Boston Properties takes control of Transbay Tower, S.F.'s tallest building

Posted on March 20, 2013

Boston Properties has replaced Hines as the lead developer of the Transbay Tower, which will be San Francisco’s tallest building.

Hines, which for six years has been the public face of the proposed 61-story tower, has sold 90 percent of its remaining interest in the 1.4 million square foot Transbay Tower development to Boston Properties. In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Boston Properties stated that Hines has elected to reduce its ownership interest in the joint venture from 50 percent to 5 percent, leaving Boston Properties as the 95 percent owner of the site.

The agreement comes two days before the Transbay Joint Powers Authority is scheduled to sell the property for $190 million to the developers. The money will be used to help pay for the $4 billion Transbay terminal project in the south financial district. The land transfer is scheduled to close March 21st, with a March 27th public ceremony celebrating the transaction.

In October Boston Properties announced that it had bought a 50 percent stake in the tower, essentially replacing MetLife as equity partner. Boston Properties is currently working on two other San Francisco developments: a renovation of 680 Folsom St., which has been preleased to Riverbed Technology and; and 535 Mission St., a speculative tower that Swinerton Builders is started construction on this month.

TJPA spokesman Adam Alberti said the agency has no powers of approval on the change in the joint venture agreement. “It’s been communicated to us that Boston Properties is taking a 95 percent controlling interest,” said Alberti.

Bob Pester, a senior vice president and regional manager of Boston Properties, is now the lead contact on the development team, said Alberti.

J.K. Dineen, San Francisco Business Times.