RIO DE JANEIRO-The Brazilian national oil company Petrobras has leased 100% of the office space in Torre Almirante (Admiral Tower), a new 36-story, 678,000-sf Downtown development here that was funded by the Emerging Markets Real Estate Fund II, a partnership of Hines and Trust Co. of the West. The building is located in Downtown at the intersection of Av. Almirante Barroso and Av. Graca Aranha. Petrobras will begin consolidating 4,000 employees from various locations across Rio de Janeiro into Torre Almirante upon building completion in October 2004. The firm will continue to operate out of their headquarters location just four blocks away on Av. Chile. Hines, also the property manager, did not release the cost of the development or lease details, other than to describe the length of the lease as medium-term (four-to-seven years). Other sources tell the lease rate in US dollars is $2.11 per sf per month, which on an annualized basis would be $25.36 per sf. The annualized rate is about $1.17 per sf below what CB Richard Ellis said in its January “Global Market Rents” report was the average total office occupancy cost in the city’s CBD. Hines VP Steve Dolman tells that a “major Brazilian bank” has the development’s 3,200 sf of retail space under contract. Other sources tell the bank could be Banco de Impresna. Much of the additional space in the building that is not being leased by Petrobras consists of a 400-slip attached parking garage, says Dolman. Architect Robert A.M. Stern and production architects Pontual Arquitetura of Brazil designed the tower. It features a curved transparent facade which flares upward. A prominent selling point of the building will be its 360-degree views, including Guanabara Bay, Sugar Loaf Mountain, coastal mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. The tower’s exterior is clad in glass and, at its base, honey-colored Brazilian granite. The lobby includes a 20-foot-high, back-lit onyx wall that will be visible through a full-height glass entry. A ground-level open-air pedestrian arcade complements Downtown Rio’s system of continuous urban arcades. Founded in 1953, Petrobras is among the 15 largest petroleum-related companies in the world. Currently, Petrobras has in operation 93 oil well platforms and 16 refineries (11 in Brazil and five overseas), as well as 16,000 kilometers of pipeline and more than 7,000 service stations. Hines, one of the world’s largest real estate organizations, entered the Brazil market in 1998. The privately owned real estate company’s completed projects in the nation include Louveira Distribution Park, a major build-to-suit distribution facility; Panamérica Park, a nine-building office complex; and International Plaza, an office complex in São Paulo’s premier financial district. The firm also is the development manager for the Centro Administrativo Rio Negro office complex in Alphaville, a suburb of São Paulo. Hines total South America management portfolio is about 2.2 million sf.TCW, founded in 1971, has approximately $100 billion in assets under management, including the TCW Galileo family of no-load mutual funds. TCW clients include large corporate and public pension plans, financial institutions, endowments, foundations, and foreign investors. The Hines/TCW EMF II fund was formed to manage the acquisition, development, operation and disposition of high-quality office, residential, mixed-use and other real estate in selected emerging market countries.

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