Chinese developer leads transformation of L.A.’s skyline

Greenland USA chief I-Fei Chang

For decades, the sprawling six-acre Metropolis parcel in downtown Los Angeles sat barren as successive real estate busts derailed the promise of a $1-billion “city within a city.”

Now, in an eye-rubbing spectacle, three towering cranes are working on the first phase of a hotel and a condominium tower, while construction has begun on two more condo towers for the second phase.

Chang, a Taiwan native and a Yale grad, takes pride in her ability to move quickly. “She understands America just enough, but has the Chinese bravado,” architect Rob Jernigan said. “She is a dynamo.”