The State Bar of California recently sold its Howard Street headquarters building in San Francisco. Local real estate investment firm Ridge Capital Investors reportedly acquired the property for more than $50 million. As part of the deal, the Bar has signed a long-term lease for a portion of the building, where it will remain until a better headquarters location is identified.
New York-based leading real estate investment firm Madison Capital and global institutional investment firm Taconic Capital Advisors LP recently announced that it provided $40 million in financing for the acquisition.
Completed in the early 1980s, the property includes more than 200,000 square feet of San Francisco office space and rises 13 stories above the intersection of Howard and Main streets in the South Financial District downtown submarket. Centrally located along the Spear Street Corridor and just a short walk from the Transbay Transit Center, Ferry Building, and Embarcadero waterfront, the building represents a strategic approach to real estate investment for the Madison-Taconic partnership, which focuses on identifying opportunities that present value and stability in dynamic real estate market conditions.
“We’re thrilled to work with Taconic on this opportunity,” said Jonathan Nachmani, managing director at Madison Capital. “As property values begin to adjust in the Bay Area, we believe it’s an opportune time to invest across the capital stack. Our team remains focused on identifying transit-oriented assets with strong cash flows and dynamic locations that can draw and retain San Francisco’s creative and talented workforce.”
The State Bar reportedly bought the property in 1995 for nearly $23 million. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the California Supreme Court licensing and regulation arm intended to put the property on the market as far back as 2014, following nearly three decades of ownership. However, sale plans solidified only after the onset of the pandemic as the Bar switched to a hybrid work model and tapped Cushman & Wakefield to shop the building, as well as locate a different headquarters location in the Bay Area.
“This financing reinforces the pragmatic, relative-value mindset we have towards private real estate lending,” added Andrew Lam, director in Taconic Capital Advisors’ Commercial Real Estate Group. “Despite economic challenges that the City of San Francisco is grappling with, 180 Howard Street’s strong credit metrics — coupled with a sound, fully capitalized business plan — made our position in the capitalization very compelling. Our efficiency and ability to close the financing in a compressed timeframe is a testament to our collaborative efforts with the experienced team at Madison Capital.”
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