San Francisco’s Transamerica Pyramid Center is set to be sold for the first time since it’s completion. Michael Shvo, a New York developer, is leading a group that reportedly has a deal to purchase the iconic building for around $700 million, according to people close to the deal.
The building has been a defining part of the San Francisco skyline since it was completed in 1971—although it wasn’t popular at the time due to a grass-roots movement against tall buildings. However, the high-rise restrictions of Proposition M, which limits the development of high-rises in the city, was ultimately passed and continues to this day.
Because of the building’s pyramid shape, the highest floors with the best views also have the smallest floorplans. Furthermore, its location in the northern part of the financial district is a bit outside of the most desired locations for top companies in San Francisco. Yet, the building remains a defining symbol of the city itself. Major tenants include JMP Group and Northwestern Mutual.
Last year, Transamerica said it would agree to sell the property outright, provided it could retain the branding and naming rights. This came after the insurer tried to sell a 49% stake in the building in 2018, which was eventually scrapped due to differing accounting standards in Europe that soured would-be investors.
The investment group led by Shvo is also purchasing the two adjacent properties at 505 & 545 Sansome Street, which are included in the reported purchase price. Members of the investment group purportedly include Bayerische Versorgungskammer and Deutsche Finance, among others.
Shvo and partners also picked up another landmark property in the last year with the purchase of the Coca-Cola Building in Midtown Manhattan. Typically focused on luxury residential assets, this further solidifies Shvo’s diversification into the office asset class—and in a big way.