San Francisco's iconic Transamerica Pyramid sells for $650M, the largest US commercial real estate transaction post-COVID-19

Julia La Roche
·Correspondent
·2-min read
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 27:  Street-level view of San Francisco, California, with a focus on the 1972 Transamerica Pyramid (Photo by Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 27: Street-level view of San Francisco, California, with a focus on the 1972 Transamerica Pyramid, the city tallest building (Photo by Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge/Getty Images)

One of the most iconic skyscrapers in San Francisco, the Transamerica Pyramid Center, has officially sold, marking the largest commercial real estate transaction in the U.S. since the COVID-19 outbreak.

A joint venture led by New York real estate investment firm SHVO and Deutsche Finance America closed their acquisition of the Transamerica Pyramid on Wednesday.

The group paid $650 million for the 48-story tower and complex that spans an entire block and includes three buildings totaling 750,000 square-feet in San Francisco's Financial District. A group of European investors anchored by Bayerisch Versorgungskammer also participated in the deal.

Sources familiar with the deal told Yahoo Finance it’s seen as a huge endorsement for San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Despite the coronavirus pandemic and headlines of a San Francisco exodus, the investors remain long-term bullish on the city and the tech community. Their strategy centers around buying prime, landmark properties to own, develop, and manage with a long-term investment horizon.

Going forward, the group plans to invest in the property and return it to its glory days by focusing on both the tenant and visitor experience.

“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,” CEO Michael Shvo said in a press release.

The SHVO-Deutsche Finance America group visited the property exactly a year ago before undergoing an extensive bidding process with over 40 parties interested in the property and six bidding rounds over four months. The closing took longer than usual during the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns that held up the process.

When the deal was first announced in early February, the group was expected to pay $711 million for the property.

The tower, which was built in 1972, had been under ownership from Dutch insurance company Aegon N.V. since 1999 as part of its acquisition of Transamerica Corporation at the time.

In the last two years, SHVO and Deutsche Finance America have invested in nine properties across Chicago, New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles.

Julia La Roche is a correspondent for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.

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