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Portland’s Block 300 Receives LEED Gold Certification as Leasing Continues at Newly Renovated Asset

12 Jul 2014, 4:59 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Block 300 in Portland, one of the most high-profile office properties in the Pacific Northwest city, recently completed a major milestone. The property was awarded a LEED Gold certification for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance by the U.S. Green Building Council. The certification is a result of the recent modifications brought to the asset, a recent renovation process having been carried out at the facility by the ownership joint venture of JPMorgan, Starwood Capital Group and Kaufman Jacobs.

Block 300 is a 360,000-square-foot office asset located at 308 S.W. Second Ave. in the city’s Central Business District. Once the anchor tenant, the General Services Administration left last year, opening up about half of the total available space. The owners kicked off a multimillion-dollar capital improvement program, and tasked JLL with leasing the facility. The newest tenants include tech companies Puppet Labs and Cvent.

The asset received a major lobby remodel and extensive upgrades to the fitness facility, elevator cabs, common areas, dining rooms, bicycle parking facility and locker rooms exclusively for tenant use, retail amenities, as well as other improvements. The design firm was locally based industry giant ZGF. The process utilized eco-friendly materials and finishes, and features unique elements such as the first Philips Lumiblade OLED light installation in the country and a living green wall.  

The building offers 360-degree views of Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens and the Willamette River, as it is located just one block from the river. The city’s MAX public transportation system and easy access to nearby freeways also offer advantages. The package includes 24-hour security, including specialized personnel and surveillance cameras and card key access after hours.

Image courtesy of block300.com.

Vulcan, Plus Investment Target South Lake Union, Bellevue with Nearly 2,000 New Residential Units

7 Jul 2014, 3:47 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Nearly 2,000 residential units might be added to the Puget Sound’s already well-populated development pipeline. Developers Vulcan Real Estate and Plus Investment USA have lined up large residential projects in South Lake Union and Bellevue, respectively, according to recent reports. The fast pace of job creation, a growing tech market appeal and a constant flow of new residential development projects have turned such parts of the greater Seattle area into white-hot markets.

With 2,200 units coming online just during the first quarter of 2014, according to data provided by Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the city is set to maintain an elevated pace of development. Vulcan Real Estate has revisited its plans of developing multifamily buildings near the southern shore of Lake Union, after one design scheme proved too controversial and was dropped before the end of last year. The company has now proposed three smaller towers of 160 feet, as opposed to the previous 240-foot-tall buildings it had planned; when completed, they will offer a total of 853 residential units and 35,000 square feet of retail space, public records show. The projects are currently in the pre-development stage, with no planned construction schedules for the near future.

Meanwhile, Plus Investments USA has two 43-story residential towers planned for the corner of Northeast Eighth Street and 108th Avenue Northeast in downtown Bellevue. The company is planning on building its newly announced project beginning in 2016 on the site of First Congregational Church, which it has owned since earlier this year, The Puget Sound Business Journal reported. The two buildings would total nearly 1,000 residential units and be located above a common podium that would offer a large retail component, with a hospitality component also in the mix, according to The Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. The developer is the local real estate subsidiary of Plus Investments, a Hong Kong-based entity.

Chart courtesy of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services.

TruAmerica Multifamily Purchases Third M

29 Jun 2014, 3:29 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

TruAmerica Multifamily recently closed on the purchase of a multifamily complex in the Seattle suburb of Renton in a deal worth $28.7 million. The L.A.-based real estate investment firm further expanded its metro Seattle portfolio with the purchase of Montclair Heights, which followed the completion of two other residential acquisitions in the market over the past six months.

TruAmerica’s other buys included the December 2013 purchase of the Arcadia Luxury Townhomes in Federal Way and the Westhaven Apartments in Seattle, acquired this past March. The buyer acquired the property in partnership with LEM Capital L.P. and financed it with a five-year rehab bridge loan from OneWest Bank.

Montclair Heights is a 174-unit residential asset totaling more than 200,000 rentable square feet located. The complex offers two- and three-bedroom units, with an average unit size of around 1,153 square feet. Montclair Heights occupies a 16-acre plot of land that offers park-like landscaping and a resident amenity package that includes a pool, a common clubhouse, a fitness facility and a spa. The community is located in Seattle’s metropolitan area, minutes away from job centers such as the Central Business District Bellevue and the Boeing Renton Plant. Transportation is also easily accessible, with the I-405 and Highway 169 nearby, as well as the Sea-Tac International Airport.

