CommonWealth Buys One Shell Square in New Orleans for $102M

In the largest office transaction since Hurricane Katrina, CommonWealth REIT has purchased the 1.3 MSF One Shell Square in New Orleans from MetLife for $102 million.

October 11, 2011
By Nicholas Ziegler, News Editor

Image Courtesy Wikipedia User Infrogmation

It’s a big one. More specifically, it’s one of biggest in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina. CommonWealth REIT has purchased One Shell Square from Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. for $102 million in a sale facilitated by Jones Lang LaSalle’s capital markets group.

Calling the asset a “prestigious office tower,” Evan Stone, managing director of JLL, was bullish on the building’s future value. “When we brought this asset to market,” he said, “we knew we could capitalize on the influx of investors looking to place capital beyond the core cities and into high performing assets like One Shell Square.”

The 1.3 million-square-foot building is currently 88 percent leased to tenants including the Gulf Coast headquarters of Shell Oil, which has a 50 percent lease on the property until December 2016. Met Life recently completed a $40 million renovation.

“The strong tenancy in place at the property appealed to the buyer given Shell Oil’s occupancy, as well as the other notable law offices, accounting firms and engineering firms,” Jack Crews, managing director of JLL, said.