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HFF, Berkadia Complete Financing Deals for Pacific Northwest Properties

10 May 2014, 4:14 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Pacific Northwest property owners and real estate investors are completing financing deals for properties as the area continues to develop in an attempt to boost their chances at securing promising properties or improving assets in their existing portfolios. Berkadia Commercial Mortgage LLC and Holiday Fenoglio Fowler LLC both recently arranged financing deals for properties in the region, in Seattle and Portland, respectively.

Berkadia arranged $14.7 million in bridge financing for a mixed-use property at 954 East Union St. in Seattle. The six-story building will open this fall in the immediate proximity of the First Hill Street Car line. The mixed-use property offers 6,000 square feet of ground-level retail space, as well as 79 residential units comprising studios and one- and two-bedroom units.

Handled by Berkadia Commercial Mortgage Senior Vice President Louis Weisman and Hendricks-Berkadia Managing Broker Tim Ufkes, the loan features two six-month extension options and a 79 percent loan-to-cost ratio. The entity owning the asset will use the proceeds for coverage of construction costs and preparation for upcoming financing or a sale move.

The Portland property involved in a recent financing deal is the Woodlark Building in the city’s downtown area. The borrower in this case was a joint-venture between NFN Investments LLC and Arthur Mutual Investments. HFF arranged the $5 million acquisition financing deal used in the purchase of the historic property.

Located at 813-817 SW Adler, at the corner of SW Ninth Avenue, the Woodlark Building was originally completed in 1912, with a number of renovations and a host of improvements carried out at the facility over the past century in an attempt to maintain its relevance. The eight-story property, totaling 43,887 square feet of space, has a current occupancy rate of 91 percent, with a variety of office and retail tenants.

Featured image: author Another Believer via Wikimedia Commons

Schuster Group Sells Joseph Arnold Lofts in Belltown, While Lining Up More High-Rise Residential

2 May 2014, 6:33 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

A prominent multifamily project in the Seattle neighborhood of Belltown recently traded hands. The Schuster Group sold The Joseph Arnold Lofts for $68.2 million.

The upscale property, which has been marketed as The Joe by developer and former owner The Schuster Group, offers 131 units. The high-rise was completed in 2013 and was developed on a land parcel acquired back in 2008; construction began during the second quarter of 2012. The property’s upper floors offer views of the nearby Olympic Mountains and Elliott Bay. A one-bedroom unit rents at an average rate of $2,985 per month.

The property is also the first high-rise residential building in the city of Seattle to receive Green Globes certification, achieving the Three Globes level, which is the current equivalent of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Gold certification.

The Schuster Group has another high-rise residential project, Walton Lofts, underway a block away from The Joe. Construction began there at the start of this year, on a piece of land acquired in 2013. That property will also pursue Three Globes from the Green Building Initiative, a nonprofit organization that looks to accelerate the adoption of green-minded building practices.

According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, the buyer was an LLC that shares an address with frequent Schuster collaborator Invesco Real Estate, an Atlanta-based property owner that is currently working on expanding its real estate investment portfolio. The company also acquired Bell 206 in Belltown for $41.2 million, as well as the $308 million Bravern Signature Residences in Bellevue, PSBJ writes, a testament to the buyer’s commitment to expand its portfolio in the Puget Sound.

Images courtesy of theschustergroup.com.


Sound Transit Awards Mercy Housing Northwest Contract to Build Rainier Valley Affordable Housing

25 Apr 2014, 4:43 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Mercy Housing Northwest has been selected by the Sound Transit to develop a new affordable, transit-oriented project in Southeast Seattle. The company has been tasked with the construction of a multifamily complex near the Othello Link light-rail station.

The Othello Station complex in Rainier Valley will be located on Martin Luther King Jr. Way South near Myrtle Street. When completed, it will feature 108 residential units and a ground-floor commercial component totaling around 8,000 square feet of leasable space. The new project, that according to the design concept will be dubbed Myrtle Apartments at Othello Station, will also offer residents an underground parking facility accommodating 50 vehicles.

