions of the commercial real estate project began with partner Goldman Sachs. The Goldman Sachs Group has purchased the real estate for $125 million. Other investors became involved in the project after the financial crisis ensued in 2009, and additional capital was needed to fund the project.

The Kwee brothers plan on investing $200 million into the luxury apartments. They are in the midst of receiving a $860 million construction loan from some of the largest banks in Singapore. Goldman Sachs will still be a partner involved in the project. The Kwee brothers already hold a majority of the valuable properties in Singapore. They own and operate luxury hotels like the Ritz Carlton and also own luxury buildings like Millenia Tower.

This is the first outside venture that the Kwee brothers are pursuing outside of Singapore. Due to a mortgage crisis that is currently happening in there, major investors have now turned to other markets for investment purposes. Significant taxes have also been imposed in Singapore, such as a 30 percent tax on variable income or value of other financial assets. A real estate lawyer may be able to help businesses invest in properties. An attorney could inform the individual or business on the real estate laws of their state in order from them to invest wisely.

Source: Forbes, "Singapore Billionaires Want A Piece Of The New York Sky", Neerja Jetley, October 31, 2013

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