San Francisco & New York City office towers get new owner

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Vornado Realty Trust of Paramus NJ has completed a deal to take a majority interest in the 1.8 million sq ft building at 555 California St in San Francisco, (aka The Bank of America Center) and the 2 million sq. foot building located at 1290 Avenue of The Americas in New York City.

In an announced deal worth $1.8 billion, the new investors get a 70 percent interest in both towers, alleviating the current owners, Hudson Waterfront Associates of any possible liability in a lawsuit brought against them by Donald Trump.

Built in 1969, 555 California is SF’s largest office tower, and 2nd tallest building at 779 ft. just a few feet shy of the 48 story Transamerica Pyramid at 853 ft which was completed in 1972.

The SF structure, whose current deal estimates it’s value @ $575 per sq ft, had just sold last year for $1.05 Billion all by itself ($583 a sq ft), when property magnate Walter Shorenstein sold it to Henry Cheng and Vincent Lo’s Hong Kong based Hudson Waterfront Associates, a record for a city property.

Before 2005, 555 California had been Bank of America’s World HQ, but that status ended when North Carolina based NationsBank ate up A.P Giannini’s west coast banking legacy and kept the B of A name, but made the main HQ in Charlotte NC.

For lookee loos the 52nd floor of 555 California features the popular Carnelian Room, a hang for well to do bankers, brokers, lawyers and tourists checking out wide sweeping views from what was once the tallest structure west of the Mississippi, now only the 5th Tallest Bldg on the west coast, but still impressive. For those afraid of heights and the tab for “fine dining”, the ground floor also features a Starbucks.

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