Aimed at families earning as much as 60 percent of the area’s average income, currently set at around $47,640 for a three-person household, the project will feature a mix of unit sizes. Around two-thirds of the available units will feature a three-bedroom floorplan, part of the local authorities’ initiative to increase the amount of affordable family-size housing in area.

Mercy Housing Northwest has provided the state of Washington with 2,000 residential units over its past 20 years of activity, most of them located in Central Puget Sound. The company recently completed a Columbia City light-rail station complex totaling 52 units for small families, as well as a 62-unit family apartment development in Rainier Beach. According to Sound Transit Board Chair and King County Executive Dow Constantine, “Light-rail is now a part of the community in Southeast Seattle.” Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, who is also a Sound Transit board member, noted that the city is “excited to build on our longstanding relationship with Sound Transit to ensure that this prime site can offer affordable housing to families who could not otherwise afford to live in the city.”

Image courtesy of soundtransit.org

New Housing Facility Breaks Ground at Cornish College of Arts Campus

14 Apr 2014, 6:20 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Construction has begun on a new housing facility for the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. The development team headed by Capstone Development Partners held a groundbreaking ceremony at the Residence Hall and Learning Center at 2025 Terry Ave.

This is the first new building on the campus since the completion of Kerry Hall almost a century ago. Howard S. Wright, a Balfour Beatty company, serves as the general contractor on the Residence Hall and Learning Center, a 20-story building that will include student housing facilities on 16 of its floors, accommodating a maximum of 432 students. The new hall will be constructed at the corner of Lenora Street and Terry Avenue, according to a design provided by Ankrom Moisan Architects Inc.

When completed, the 120,000-square-foot facility will also offer a common kitchen and great room, fitness and media studios, laundry facilities and live-in apartments for the supervisory staff, as well as office space for the Housing and Residential Life offices. According to a press release announcing the construction, 16,000 square feet of space located on the first two floors will be used to hold classes, workshops and various learning activities.

Cornish College of Arts has completed a leasing agreement with City University that allows CU students to stay at the facility. The new building will replace two facilities currently in use by Cornish College and located at Seventh and Eighth avenues following its 2015 completion.

Rendering courtesy of balfourbeattyus.com.

Multifamily Picks Up: TruAmerica Buys, Berkadia Finances Seattle Properties

7 Apr 2014, 4:49 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

The Pacific Northwest saw an upswing in multifamily activity during the first quarter of 2014, with residential deals and projects taking center stage in a market that has been very focused on its office sector. The quarter finished with TruAmerica Multifamily acquiring a West Seattle residential complex through a partnership with Intercontinental Real Estate Corp. The buyers paid $27 million for the property as part a strategy of amassing a $1 billion real estate investment portfolio by next year.

The Westhaven Apartments complex is a 190-unit property totaling 150,100 square feet of space, located on a 6.9-acre lot. Available floor plans include one-, two- and three-bedroom units. The garden-style apartment complex is set to receive new, high-quality in-suite features including appliances, a state-of-the-art fitness facility, a modernized clubhouse and new pool-area furnishings. The property is located just six miles away from Seattle’s Central Business District. Westhaven’s unique style sets it apart from other residential properties in the area, making the investment an important addition to newly created TruAmerica’s portfolio. This is the company’s fifth acquisition, with its current investment total at $238 million, about a quarter of the way to its objective.

Meanwhile, the local office of Berkadia Commercial Mortgage recently completed funding an $11.8 million first mortgage for a SeaTac apartment property. The Sandpiper Apartment Homes is a 163-unit multifamily complex owned by Sandpiper Ventures LLC. Berkadia secured the 35-year, fixed-rate loan through HUD’s 223(f) program, a press statement shows.

