Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

PHILADELPHIA-A Zurich-based investment advisor for pension funds in Switzerland, AFIAA, bought One City Place, the 14-story, 195,000-sf office building at 1401 Arch Street, for $24.8 million, or just over $127 per sf. The seller is locally based B&A Investment Associates LP.

One City Place was constructed in 1923. It is located on the northwest corner of Broad and Arch streets, adjacent to City Hall and directly across from the main entrance of the planned expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. According to published reports, B&A acquired the building for $7 million in 1999 and undertook a number of renovations.

The office is 100% leased to two tenants, the First Judicial District of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development. There are also some ground-floor retail tenants. “We like government-rented buildings,” says Hans Jurg Stucki, managing director of AFFIA and chairman of its New York City-based American subsidiary, AFIAA US Real Estate Inc. “These are long-term tenants,” he tells GlobeSt.com and says the rent rate is about $15 per sf to $16 per sf.

This marks AFIAA’s second direct investment in US real estate. Paul Williamson and Paul Chester of New York City-based PG Williamson Group also represented the company in its July, $42-million acquisition of a 220,000-sf building at 156 William St. in Lower Manhattan. Other AFIAA wholly owned assets are in Paris, Munich, Dusseldorf, Germany and Calgary.

“We’re looking for 10 others in the US at prices of between $20 million and $100 million each,” Stucki says, adding, “We like older, landmark trophy buildings. We’re also architects; we know how to handle older buildings, and they have a higher return.” He says minor cosmetic upgrades are planned for One City Place. “We want to buy other buildings in Philadelphia, and we’re also looking at Indianapolis, Denver, Seattle, San Diego and Washington DC.” In all, he says AFIAA plans “a global portfolio, allocated 50% in North America, 40% in Europe, and 10% in Asia.”

In English, AFIAA stands for Foundation for International Real Estate Investments. It was established in 2004 to make direct investments in real estate assets on behalf of tax-exempt Swiss pension organizations. In addition to wholly owned assets, the company holds partnership interests in a diversified portfolio of real estate valued at nearly $1 billion. That includes interests in real estate investment funds that own commercial properties in Houston, New York, San Francisco and Washington, DC and multifamily properties in eight states.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?



Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt
Live Chat

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.