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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.   

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