Ridge Capital to buy State Bar building in San Francisco for $55M

Legal agency plans to lease back offices until it finds a permanent headquarters

Ridge Capital to Buy State Bar Building in SF for $55M
Ridge Capital Investors' Trever Wilson with 180 Howard Street, San Francisco (Loopnet, Ridge Capital Investors)

Ridge Capital Investors is poised to buy the State Bar of California’s 243,000-square-foot hub in San Francisco for $55 million.

The locally based real estate firm inked a deal to purchase the 13-story office building at 180 Howard Street, the San Francisco Chronicle reported, citing unidentified sources. The seller is the State Bar.

The price for the Financial District building, two blocks from the Embarcadero, works out to $226 per square foot.

The arm of the California Supreme Court that licenses and regulates attorneys bought the property in 1995 for $22.5 million, or $93 per square foot. 

The State Bar listed its headquarters for sale in the spring of last year for an undisclosed price after it shifted to a hybrid work schedule. 

Cushman & Wakefield, enlisted to market the property, was also asked to find new offices for the State Bar in the Bay Area, either through purchase or lease. 

The agency planned to temporarily lease back a part of the building before it could find a permanent home to relocate its headquarters. A State Bar spokesperson said this week the lease-back deal is still part of the sale plan.

“The State Bar was and remains in negotiations for the sale of the building and will disclose details if and when a deal closes,” the unidentified spokesperson told the Chronicle.

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The building, built in 1978, contains 243,000 square feet of offices, according to Loopnet, a member of the CoStar Group, with media reports sizing the property at 250,000 square feet.

The Chronicle pegged the building at 211,000 square feet, which would alter its price to $261 per square foot.

San Francisco’s Ellis Partners and Boston hedge fund Baupost Group were under contract to buy the building in June for $62 million, according to the San Francisco Business Times. But the deal fell through.

The offices are across the street from the former headquarters of Charles Schwab, a 17-story, 415,900-square-foot tower that was listed in 2021 for $400 million. This month Schwab, which relocated its headquarters to Texas, announced it would move out of all but six floors and close a branch office in the building.

Ridge Capital has largely invested in the East Bay and other parts of the Bay Area, according to the Chronicle.

In fall 2020, Ridge nearly bought a 17-story office building at 555 Montgomery Street, which houses the East West bank on multiple floors, but backed off from the deal after it appeared some tenants couldn’t pay their rent.

— Dana Bartholomew

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State Bar of California chairman Ruben Duran with State Bar of California headquarters, 180 Howard Street San Francisco (LinkedIn, Google Maps)
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