Sandpiper Ventures will use the mortgage proceeds to refinance prior debt on the property, as well as to implement a series of improvements. The community will undergo complete kitchen and bathroom remodels in all 163 units, as well as add a number of energy efficiency enhancements to reduce energy and water consumption. The nine-acre property is located near an upcoming light-rail station, set to begin service in 2016. The resident amenity package at Sandpiper Apartment Homes includes fitness facilities, a common playground and a swimming pool.   

Radiator Building Signs First Major Tenant

1 Apr 2014, 5:17 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

One of Portland’s most ambitious office developments received a major boost with the completion of a major leasing deal. Developer Kaiser Group Inc. has reportedly contracted for 14,000 square feet in One North Development for the Kartini Clinic, an entity that treats eating disorders in children and young adults. The new tenant will occupy the top two of the five floors of the Radiator Building beginning in March 2015.

The Radiator Building, one of the three new facilities that will be part of One North Development, at the corner of North Fremont Street and North Williams Avenue, will offer a total of 36,000 square feet of commercial space. The development will feature low energy consumption due to the particular construction process that it employs. The building was forgotten for nearly a century, and the developers are betting big on using timber for its frame, making it the first facility of its kind to be built in Portland in 100 years. Currently under development, the new asset will also feature ground-level retail space. Designed by Path Architecture for The Kaiser Group, the building’s name is sourced from its distinctive aspect.

One North will also include two other structures: the East Building and the West Building. Both buildings will offer first-floor retail space and will focus on offering tenants creative office space, a growing component of the West Coast’s current office market. The East Building will total 43,418 square feet of space over four floors, while the West Building will offer 35,671 square feet of space over five floors, as well as community room for both tenant and neighborhood use. The development will also add The Courtyard, bringing 14,200 square feet of shared community space available to everyone. The common space that will be located at the core of the One North development will also offer 123 bike parking spots in a pet friendly space.

Image courtesy of onenorthpdx.com

Development News: Metro-Area Residential Development Projects Budding as Spring Hits Seattle

24 Mar 2014, 4:59 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

The Seattle development scene exploded recently, with no fewer than three major moves announced across the city. One of the fastest-growing tech markets of the past few years, Seattle is driven by serious activity in the downtown area and its overperforming South Lake Union neighborhood. Continental Properties, Murray Franklyn and The Onni Group this week either acquired important development sites or announced large projects in the city’s metropolitan area.

Continental Properties has announced the acquisition of a high-rise development site in downtown Seattle for a purchase fee of $16 million from seller Columbia West Properties. The Bellevue-based developer now owns a site that is entitled for a 400-foot residential tower, offering a possible 324 units. Given the company’s track record of developing multifamily properties, Continental will most likely use the 0.5-acre site to its allowed potential. According to The Puget Sound Business Journal, it is as yet unclear whether the units will be condos or apartments.

Another site recently traded hands when developer Murray Franklyn acquired a Bellevue property for a fee of $12 million. The property currently has an in-place development plan calling for 160 apartments, as well as a retail component of 10,500 square feet and an underground parking component that could accommodate 213 vehicles. The seller of the 0.6-acre property is an affiliate of Cantera Development Group, PSBJ writes.

South Lake Union is one of the engines driving Seattle’s emergence on the real estate scene. The Onni Group unveiled its plan of developing a two-building high-rise property that would bring about 1,085 residential units to the area, in the proximity of Amazon.com’s much-discussed new headquarters in the Denny Triangle. The plan also includes 44,000 square feet of retail and parking for 1,700 vehicles. The new plans are set to be reviewed by the city’s design commission this spring.  

Master-Planned Residential Community Unveiled by Developer UCP South of Puget Sound

18 Mar 2014, 3:43 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

A huge master-planned community was recently unveiled at the southern end of the Puget Sound. San Jose-based UCP Inc., a company dealing with homebuilding and land development, announced its The Preserve at Turnwater Place in Turnwater, Wash. This will be the developer’s first for-sale community in the state’s real estate market.