The new owner has already planned a number of improvements for the property that aim to add contemporary finishes to the interiors and exteriors and modernized amenities in the common areas. Noah Hochman, director of acquisitions at TruAmerica Multifamily, voiced the company’s confidence in the metro Seattle residential market, noting that the buyer is “pleased to complete our third property acquisition in the region, following our purchases of Arcadia Luxury Townhomes and Westhaven Apartments.”

Image courtesy of apartmentguide.com 

Dallas Developer Makes First Foray into Pacific Northwest with West Seattle M-F Project

20 Jun 2014, 11:33 pm

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Dallas-based real estate firm Trinsic Residential Group has broken ground on its first project in the Pacific Northwest, a residential development in West Seattle. With Seattle’s apartment market going well and a large number of units currently in the works to fulfill growing demand, new investors have set their sights on the city in order to cash in on the trend.

Trinsic’s new project will be located at 4435 35th Ave. S.W., near the West Side Bridge and next to the Rapid Ride stop. The residential community will be dubbed the Aura West Seattle, continuing the tradition of the developer’s other residential communities, such as Aura Castle Hills, Aura Prestonwood and Aura Wycliff, all located in Texas.

Aura West Seattle will total 159 residences and will include live-work units and a large amount of underground parking. The community’s developer will bring studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, as well as townhome units, confident that the project will appeal to a wide variety of renters.

According to the developer, the project’s amenities and overall design are aimed at outdoor enthusiasts. The amenity package includes rooftop gardening, lounge areas, recreational equipment storage, as well as outdoor gear rental. According to Jack Paauw, managing director for the company’s Pacific Northwest division, the company’s goal is to “build an apartment complex that not only benefits residents but also has a positive impact on the surrounding community.” The project will also include hill climbs, connecting 35th and 36th avenues.

 Image of Aura Wycliff courtesy of trinsicresidential.com.

Bristol I at Southport Scores $27.6M Loan Arranged by Johnson Capital

16 Jun 2014, 4:54 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Johnson Capital recently completed a financing deal for an apartment complex in Renton, Wash. The company has provided a loan worth $27.6 million for the Bristol I at Southport community, a residential property completed back in 2002. Amos Smith and Sea Skelton, currently with Johnson Capital’s Irvine, Calif., office, worked on behalf of the property owner to arrange the financing for the asset.

Bristol I at Southport is a 188-unit community that includes a commercial real estate component totaling 10,037 square feet of space. The apartment complex is located on 2.22 acres of prime waterfront property at the base of Lake Washington. Comprising four individual four-story buildings, the Class A complex offers two common parking levels with 350 covered, secure parking spaces. The owner is a privately owned company with expertise in mixed-use development focusing on the greater Seattle area.

Southport is one of the most recent waterfront communities in the area, and one of the most appreciated and easily accessible locations. Lake Washington is one of the best-known areas in the Puget Sound, and offers views of the Seattle skyline, the Olympic Mountains and Mt. Rainier. Bristol I also offers accessibility through the proximity of several freeways, close to downtown Bellevue and the Sea-Tac Airport.

The financing measure arranged by Johnson Capital is a 15-year loan that was provided by an insurance company. The owner used proceeds from the loan to retire existing debt on the property and to source funds for a renovation process that includes unit improvements and a new exterior that would maintain consistency between the property and the adjacent Bristol II, also developed by the borrower.

Image courtesy of thebristol.net

Federal Way City Council Approves Performing Arts/Conference Center Project in Unanimous Vote

8 Jun 2014, 4:42 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Federal Way is set to see a new development initiative, as the city council recently decided to authorize construction of a new performing arts and conference center in the city’s downtown. The measure passed through a unanimous vote this past week, most likely as a direct result of a study conducted by the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Panel, which showed that the proposed facility would accelerate the development of the area. The estimated cost of the performing arts development project stands at around $32 million.

When constructed, the 700-seat, multipurpose facility will reportedly create a new, more dynamic environment in downtown Federal Way, the investigation revealed. According to the Mayor’s Panel, the development process would generate around $59 million in spending and about 338 new jobs. And the ongoing operations would generate approximately $3.2 million in new spending each year.

