The mammoth $1.16 Billion Amazon sale of their South Lake Union headquarter went through last week, and was officially dubbed the largest commercial office sale of 2012, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal. The stats are tracked by New York research firm Real Capital Analytics, and the Amazon transaction was recently ranked as the 27th largest commercial office sale in US history. According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, Amazon had plenty of incentive to close the deal prior to the new year; Amazon made a $51 million deposit that the company would forfeit if the transaction did not close this quarter.
The sale certainly blows other substantial commercial transactions out of the park, with the next largest deal estimated at $868.6 million being a 1.2 million-square-foot building in San Francisco. The question still hangs in the air as to where all of the Amazonians will live around SLU once the expansion is full installed? Is there enough condos and rentals available in the neighborhood, or will it become overbuilt with highrises in upcoming years?
There are two buildings in Denny Triangle that are gaining alot of hype in commercial real estate news recently; the 7th & Madison building, and West 8th, (which is currently occupied by Amazon) may be up for sale, according to the Commercial Broker’s Association. According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, West 8th developer Touchstone Corp has declined to comment on whether the 28 story building is for sale or not, and contacts at HAL Real Estate Investments that owns the 7th & Madison building did not respond were no available for comment either.
This has all been brought to the attention of the media as the time-frame is closing for sellers to close on properties before the capital gains tax rate goes up at the end of this year, (which could potentially increase 15-20%). Could both companies possibly be selling to take advantage of the lower tax rate? For more information on commercial properties in the Seattle area, visit the Puget Sound Journal.
As far back as I can remember, the Mercer Street corridor cluster has always been one of the prime spots to get stuck in traffic in Seattle, and one of the worst if you need to be anywhere on time. But all that might change, now that Mercer will finally experience 6 lanes of two way traffic beginning on Monday.
That’s right, for the first time since 1968 drivers leaving I-5 will be able to go straight towards Seattle Center instead of wrapping around in the stop and go traffic along Valley Street. Eastbound I-5 traffic isn’t looking promising to improve congestion, but according to the Seattle Times, westbound drivers leaving I-5 could save a few minutes in their commute. Although lanes will start to open next week, there is still a lot of work to be done, and construction will continue along Fairview Ave N, making it tricky to get on I-5 after work hours. Traffic police will be assisting drivers navigate side streets during this time to aid the congestion, and two crosswalks will close to make it easier to right turn on Mercer and gain access to I-5. For more information on the construction process, visit the SDOT.
Joshua Green Corp partnered with the Urban Renaissance Group to purchase the Plaza 600 in the Central District for $54.9 million. The 20-story office tower was bought from private investor Vance Corp this week, and sold for roughly $262 per square foot. This property is currently 85% leased, and because there is significant short term rollover, the new owner will now have the opportunity to take advantage of the the potential rent growth Seattle has continued to experience. According to the CoStar Group, “noting a shortage of value-add opportunities in major CBD’s in the Western US, Shannon said this was perfect timing for the buyer given the accelerating rents in the market.” At the time of sale, almost 70% of the leases were below market value, and scheduled to roll over within the next four years. For more information on Plaza 600, the Puget Sound Business Journal.
This week the Seattle Department of Transportation issued a statement indicating that there will be nighttime lane closures for the East end of the Mercer project beginning next week. Drivers can expect delays starting Monday evening, and here is the scoop on whats happening:
One Northbound turn lane onto Fairview Ave N will shut down at 8PM Monday April 20th, and Crews will work through the night until 6:00am Tuesday morning. The closure will give construction crews the opportunity to install an underground pipe across Valley Street at Boren Ave N.
On May 2-3 closures will happen between 9th Ave N and Westlake Ave N, ad westbound Broad st will be closed at night again, between 8:00pm-6:00am. Commuters traveling West on Valley street will be detoured North on Westlake to 8th Ave N then South on 9th Ave N to reconnect with Southbound Broad St. Be prepared for delays next week, and please find the full construction report here.