Time passes, and some things seem to stay the same! It was two years ago that we published our first Transamerica Pyramid Insight. (You can read it HERE)
At that time, Shvo Development had yet to close on its purchase of the Pyramid at a reported $700+ million, CBRE was the building’s tenant broker, and LISA was close to launching its first game – using the Pyramid as its subject building.
Fast forward to today – Shvo has closed its Pyramid acquisition but at $650 million, CBRE has been replaced by JLL, LISA’s game software is not yet complete, and has replaced the Pyramid with Jasper as the game’s subject. And more importantly, LISA is now thinking of the Pyramid as a celebrity, not just a San Francisco iconic building.
Developers have learned a thing or two since 1973 when the Pyramid was completed. Some, not all developers and their architects, are thinking that their buildings are indeed celebrities and are worthy of celebrity attention!
Back in 1931, the old timer Empire State Building (age 85 years+), had it right. It draws 4 million visitors a year – more than the annual attendance at Yankee Stadium. It contributes $millions to the owner’s kitty.
London’s Shard and Chicago’s Willis Tower each draw more than 2 million visitors a year and in doing so probably generate $100 million in revenue, which by the way, is probably more profitable than typical tenant-office revenue.
Like London’s Gherkin, the Pyramid may be the most photographed building in its hometown, but visitors have no way of riding an elevator to pay dollars for views from an observation deck. There is no observation deck!
NOTE: What is likely to happen to cities post-pandemic? Read the opinion of Richard Florida who has studied cities for the past 25+ years and shares his vision HERE.