The developer located the sprawling project over 120 acres at 8856 Yarrow Court Southeast. It will include two different single-family-oriented suites of products, namely The Bainbridge Collection and The Blakely Collection. The homes will be constructed by a wholly owned subsidiary of UCP, Benchmark Communities. Plans call for eight single-level and two-story floor plans catering to different style and cost preferences. The Preserve will total 544 residential units at full build-out.

Homes at the community will range between 1,550 and 3,300 square feet, with the largest offering six bedrooms and three baths. Prices for the single-family homes at Turnwater Place start at around $200,000. The homes will use top-notch materials and feature open-island kitchens, nine-foot first floor ceilings, covered outdoor spaces, hardwood flooring and gas fireplaces.

The community is located in close proximity to the I-5 freeway, in the coveted Turnwater school district. The area offers a suite of recreational activities, with the Puget Sound, Nisqually Basin, as well as a number of lakes, parks and walking trails in the vicinity.

Image courtesy of benchmarkcommunities.com

Lowe Enterprises Acquires Garden-Style Apartment Complex in Everett

10 Mar 2014, 9:03 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Lowe Enterprises recently ramped up its activity in the Pacific Northwest, becoming the latest to close a commercial-sector real estate deal in the area. The real estate investment management services company purchased Covington Farms, a multifamily complex in the city of Everett, 25 miles from Seattle, on behalf of an investment client. ARA Northwest representative Gail Neuburg handled the transaction on behalf of the seller.

Located at 10115 Holly Drive in Everett’s Paine Field area, the Covington Farms garden-style apartment community totals 352 residential units. The complex offers residents one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, and an amenity package that includes a clubhouse, a fitness facility that also offers a basketball court, indoor and outdoor pools, as well as an outdoor gathering area for barbecues.

Covington Farms had an occupancy rate of approximately 95 percent at the time of the transaction, according to a press statement. Built in 1989, it has been managed by Greystar, which will continue to handle management duties under the new ownership.

Lowe is set to continue its activity in the Pacific Northwest, with plans to break ground this year on a 169-unit condominium project at 1321 Seneca on First Hill. Other ventures during the past few years have included the acquisition and renovation of the Red Lion Hotel on Fifth Street, as well as development of two hospitality properties with joint venture partners: Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum, Wash., and Sunriver Resort in Central Oregon.

Photo credit: covingtonfarmsliving.com

Portland Hospitality Heats Up: Lloyd Center DoubleTree Goes Up for Sale, Governor Hotel Gets New Name

4 Mar 2014, 3:04 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Debate over the development of a major hotel-convention center in downtown Portland has been going on for quite a while. Now, a property that could influence willing investors has been put up for sale by its owner, prompting new discussions about a major hospitality project in the city. Mount Kellett Capital has reportedly hired Eastdil Secured to handle the marketing process for the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Lloyd Center. The property is currently valued at around $100 million, according to the Portland Business Journal.

Located at 1000 N.E. Multnomah St., the DoubleTree-flagged property offers 477 rooms, making it the largest hospitality property in the city’s core. The property would be the main competitor of an idea, currently being shopped around by the city to investors, to develop a 600-key hotel near the Oregon Convention Center in order to boost the city’s profile as a site for meetings and major conferences. The previous owner of the facility was WMK Portland, which received $67.2 million for the property in 2011. According to the business journal, the current franchise agreement could be terminated for a fee, meaning that a new owner could completely rebrand the property, bringing in an entirely new management team.

In other hospitality news, another major property recently made headlines, as the Governor Hotel at 614 S.W. Eleventh Ave. is set to be renamed. Owner Provenance Hotel Group will soon finish a $6 million renovation of the two buildings that form the 100-key hotel, to be called The Sentinel Hotel. The current owners acquired the hotel in 2012, paying $20 million to the Royal Bank of Scotland, which took ownership of the property from an owner hit by economic strain.

 Image courtesy of doubletree3.hilton.com.

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