JL Properties, CIRI partnership buys ConocoPhillips building downtown

mtheriault@adn.comDecember 16, 2013 

A private partnership has purchased the ConocoPhillips office complex, an iconic feature of the downtown Anchorage skyline and the home of the tallest building in Alaska.

A partnership between local real estate developers JL Properties, Seattle-based Washington Capital Management and Cook Inlet Region Inc. bought the property from Hunt Petroleum Company of Texas, according to JL Properties chairman Jonathan Rubini.

"It's definitely an iconic real estate asset for the state," Rubini said. "And it was a good deal for us as investors."

Rubini wouldn't say how much the partnership paid for the property, which includes a main tower and a smaller building to the south. The complex had an appraised value of $99 million in 2013, according to Anchorage property tax records.

The previous owners had begun shopping the property to potential buyers in the spring of 2013, Rubini said.

The oil company will remain the primary tenant of the towers, located at 700 G Street, for at least the next seven years, Rubini said.

ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc. leases all 677,000 square feet of the building.

The oil company's offices occupy 16 floors.

The rest of the space is sub-leased to tenants such as New York Life Insurance Company, the Alaska Club and several law firms, Rubini said.

After the current lease agreement ends it will be up to the oil company to decide whether it wants to stay at the complex that bears its name.

"We have hope and some reasons to believe" that time would be extended, Rubini said. "But there's been no discussions."

"I would not speculate on what our plans would be in seven years," ConocoPhillips spokeswoman Natalie Lowman wrote in an e-mail.

What happens ConocoPhillips doesn't renew its lease?

That depends on the overall health of the Alaskan economy, Rubini said.

"In a very healthy, vibrant Alaskan economy you'd transition it to a multi-office complex. If that were reflective of a diminished Alaskan economy it would be a pretty difficult building to fill up," he said.

Anchorage-based JL Properties has developed a number of projects across the state, including office buildings in Midtown, the National Park Service headquarters downtown and housing on military bases. CIRI is an Alaska Native regional corporation with real estate holdings nationwide. It developed the Tikahtnu Commons shopping area in East Anchorage.

In the past, CIRI and JL Properties have collaborated on smaller projects. This is the largest.

A spokesman for CIRI didn't respond to questions about the purchase Monday.

The 22-story glass and steel main tower, constructed in 1983 as the ARCO Tower, is also known for its changeable beauty: it can look steel gray or a reflective gold depending on the light.

"It's a symbol of the health of the oil industry in Alaska," Rubini said.

The building will continue to carry the ConocoPhillips name.

 

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