The auditorium would also create a new cultural hotspot in South King County, allowing touring acts and performance series to reach an area of the state that has not had access to those types of events. Set to offer a total of approximately 43,500 square feet of space, the building will be located on a four-acre, elevated plot of land in the vicinity of the Federal Way Transit Center and would offer views of Mt. Rainier. The performing arts center will also double as a conference center, with the capability to host local and regional business retreats and workshops. The development initiative will also include a hotel that would be developed by a private entity.  

The site had been owned by the city since 2010, when it used state funds in a purchase deal worth approximately $5 million. The city council then authorized a conceptual design phase, and in 2013 went on to the project design phase, the development of the pro forma and the application for land use permits.

Image courtesy of federalwaypacc.org

Essex Property Trust Expands Seattle-Area Portfolio with Purchase of Collins on Pine

31 May 2014, 4:23 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

In the latest real estate transaction involving a Seattle-area apartment property, Essex Property Trust acquired a high-end residential asset in the Pike/Pine neighborhood for $29.6 million. The upscale community Collins on Pine was in high demand, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal, but the seller, a limited liability company controlled by Metropolitan Homes Corp., selected Essex Property Trust.

Collins on Pine is a 76-unit luxury residential building that offers a number of upper-tier amenities, including a resident lounge with full demonstration, a rooftop barbecue area, a storage area, a bicycle storage space, as well as a fire pit with outdoor TV. The building also offers on-site maintenance and package receiving, a valet dry cleaning service and the Collins Concierge service, providing house cleaning, and other services are available online. The 76 residential units include studio apartments as well as one- and two-bedroom residences. Rent rates at the building range between $1,450 for a studio and $3,705 for the larger, two-bedroom apartments.

Located at 1601 13th Ave., in one of the more vibrant areas of Seattle and a current hotbed for multifamily investment, Collins on Pine is proximite to the nearby Cal Anderson Park and the fine dining options found throughout Capitol Hill. Essex Property Trust has added the asset to a number of other communities it owns in greater Seattle, including Vox Apartments at 1527 15th Ave., Joule Apartments at 523 Broadway E., and The Cairns, at 422 Yale Ave. N.

Image courtesy of essexapartmenthomes.com 

Hines, Oaktree Acquire Triton Towers in Renton

24 May 2014, 3:15 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

One of Renton’s best-known office assets recently traded hands: A partnership of Hines and a real estate fund managed by Oaktree Capital Management purchased Triton Towers. The buyer reportedly paid a fee of around $60 million for the property, making it one of the largest deals to be completed in the area.

Triton Towers is an office campus located on a 19-acre site on the southern shore of Lake Washington. The campus comprises three seven-story steel and concrete buildings that offer a total of 407,107 square feet of office space. The class A office campus offers great proximity to three major freeways – I-405, I-5 and Highway 167 – and is also close to the Sea-Tac Airport.

The campus offers access to a number of parks and the city’s urban trail system, in proximity to public transportation, dining, shopping and cultural venues. Renton has created a name for itself as the world headquarters of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, with a large part of the city’s economy relying on the 278-acre manufacturing facility located in the area.

Ty Bennion, a managing director with Hines, said the international real estate company “could not be more excited about this asset,” which he called “the best located and most distinctive property in the entire Puget Sound region.” Meanwhile, Oaktree Managing Director Mark Jacobs underlined the company’s position in reference to the deal as “pleased to add a high-quality asset such as Triton Towers to our real estate holdings and continue to look for opportunities to grow our portfolio in the Pacific Northwest.”

Portland Residential Community Trades Hands for $50M

18 May 2014, 4:54 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

A California-based multifamily investment firm recently acquired a Portland asset. According to investment brokerage firm HFO Investment Real Estate, the Monterey Springs Apartments in Clackamas County traded hands for $51.25 million. HFO was in charge of arranging the transaction on behalf of both the buyer and the seller, a private equity group from the Midwest.

Monterey Springs Apartments is a 390-unit multifamily property located in the immediate vicinity of Clackamas Town Center. The residential community is located on a 12-acre lot and includes 21 residential buildings, as well as two distinct community facilities. Residents at the property benefit from landscaping features such as a private lake, a water feature, a fitness center, resident covered parking, a cyber café, a common clubhouse and a year-round pool/spa, just 20 minutes away from the city’s core.

According to a press statement announcing the transaction, HFO Investment Real Estate used its extensive network of national investors, and was able to find a number of potential buyers looking to invest in the growing Portland market. The Portland multifamily market has seen a higher pace of deals during recent weeks, with the Pacific Northwest as a whole proving to be a solid investment area for companies active in the residential sector.

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

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