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LONDON-Swiss Re’s iconic building at 30 St. Mary’s Axe, dubiously dubbed the Erotic Gherkin, has been put up for sale with an asking price of about euro 889.9 million ($1.1 billion). Swiss Re, the insurance group which owns the tower, has appointed agents DTZ Tie Leung and Eurohypo to sell the 40-story skyscraper. The vendor is open to selling either the entire 500,000-sf building or a large stake in it.

The building was designed by Foster & Partners and built in 2004 on the site of the old Baltic Exchange, which was damaged by an IRA bomb in 1992. At 590 feet, it is the second tallest building in the City of London, after Tower 42.

The Gherkin was the first new skyscraper to be built in central London for 25 years and is widely seen as the result of a change in policy by the Corp. of London to compete with the towers of Canary Wharf, several miles to the east. In 2004, the design won the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize for the best new building designed by a British architect.Swiss Re occupies the first 16 out of 34 office floors. Also included in its mostly financially oriented tenant roster are German bank Allianz, investment firm Cardinal Asset Management and German lender Hypo Real Estate. When fully let the building will have annual rent of euro 40.05 million ($50.7 million), suggesting a yield of below 4.5% if it fetches the asking price.

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