A joint venture led by Deutsche Finance America and SHVO announces that it has completed the acquisition of the Transamerica Pyramid Center, San Francisco’s most recognizable office tower and a fixture in the city’s waterfront skyline for nearly 50 years. It is the first time that the building has sold. The joint venture purchased the 48-storey tower and complex for $650 million from Aegon NV, the Dutch insurance company that assumed ownership of the property in 1999 as part of its purchase of Transamerica Corporation, the building’s namesake, which has owned and operated the tower since its completion. Aegon will continue to retain the naming rights for the Transamerica building.
SHVO and Deutsche Finance America acquired the properties together with a group of European investors anchored by Bayerische Versorgungskammer (“BVK”), Germany´s largest pension scheme group under public law, represented by Universal-Investment-Luxembourg S.A. as AIFM”.
The Transamerica Pyramid opened in 1972 at 600 Montgomery Street, long known as the “Wall Street of the West” and the gateway to San Francisco’s Financial District. The tower was designed by the famed firm William L. Pereira & Associates, which helped define California’s distinctive modernism in the second half of the 20th century. It is currently the third largest pyramid on the planet. The complex covers an entire city block and includes three buildings totaling approximately 750,000 square feet – the iconic pyramid-shaped tower, the office building at 505 Sansome Street, and a site set for approximately 100,000 square feet of office redevelopment at 545 Sansome Street. Anchoring all three buildings is the Transamerica Redwood Park, an urban oasis featuring a grove of mature redwood trees shading public open space. SHVO and Deutsche Finance America plan to execute a renovation project to provide first-class amenity and state-of-the-art spaces throughout both the Transamerica Pyramid and 505 Sansome.
Commenting on the acquisition, Jason Lucas, Managing Partner of Deutsche Finance America added: “The expectations of occupiers and their personnel as to what they demand from an office has been changing for a number of years. Businesses now have a distinct focus not just on the quality of the space itself but on its environmental credentials, its flexibility, what services and amenities it provides, as well as how it promotes staff wellbeing and productivity, all of which can help firms win the war for talent. The COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated these trends and, while this has led many commentators to speculate over the future of the office, our strong conviction is that physical, communal workplaces will continue to play a central and important role in our working lives, facilitating collaboration and creativity as well as personal and career development. However, there is no doubt that there will be a distinct polarisation in demand for those offices able to meet the exacting requirements of today’s and tomorrow’s occupiers and those that can’t.
“The transaction presents us with a hugely exciting and rare opportunity to purchase an iconic building which is a central part of San Francisco’s rich heritage, and then execute a comprehensive refurbishment and redevelopment programme to ensure it remains as appealing to occupiers for the next 50 years as it has for the last half century.”
“We’re proud to become the stewards of the Transamerica Pyramid and its brand – the most famous and recognizable skyscraper on the West Coast, and one of the most memorable office towers in the world,” said Michael Shvo, Chairman and CEO of SHVO. “This iconic tower is an important addition to our portfolio of celebrated properties, enduring landmarks, and architectural gems. It’s a classic building for all time that mirrors the forward-looking spirit of the Bay Area and of our own company. We’re thrilled to bring this property into its next renaissance.”
Deutsche Finance America and SHVO have invested in nine iconic properties in prime locations over the last two years. The group recently acquired the “Big Red” tower at 333 South Wabash in Chicago, as well as two office buildings in Manhattan, the former Coca-Cola Building at 711 Fifth Avenue and 530 Broadway in SoHo. SHVO and Deutsche Finance Americas also purchased the historic Raleigh, Richmond, and South Seas Hotels in Miami Beach, in addition to a new venture that will see properties at 9200 Wilshire in Beverly Hills and 685 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan sold as luxury Mandarin Oriental residences.
Source : Joint release