By Barbra Murray
Spain-based Ponte Gadea has added The Investment Building, a trophy office property in Washington, D.C., to its holdings. The investment arm of billionaire Amancio Ortega purchased the asset from a joint venture of JP Morgan Asset Management and JBG Smith for $385.4 million.
Samantha Ahuja, an attorney with law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP, which represented the buyer in the transaction, described the asset in a prepared statement as an “incredible business opportunity.” Greenberg Traurig’s Nelson Migdal, Nicholas Palmer and Rosemarie Salguero were also part of the team.
Located at 1501 K St. NW, the asset also known as 1501 K was developed in 1922 and redeveloped in 2001, with famed architect César Pelli of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects overseeing a design that maintained the building’s historic facade while taking the remaining structure to a state-of-the-art level. The property is 92 percent leased and counts Sibley Austin LLP as its anchor—the international law firm will be the lead tenant through 2031, having renewed its lease of 289,000 square feet in 2013. Amenities at 1501 K include 18,800 square feet of ground-level retail space and a three-level underground parking facility.
Ponte Gadea has been highly active in the U.S. commercial real market for some time, and like most other foreign investors, the company will likely continue to target the country. “Given the volatility in the stock market and geopolitical uncertainties, both domestic and foreign investors will remain motivated to allocate capital to U.S. commercial real estate, returns on which have been sizable and stable,” according to a 2019 outlook report by commercial real estate services firm CBRE.
Ponte Gadea’s expanding U.S. portfolio includes such coveted assets as the 35,400-square-foot office building at 490 Broadway in Manhattan, which the company purchased for $140 million in 2015. In 2017, the company paid approximately $470 million for the mixed-use Pacific Place complex in San Francisco.
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