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SAN FRANCISCO-Prudential Property Investment Managers of London has acquired a 75% interest in two office buildings here for $163 million. The two properties, 580 California and 201 Mission, total about 800,000 sf and have vacancies hovering around 30%. The seller, Equity Office Properties Trust, retains the other 25% as well as the management and leasing assignments.

The building at 580 California St. property has 23 stories and 313,012 sf of leasable area. It sits across the street from the landmark Bank of America building in the North Financial District. Occupancy was 66% as of the end of June, a source familiar with the property tells GlobeSt.com. The building at 201 Mission Street is a 483,289-sf, 30-story tower located just south of Market Street in the South Financial District. Occupancy as of June 30 was 70%, according to the source.

LaSalle Investment Management handled the transaction for PruPIM, which is an affiliate of Prudential plc, an international financial services group headquartered in London. Jay Borzi and Stephen R. Silk of Secured Capital Corp. represented Equity Office.

LaSalle chief investment officer Wade Judge says the acquisitions help provide PruPIM with the diversified North American property portfolio it is seeking. In addition, he says it may be the first of several PruPIM-EOP deals. “In our view, the San Francisco commercial business district is poised for a strong rent recovery,” says LaSalle acquisitions SVP Erick Paulson. “Against that backdrop of improving market fundamentals, these buildings are attractive assets given their below-replacement-cost prices, outstanding locations and quality tenant rosters.”

A source at EOP tells GlobeSt.com the JV is in line with the company’s investment strategy announced last year, which includes selling from time-to-time non-core assets in targeted growth markets and, as the right opportunity arises, selling all or part of certain assets even in its growth markets. San Francisco is a targeted growth market. “This JV agreement allows us to maximize the investment market, while keeping core assets for our customers,” says the source. “We also have retained the leasing and management (assignments).”

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