By Meghan Hall
Pasadena, Calif.-based Alexandria Real Estate Equities has been a prolific developer in the region, developing key properties into life science- and tech-oriented office developments in key locations such as the Denny Triangle and South Lake Union. In a transaction that closed July 12th, the investment trust has purchased another asset at the heart of downtown near pioneer square. The asset, a two-story masonry retail store—known as the Apex Building — was built in 1905 and sold for $12.3 million by Mercer Island, Wash.-based Robert A. Masin. The building totals 4,146 square feet. Property documents also show that the adjacent office building, also constructed in 1905 and which totals32,647 square feet, was also included in the transaction.
The two parcels are located at 201 S. Washington St. and 313 2nd Ext., just outside of Pioneer Square. The properties are located near numerous light rail and bus stations, as well as numerous attractions and eateries such as Elysian Fields, the Colman Dock, McCoy’s Firehouse Bar & Grill and Pizza Pro.
Combined, the two parcels total just over 8,800 square feet although it is not clear whether Alexandria will proceed with redeveloping the property at this time. However, in February of this year, the firm announced its intentions to continually expand its Seattle life sciences cluster campuses through the value-creation development of more than 300,000 rentable square feet.
“For more than two decades, Alexandria has cultivated Seattle’s life science cluster by bringing together leading-edge science across a diverse mix of life science companies, top academic and medical institutions, skilled talent and investment capital,” said John Cox, senior vice president and Seattle regional market director at Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc in a statement. “Anchored by our Lake Union campus, we are proud to have coalesced an ecosystem of pioneering life science companies and institutions, and we are focused on continuing to create amenity-rich campuses that uniquely enable companies at all stages of development in their efforts to discover and translate transformative breakthroughs that benefit humankind.”
Alexandria first broke into the Seattle life sciences market in 1996 with the purchase-leaseback of the original Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center campus. The company then expanded further into South Lake Union in 2003, and has since developed or acquired 1.3 million square feet of office and laboratory space in the submarket alone. Its 188 E. Blaine St., a 198,000 square foot ground-up development, is expected to deliver this year with initial tenants including bluebird bio, Inc., Sana Biotechnology and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Last year, the firm also acquired another Pioneer Square property, the Pacific Commercial Building, for $20.5 million, or about $455 per square foot. At the time, the acquisition brought Alexandria’s investment in Seattle in June 2018 to $149 million alone.