SAN FRANCISCO-The ownership of 100 Pine–a 402,000-sf financial district office tower here that is 90% leased–has changed in a deal that valued the asset at $149 million. The new ownership is a joint venture of Alaska Permanent Fund and Unico Properties of Seattle. The old ownership was a joint venture of Unico, Citigroup and Wafra, an investment advisor beneficially owned by The Public Institution for Social Security of Kuwait.

Unico’s office acquisitions guy Greg Petry tells is retaining a minority interest in the property and will continue to manage the asset. Jones Lang LaSalle had the disposition assignment. The purchase price equates to a per-sf price of $370, which is approximately the price paid by Unico to acquire the property in 2000, which many consider to have been at or near the top of the market.

“Although we bought it at a fairly high cap rate that has provided significant cash flow over the life of the hold, we had a lot of obstacles to overcome in the investment,” says Petry. “Since we bought it everything has gone wrong with the market, so being able to get back what we paid for it is a great result.”

With regard to Citigroup and Wafra, Petry says the two investors were coming to the end of their planned hold and wanted to take advantage of the aggressive pricing in the marketplace for core assets. “We feel like there is still upside in the investment,” says Petry. “That’s why we stayed in.”

JLL’s managing director Michel Seifer represented the sellers in the transaction. LaSalle Investment Management represented Alaska Permanent Fund and manages its assets. “In our view, the San Francisco financial business district is poised for recovery,” says LIM’s SVP of acquisitions Erick Paulson.

“100 Pine was acquired by our client in late 2000, just as the San Francisco office market peaked. This transaction was closely watched amid concerns of significant diminution in value, possibly resulting in offers below the existing level of debt secured by the property,” says Seifer. “We received a great deal of interest in the opportunity and feel it reflects 100 Pine’s high-quality improvements and premier location. This also serves as a testament to the resiliency and desirability of the San Francisco office market.”

Located at the corner of Pine and Front Street and adjacent to California Street, 100 Pine offers views of the Bay and San Francisco skyline. Jones Lang LaSalle will be the leasing agent for the building. JLL borkers Wes Powell and Jim Dublin will handle the assignment. There is currently 60,000 sf of available space in the building.

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