United Construction & Development Group and Grand Construction & Development build and operate in New York City. Jiashu “Chris” Xu is the president and founder of both corporations and currently builds and develops properties under both firms. Mr. Xu, along with his brother, George, with whom he started his real estate development career, has built and managed a wide array of small to medium-sized projects ranging from residential houses, condominiums, day care, to mixed-use retail/office buildings, supermarket, hotels, and commercial buildings.
The brothers co-own two residential projects but have recently been pursuing separate real estate developments around Queens. George Xu founded Century Development Group, located at 35-06 Leavitt St in Queens, New York, developing residential, commercial and mixed-use projects mainly in the Queens area.
With the proposed Court Square City View Tower, the tallest tower in Queens, Chris Xu will be punching way above his weight. Mr. Xu has never built or managed any property over 10-story tall. He currently has an 18-story mixed-use property under construction and a 15-story hotel project on the drawing board.
COURT SQUARE CITY VIEW TOWER
Chris Xu’s most recent project is the 67-story Court Square City View Tower, which he is developing with a holding company operated by Ki Tai Yeung (equal partner with 42.5%) and another holding company operated by Brian Pun (15%).
• The Court Square City View Tower, which broke ground at 23-15 44th Drive in Long Island City, is, by far, the largest project that any of the principals involved have handled.
• It is expected to contain 660 luxury residential units and 100,000 square feet of commercial spaceii. Xu bought the site from Citi Group, which owns a tower next door, and refinanced the purchase with a $100 million loan from Bank of Chinaiii.
• The Court Square City View Tower is located very close the No. 7 Subway line and is located near an entrance to the Court Square Subway Station that receives passengers, along with the 7 subway train, on the E, G and M subway lines.
• The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has protocols for construction near train tracks.
• The Court Square Station has seen drastic growth in ridership, trending upward from more than 5.3 million riders in 2012 to 6.8 million in 2016, the last year that data was availableiv.
• According to 2015 MTA subway ridership data, the 7 and E and the N, Q and R lines are running at peak track and train capacity during heavy commuting periods, meaning there is no capacity for additional passengers on train cars that are running nor is there capacity to run additional trains on the linesv.
• The recent and upcoming pipeline of residential construction primarily offers higher-end rental and condominium options with in-building amenities, which often attracts families with childrenvi.
• Chris Xu and his partners stand to make a ton of money on the Court Square City View Tower.
• Average sale pricevii of a Long Island City condo is now more than $1.235 millionviii.
• Meanwhile, Chris Xu has no plan for affordable units in the tower and has not proposed any community benefits or any plan to give back to the community.
• Ki Tai Yeung
o Ki Tai Yeung, an equal partner with Chris Xu in the Court Square City View Tower project (according to a New York City Department of Finance document from ACRISix), served three years’ probation after pleading guilty in 1991 to offering a $2,000 bribe to an agent of the Federal Internal Revenue Service.
o Per a corporate filling with the NYS Department of State, Mr. Yeung is listed as Chief Operating Officer (CEO) of Mr. Xu’s Chinatown Supermarket of Manhattan located at 109 E. Broadway;
o Mr. Yeung, his firm Young Shing Trading Co., Wendy Yeung, Ping Yeung, are being sued for “denial of overtime compensation” by Francisco Montenegro Escamilla, a warehouse worker at a food service wholesaler that is allegedly owned, controlled, and operated by Young Shing Trading Co., Inc. and the defendants.
o Mr. Montenegro alleged that he was not properly compensated after working “in excess” of 40 hours per week.
o The case, docket number: 1:17-cv-00652-MKB-SJB in the Eastern District of New York, is still ongoing
CONSTRUCTION SAFETY VIOLATIONS
• The largest one-time penalty the New York City Department of Buildings levied against Grand Construction & Development was $12,500. In May 2017, the Dept. of Buildings fined Grand Construction for failing to promptly notify the city that, while working on their 140-35 Queens Blvd, Jamaica, Queens, project, they damaged the adjacent property at 88-00 139 Street & 88-02 139 Street.
• A ongoing project at 88-08 Justice Avenue in Elmhurst, Queens has also received citations for violations, includingx:
o Work that did not conform to approved documents and/or amendments on Nov. 27, 2017;
o Failure to provide professional engineer approved design drawings on Nov. 27, 2017.
• United Construction & Development Group have been cited about 85 times for construction related violations and paid out over $180,000 for violations issued by DOB between October 2008 and November 2017. (United Construction & Development Group and Grand Construction are both controlled by Chris Xu)
• The Bank of China holds the mortgage on the Court Square City View Tower property.
• The Bank of China and First Commercial Bank have made several outstanding loans to projects associated with Chris Xu
v https://longislandcityqueens.com/media/filer_public/4a/bd/4abddb15-ceab-4e32-abe5-201b7c1d6fa4/lic_plan_full_report_for_web.pdf (pg. 30)
vi https://longislandcityqueens.com/media/filer_public/4a/bd/4abddb15-ceab-4e32-abe5-201b7c1d6fa4/lic_plan_full_report_for_web.pdf (pg. 35)