By Jon Peterson
The University District Parking Associates has put up for sale a total of 2.02 acres of land on a ground lease within the University District in Seattle, according to sources familiar with the sale of the assets.
The current owners of the portfolio have hired the CBRE office of Seattle as its exclusive advisor. CBRE declined to comment when contacted for this story.
There are five different addresses on the sites within the portfolio. Site A has the two addresses located at 4530 12th Avenue Northeast and 4534 Brooklyn Avenue Northeast, and it totals .89 acres. Site B is located at 4536 Brooklyn Avenue Northeast on .47 acres, while site C covers .66 acres and has two addresses at 4236 Brooklyn Avenue Northeast and 4227 University Way Northeast.
The current owner of the property had also retained Seattle-based Weber Thompson Architects to conduct a feasibility study for residential, office and hotel development options allowed under the recently expanded zoning standard. This company envisions over 1,000 units of residential, 600,0000 square feet of office or biotechnology space or a 900-room hotel. The increased density allowed under the new zoning will get to a range of optionality that addresses the demand drivers for the University District.
The expectation is that the sale would generate a new ground lease that would be in excess of 50 years, according to sources familiar with the property and its sale. The offers from potential developer buyers for the portfolio would be made in February 2018.
The kind of real estate to be created at the sites will benefit in the future from public transportation coming into the area. All of the land in the portfolio is located near or adjacent to the U District Link Light Rail Station. This public transportation node is projected to be operational and open for business in 2021, and it will provide direct light rail access to the central business district of Seattle within 12 minutes.
The U District portfolio currently includes multiple income-producing surface parking lots with minimal structural improvements. A recent rezoning of this district allows for higher density developments and offers the potential for a similar wave of development experienced in South Lake Union that was instrumental in the transformation of the landscape of the neighborhood.