Real Estate - MARCH 2, 2016

Deutsche Asset Management acquires Seattle office building for $370m

by Andrea Waitrovich

Deutsche Asset Management’s Alternatives and Real Assets has acquired 2001 Eighth Ave. in Seattle on behalf of one of its investment funds. A sales price was not disclosed; however, Real Capital Analytics lists the price as $360 million.

The property, known as West Eighth, is considered one of the premier office buildings in the city, located at the confluence of Seattle’s central business district and South Lake Union submarkets. Comprising 516,985 square feet, it is a class A, LEED Platinum office building that is currently 98 percent occupied.

Seattle was listed seventh in RCA’s “Top 40 Office Markets of 2015,” a jump from 15th place in 2014 as sales volume rose 159 percent year-over-year. During 2015 Seattle’s sales volume totaled more than $5.5 billion, an average of more than $1.4 billion in sales per quarter. Thus far this quarter, 21 office buildings have been sold for a total of more than $1.1 billion in sales.

The Seattle office market was ranked third in 2012 but dropped to eighth in 2013. In a short time the area evolved into a 24/7 live, work, play neighborhood, increasing its attractiveness for high-growth technology companies.

Another large office deal in Seattle so far this year was the $129.3 million sale of the Alley24 at 223 Yale Ave. N. to MetLife Investment Management. The sellers were Vulcan Real Estate and Pemco Insurance. And the First Hill Medical Pavilion at 1124 Columbia St. sold for $185 million to Heitman and NexCore Group.

Seattle is increasingly seen as a destination for foreign capital. Approximately 23 percent of the 2015 transaction volume came from cross-border investors. During 2015, Hong Kong–based Gaw Capital Partners purchased Columbia Center, Seattle’s tallest tower, for $711.3 million. The foreign investor also acquired the Seattle Tower at 1218 Third Ave. for $49.5 million. Gaw is ranked the number one buyer of Seattle office properties in the past 24 months.

Additionally, Hamburg, Germany–based Union Investment, on behalf of its open-end real estate fund Unilmmo: Europa, acquired the Amazon Phase VI buildings in Seattle for $299 million. The foreign investor is the sixth most active buyer in the past 24 months.

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