Another Chinese developer is selling off an overseas real estate project, but unlike its compatriots at Wanda, Greenland and HNA, state-owned Gemdale Properties and Investment is disposing of its grade A office project in San Francisco after completing and fully leasing out the 56,179 square foot (5,219 square metre) project.
According to public documents cited in an account in San Francisco-based industry publication The Registry, Gemdale USA, together with its local partner, Lincoln Property have agreed to sell 500 Pine in downtown San Francisco’s North Financial District to private equity real estate firm Heitman LLC for $73 million.
Without mentioning a price, property brokerage HFF confirmed the sale in its own announcement. Gemdale USA had first been reported as putting the four-storey building up for sale in January of this year at an asking price of $75 million.
Gemdale Sells for Top Dollar
Heitman, which is buying 500 Pine on behalf of one of its affiliates, is paying approximately $1,299 per square foot ($13,989 per square metre) for the LEED Gold building, one of the highest prices ever paid for an office asset in downtown San Francisco.
Located at the corner of Pine and Kearny streets in the city, the Heller Manus-designed project was completed in 2017 and features floor to ceiling windows, a rooftop balcony, onsite parking and showers.
The building is fully-leased to fintech startup Blend and pharmacy chain CVS, and HFF represented the Gemdale USA/Lincoln Property joint venture in the disposal.
Developing for Gold in California
500 Pine stood as a long-empty lot before the US unit of Shanghai-listed Gemdale and Dallas-based Lincoln Properties formed a joint venture in 2014.
During that year the partners acquired the vacant property as part of the Chinese firm’s initial foray into the US market, as well as 350 Bush Street, which is located one block north of 500 Pine.
That 19-storey, 372,000 square-foot building also opened last year and is fully leased to tenants including Amazon.com’s live-streaming platform Twitch.
Shenzhen Developer Invested in Nine US Projects
Shanghai-listed Gemdale has since built a US portfolio totalling seven other properties across Los Angeles, San Jose, New York, and Boston. In its US projects the company has established joint ventures with domestic developers Toll Brothers, Hines and LaTerra Development, among others.
In New York, Gemdale has invested in 45 Broad Street, a supertall residential and office tower being built by New York developer Madison Equities which is slated to be the second-tallest skyscraper in downtown Manhattan. Gemdale paid almost $70 million for its 81.3 percent stake in the 84-storey, $442 million project in 2016.
In January of this year Gemdale USA reportedly added to its California portfolio by paying $45.9 million, or more than $353,000 per unit, to purchase The Madison at Town Center apartments in Valencia, a community in Los Angeles County.