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Samsung Subsidiary is the New Owner of Minneapolis’ City Center

The 1.6M-SF Structure Last Sold in Late 2016
June 7, 2018
One of downtown Minneapolis’ largest office and retail centers has been sold to an entity controlled by a division of Seoul, South Korea-based giant Samsung Group.

As reported yesterday by CoStar News, Haikou, China-based multinational HNA had sold City Center, a 51-story, 1.6 million-square-foot tower at 33 S. Sixth St. for a total purchase price of $320 million, just $5 million more than the company had paid for it in late 2016. However, The CoStar Group was not immediately able to confirm the identity of the buyer, which was listed as City Center 33 South Property LLC on public records.

The Delaware-based LLC is controlled by a complex web of companies all tied to Samsung, according to documents on file with the Hennepin County recorder’s office, and it is controlled by Samsung SRA Asset Management, the real estate investment arm of Samsung Life Insurance.

In exchange for the property, the Samsung LLC has assumed a $205 million loan that HNA had taken out from Metropolitan Life, as per an agreement signed by Roy Liao, president of HNA Property Holdings, and Kwanghyun "Tommy" Kim, vice president and head of U.S. Real Asset Investment for Samsung SRA Asset Management.

The agreement also states that while Minneapolis-based Ryan Cos. U.S., Inc. will take over management of the property from CBRE, the new owner will retain the services of the existing leasing agents, which hail from JLL and Colliers. JLL handles office leasing while Colliers is responsible for retail space there.

Samsung SRA appears to be a prolific and deep-pocketed international buyer. This February alone it closed at least two enormous acquisitions, paying $457 million for 200 Aldersgate, a 434,000-square-foot office building in London, and $656 million for the K-Twin office towers in Seoul. The transactions were reported by The CoStar Group and IPE Real Assets, respectively.

Clare Kennedy, Minneapolis / St. Paul Market Reporter  CoStar Group   
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