Rockefeller JV Acquires San Francisco’s 50 Beale St.

The Rockefeller Group and Mitsubishi Estate have bought a 23-story, Class A office building in San Francisco's South Financial District.

The Rockefeller Group and Mitsubishi Estate New York continue to seek out premier Class A office properties across the United States, picking up 50 Beale St., a 23-story building in San Francisco’s South Financial District.  It was the third joint venture for the firms in 18 months.

The name of the seller and price were not disclosed but Broadway Partners Fund Manager L.L.C. had purchased the 662,060-square-foot building at Beale and Mission streets in 2007 and as of Thursday afternoon it was still listed as part of the firm’s portfolio.

Eastdil Secured advised the unidentified seller.

“This asset is an extremely good fit for our investment strategy, which is focused on stable, high quality, well located properties in markets with a high barrier to entry,” said Dennis Irvin, president and CEO of Rockefeller Group Investment Management, a subsidiary of The Rockefeller Group.

The building was completed in 1968. It is 90 percent leased with tenants including Bechtel Corp., which has its headquarters there, and Blue Shield of California, which rents several floors. The office tower, designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill L.L.P., is also known as the Blue Shield of California Building. It has been extensively renovated and is LEED-EB certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. Located a half-block south of Market Street in the heart of the city’s Financial District, 50 Beale St. is two blocks from the $4.2 billion Transbay Transit Center that is under construction.

“50 Beale Street is well designed and well maintained, and it will continue to benefit from its quality and location long into the future,” said Kevin R. Hackett, president and CEO of The Rockefeller Group.

Sales of office buildings in San Francisco are expected to be at or near record levels this year with sales perhaps as high as $5 billion as investors from around the globe snap up buildings in the city where the job market is growing from technology, digital and social media firms. Last week, TMG Partners and Rockwood Capital L.L.C. sold 680 Folsom and 50 Hawthorne streets and a neighboring site at 690 Folsom St. to Boston Properties for $62.2 million.

“The perceived safety of San Francisco in an uncertain economy has accelerated sales activity by 50 percent during the past year,” according to Marcus & Millichap’s Third Quarter 2012 Office Research Market Overview.

The Rockefeller Group and Mitsubishi Estate New York have acquired more than 1.3 million square feet of Class A office space over the past 18 months. Last year, the companies acquired 1100 First Street and 1101 K Street in Washington, D.C., another active office market.

When the JV announced the purchase of 1110 First Street in late December, Hackett said then that the companies were also looking to acquire more Class A office buildings in San Francisco, New York and Boston.

This week Masato Kawasaki, executive vice president of Mitsubishi Estate New York, said the firms were “aiming to expand our investment in the U.S. market.”

The Rockefeller Group is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Estate Co. Ltd., one of the world’s largest real estate development and services firms. With offices in Europe as well as seven U.S. cities, The Rockefeller Group is best known for development of Rockefeller Center in New York City. It is a global real estate developer, owner, investment manager and operator.

Mitsubishi Estate New York is the U.S. investment arm of Mitsubishi Estate Co. Ltd. It has invested in 777 Tower in Los Angeles and the PacWest Center in Portland. In 2008, MENY bought One North Central, a Class A office building in Phoenix.