The Transamerica Pyramid looms over the San Francisco skyline. Photo: Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge/Getty Images
San Francisco’s iconic Transamerica Pyramid changed hands for the first time on Wednesday, after Deutsche Finance America and developer Michael Shvo teamed up to purchase the tower and complex for $650 million, the largest commercial transaction in the U.S. since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It’s a classic building for all time that mirrors the forward-looking spirit of the Bay Area,” Shvo said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to bring this property into its next renaissance.”
Shvo and Deutsche are buying the 48-story tower—which sits on a full city block— from Aegon, the Dutch insurance firm. Aegon bought Transamerica Corporation in 1999; the building first opened in 1972.
Other investors on the deal include the German pension giant BVK. The building will retain its famous profile, along with the Transamerica name, though there are plans to renovate the property.
The tower had been on the market since August 2019. The winning bid, which previously stood at $711 million, was first reported in February, though the pandemic seemingly delayed the closing process and contributed to the $61 million price cut, due to turbulence in the commercial real estate market.
Deutsche and Shvo have been on a buying spree of late, partnering on nine properties in the past two years totaling billions of dollars. That includes Big Red in Chicago (for $376 million), the Raleigh Hotel in Miami ($103 million) and 9200 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills ($130 million).