California company gets keys to Exxon tower

The San Francisco firm said to be buying downtown’s Exxon Mobil tower has closed on the property and is planning a major redevelopment of the building.

The buyer, San Francisco-based Shorenstein Properties, did not reveal the purchase price but said the acquisition was made “markedly below current replacement costs.”

“This acquisition is in line with our strategy of buying vacancy in markets exhibiting strong current demand and future growth.  We purchased this property markedly below current replacement cost which gives us the opportunity, once the current user vacates, to employ all our company’s core skills — in capital transaction execution, redevelopment, leasing and operations — to increase the property’s value by establishing its long term position and further enhancing its reputation in the market,” Chairman and CEO Douglas Shorenstein said in a statement.

Exxon Mobil will lease back the building until 2015 when the company consolidates workers to a new campus under construction south of The Woodlands.

The purchase included a 45-story office tower and a seven-story parking garage covering two city blocks. The property was built in 1962 as the headquarters of Humble Oil & Refining Co., a predecessor to Exxon Mobil.

Shorenstein said it will make “significant improvements” to the property after Exxon vacates.