Friday, February 1, 2019

Equity Commonwealth Has Deal to Sell Its Last Remaining Philadelphia Office Tower for $451.6 Million

Equity Commonwealth, the Chicago-based real estate trust controlled by investor Sam Zell, announced it has a deal to sell the 54-story BNY Mellon office tower at 1735 Market St. in Philadelphia's Center City for $451.6 million.

With the sale, which is expected to close March 27, Equity Commonwealth will have sold the last office property it owns in the Philadelphia market. At one time, the real estate trust owned four office towers in Philadelphia, making it one of the biggest office landlords in the city.

The buyer of 1735 Market St. was not disclosed, although according to the Philadelphia Inquirer and other unconfirmed reports, a joint venture between Manhattan-based Silverstein Properties Inc. and the Arden Group of Philadelphia are believed to have the 1.3 million-square-foot office tower under contract.

Equity Commonwealth announced last year that it was putting its last property in Philadelphia on the market and hired an investment sales team from HFF led by senior managing directors Doug Rodio and Coleman Benedict to sell the building.

Completed in 1990, the building stands as the fifth-tallest tower in Philadelphia and is distinguished by its trademark pyramid-crowned top. The building is approximately 95 percent leased. Major tenants include law firm Ballard Spahr LLP, Public Financial Management, GSI Health, CDI, BNY Mellon, Raymond James, UBS Financial Services and Goldman Sachs.

Equity Commonwealth's previous holdings include the former PNC Bank Building at 1600 Market St., Centre Square at 1500 Market St. and the former One Franklin Plaza building at 200 N. 16th St., which previously housed GlaxoSmithKline's North American headquarters.

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