IRSA Inversiones y Representaciones S.A. has acquired the Edificio Republica building in Downtown Buenos Aires, Argentina, for $70.3 million, adding 214,000 square feet to its portfolio. With this purchase, the company also expects to soon close lease agreements for approximately 172,000 square feet. The building was designed by Cesar Pelli, who had also designed the World Financial Center in New York City and the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. Prices are expected to rise due to a demand and supply imbalance in city, as relatively few office buildings are scheduled to come online in the next few years. And since there is a lack of land in the Downtown submarket, most development will be in the refurbishment of the market’s older buildings, according to NAI Global’s 2008 Global Market Report. As of February, newly-constructed buildings in Buenos Aires were commanding up to $406 per square for per year; Class A, $300 per square foot; and Class B, $192 per square foot, the report said. ISRA, Argentina’s largest diversified real estate company, manages both office buildings and shopping centers in Buenos Aires through its subsidiaries. The company is also involved in the development of residential subdivisions and apartments, specializing in high-rise and loft-style conversions, and owns three hotels. ISRA is the only company listed both on the Bolsa de Comerciao de Buenos Aires and the New York Stock Exchange, and also owns an 11.8 percent stake in Banco Hipotecario, Argentina’s largest mortgage supplier.