UPDATED: Japanese firm makes major investment play with $220M purchase of Miami Tower

Miami Tower
Miami Tower

UPDATED May 24 11:59 a.m.: In one of South Florida’s biggest investment plays so far this year, a Japanese firm has paid $220 million for the iconic Miami Tower in downtown Miami.

County records show a fund controlled by Chicago’s LaSalle Investment Management transferred the air rights of the office tower at 100 Southeast Second Street to an affiliate of the Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, in what is a precursor to an outright property transfer. Though no monetary amount was attached to the lease, The Real Deal calculated its document tax to the $220 million closing price.

Sources close to the deal have confirmed both the closing price and the sale details.

LaSalle paid $105 million for the famous tower in 2010. At 47 stories, it’s Miami’s eighth-tallest building and one of its most recognizable amidst a rapidly changing skyline. At night, the building’s $1.5 million LED system lights up the tower in myriad colors depending on the holiday or occasion. The tower was designed by noted architect I.M. Pei.

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Commercial brokerage HFF represented LaSalle for the sale and brought Sumitomo, according to a news release from the brokerage.

With 600,000 square feet of office space, this most recent purchase breaks down to nearly $367 per square foot. According to data from the CoStar Group, Miami Tower was 92 percent leased at the time of sale with asking rents ranging from $38 to $52.50 per square foot on an annual basis.

Sumitomo Corporation of Americas is the Western Hemisphere division of Sumitomo Corp., a multinational trade company based in Japan. The company is no stranger to Miami real estate: it sold Miami Center, another well-known downtown office building, to Crocker Partners for $265.2 million in 2012.

Requests for comment to LaSalle and Sumitomo were not immediately returned.