SAN FRANCISCO-Unico Properties is the new owner of 100 Pine St., a 403,000-sf, 33-story office tower this city’s financial district. The Seattle-based company purchased the building from Chicago-based Walton Street Capital for more than $150 million, says a Unico company source. Walton Street Capital acquired the property in 1997 for $69 million. The acquisition is Unico’s third outside of Washington State this year. The circa 1972 high-rise was built as the headquarters of the Continental Insurance Company, and includes three levels of parking. Today, major tenants include Republic Indemnity, New York Life, Wells Fargo Bank, Young & Rebicam and ART Technology. New leases in the building may run as high as $70 to $90 a sf, says one company source. “While we’re new to San Francisco, this acquisition is an appropriate extension of our investment strategy into major West Coast markets,” said Quentin Kuhrau, Unico’s senior vice president of investment services. “The underlying real estate fundamentals throughout the San Francisco Bay Area are very strong and have led to explosive growth in rents that will in turn lead to growth in investment pricing.”

After looking at a variety of properties throughout the Bay Area, Unico finally settled on the Pine Street location, says Dale Sperling, Unico’s CEO and president. The property will help the company identify with trends in Seattle, says Sperling, because activity typically occurs in Seattle 12 to 24 months after it has taken place in San Francisco.

Unico, founded in 1953, is one of the largest commercial real estate firms in the Northwest. Its portfolio includes office buildings in major Western U.S. markets and growing Northwest urban centers. Over the past three years, Unico’s portfolio has grown to more than 7 million-sf of office properties.

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