By Jon Peterson
One of San Francisco’s most iconic buildings is on the market, and it could bring a record per square foot price, as high as $1,000, according to multiple sources that track the sale of office buildings in San Francisco.[contextly_sidebar id=”hdnhfFLZkqSHnj55fKmM90ig5ogVxSZy”]One-Forty New Montgomery, or the building formerly known as the PacBell Building, is a San Francisco landmark. It’s a Timothy Pfleuger-designed tower that still dominates the SoMa skyline nearly a century after construction, a soaring white monument to Art Deco that originally housed Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Co.
AT&T sold the building in 2007 to a venture of two San Francisco-based companies, Wilson Meany (the operating partner) and Stockbridge Capital Group (the equity partner), and the original plan was to transform the building into condominiums. That plan was put on hold in 2008 when the economy crashed, and the question then became how to update a nearly century-old building to fit modern San Francisco’s needs. The building stood empty for nearly six years while the new owners considered their next steps.
A company representative of Stockbridge did not respond to several phone calls seeking comment for this story. Wilson Meany declined to comment other then to confirm that the property is up for sale. The listing agent on the sale of the property is the San Francisco office of Eastdil Secured.
If the sales price reaches $1,000 per square foot, it would be a transaction valued at around $295 million. This level of pricing would produce a cap rate of around 4.5 percent, a yield based on the property’s current net operating income. Yelp, Lumosity and G2 Insurance Services are some of the companies that occupy the building today. Yelp had signed an eight-year lease in 2011 to occupy nine floors in the building with an annual rental rate that began at $54 a square foot and is planned to increase to $66.41 a foot by the eighth year. The landlord granted an initial $5.8 million, or $60 a foot, tenant-improvement allowance, according to records filed by Yelp with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Lumosity signed a lease in 2013 to occupy 36,000 square feet, or three floors, in the building.
One of the reasons for the high sales price is the current condition of the rents in the property. The office building has rents that are closer to current market rents than any other office asset in the city at this time. Should 140 New Montgomery achieve the $1,000 per square foot sale price, it would place the asset very close to replacement cost, which some sources in San Francisco have pegged to be close to $1,000 per square foot.
140 New Montgomery is made up of 286,092 square feet of office space and 9,000 square feet of retail, according to the Wilson Meany Web site. The property had been 90 percent pre-leased prior to the completion of the renovation. The building’s floor plates are approximately 12,000 square feet each, growing smaller on the upper floors.
140 New Montgomery is located within the SoMa sub-market in San Francisco.