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San Francisco’s iconic Transamerica Pyramid has sold for $711 million, its first sale in history

Katie Canales Feb 7, 2020, 8:46 AM

The Transamerica Pyramid seen from San Francisco’s North Beach district in 2019. 
Katie Canales/Business Insider
  • San Francisco’s iconic Transamerica Pyramid has sold for $711 million to a New York developer.
  • It’s the first sale in the building’s history since its construction in 1969. The pyramid will retain its name.
  • The now-beloved Transamerica Pyramid was despised by many who opposed the addition of tall buildings to the cityscape back when it was constructed.
  • The backlash contributed to office construction being limited in San Francisco, a measure that remains in today’s crowded commercial and housing market.

San Francisco’s iconic Transamerica Pyramid has sold for $711 million to a real-estate group led by New York developer Michael Shvo, as Bloomberg’s Noah Buhayar reports. Transamerica’s COO Jay Orlandi confirmed the sale in an email to Business Insider. 

“Transamerica has accepted SHVO’s offer to purchase the Transamerica Pyramid property in San Francisco for $711 million. The sale is expected to close in second quarter of 2020.”

The deal is the first sale in the building’s history since it was built in 1969 as headquarters for insurance company Transamerica.

Two adjacent buildings on Sansome Street were reported to be included in the deal when the pyramid was first listed for sale for $600 million in August 2019. Transamerica originally intended to sell only half of the building but pivoted to a full sale of the structure after a lack of buyer interest. 

Shvo’s investment group includes German pension fund Bayerische Versorgungskammer and Deutsche Finance. Shvo is known for luxury residential properties but has recently ventured into office space, according to Bloomberg. And the developer recently added Manhattan’s Coca-Cola building to its portfolio, which is valued at more than $6 billion overall.

Michael Shvo did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

The building’s figure is part of the insurance company’s logo, but the insurer hasn’t been housed in the building for years. Northwestern Mutual, among others, fills its floors.

The building will still be branded as the Transamerica Pyramid likely to the relief of many who hold the landmark dear to their heart. But it wasn’t always such a hit with the public.