Home Commercial 300,000 SQFT Smith Tower Listed for Sale in Seattle

300,000 SQFT Smith Tower Listed for Sale in Seattle

Seattle, Pioneer Square, Smith Tower, Florence Building, Eastdil Secured, Elliott Bay, Puget Sound, Goldman Sachs, Unico Properties, Denver, New York, Gaggin & Gaggin, Walton Street Capital, Samis Foundation

By Kate Snyder

Two assets in Seattle’s Pioneer Square, including the historic Smith Tower, have hit the market for sale. No asking price has been disclosed for the offering, which also includes the Smith Tower’s neighboring Florence Building, according to a recent report from The Seattle Times. Eastdil Secured has the listing.

The 4,400 square foot Florence Building is located at 512 Second Ave., and the approximately 300,000 square foot Smith Tower office property is located at 506 Second Ave. Both buildings sit blocks away from Elliott Bay and the Puget Sound. The properties are surrounded by restaurants, local businesses and public parks. 

The current owner is a partnership between Goldman Sachs and Seattle-based Unico Properties. In 2019, an entity affiliated with Goldman Sachs purchased the two buildings from Unico Properties for a combined $138 million, or approximately $453 per square foot, according to previous reporting from The Registry. Unico retained a stake in the properties and continued to operate and manage the buildings on behalf of the new partnership.

At the time of that sale, both the Florence Building and Smith Tower were part of a larger 27-building, 1.8 million square foot portfolio of assets located in Seattle and Denver. That portfolio of properties, which was collectively referred to as the Unico Partners I portfolio, had been worth a combined $710 million.

Prior to its most recent sale, Walton Street Capital purchased both buildings in 2006 from Samis Foundation, a nonprofit organization, according to The Seattle Times report. In a proposal that ultimately fell through, Walton, a Chicago firm, originally planned to upgrade the tower and add condominiums. The tower traded again six years later in a foreclosure auction before its acquisition by Unico Properties.

The 37-story Smith Tower was originally built in 1912 and opened to the public in 1914, according to the property’s website. At the time of its opening, the tower featured 540 offices, six retail stores, two telegraph offices and a public telephone station. The tower was born out of the vision of Lyman Cornelius Smith, an industrialist from New York who made a fortune selling typewriters and firearms. With encouragement from his wife, he purchased the land at Second Avenue and Yesler that would eventually become Smith Tower. New York architectural firm Gaggin & Gaggin designed Smith Tower, which was both their first and last skyscraper project.

“Rum runners, guns, typewriters, romantic superstitions and ties to Chinese royalty are all woven into the historical fabric of this icon, which presents a window into the Emerald City’s colorful past,” the Smith Tower’s website states. “Classic architecture evokes an opulent era, a backdrop of craftsmanship that lives on through carefully crafted cocktails from an unrivaled, breathtaking vantage high above Seattle.”