BECU’s Tukwila Financial Center just got even more spacious with the addition of eight more buildings in a recent $78 million buy, or approximately $207 per square foot. The credit union, which is the largest in the state and employs 1,700 employees, acquired the eight buildings, which add to their two existing offices at the Gateway Corporate Center on December 27th, 2016. The property is located at 12770 Gateway Drive in Tukwila.
In total, BECU now owns 10 of the 11 buildings in that center and employs roughly 650 people at the campus. Gregg Kats, BECU vice president of administration, said they potentially would’ve been interested in purchasing the 11th building had the owner been willing to sell but that building is privately owned. There are no plans at this time to attempt to purchase that building.
this purchase certainly gives us the flexibility to accommodate growth and move people around to foster even more collaboration and workspace functionality
Even without the 11th building, Tracey Fitzgerald, director of communications for BECU, said the purchase of these eight buildings was a worthwhile investment. “We’re excited to have multiple buildings right around our corporate headquarters,” Fitzgerald said.
Kats said the additional space will allow for new possibilities. “With nearly 650 employees working from the Tukwila Financial Center, this purchase certainly gives us the flexibility to accommodate growth and move people around to foster even more collaboration and workspace functionality.” Kats said he envisions an employee-friendly, campus-like setting for the buildings.
Though the additional 376,000-square-feet the buildings will add to their campus, Fitzgerald said the expansion of property doesn’t necessarily mean more employees.
“BECU has been growing our employee base on a good cadence, but I don’t know what the vision is as we move further into 2017,” Fitzgerald said. While she couldn’t confirm whether or not BECU would be adding new employees to fill those buildings, she said, “I don’t believe the purchase of the buildings is indicating a mass hiring of any sort.”
BECU has not decided if it plans to lease or rent any of the space yet. An administrative team will develop a master use plan, which will outline the plans for each building. Though BECU has ownership of the buildings Kats said, “In the meantime, we will honor in full, all leases that are currently in place.”
Bill Frame with Kidder Mathews represented BECU in the transaction. The buildings were purchased as a packed deal from RREEF, now Deutsche Asset Management, according to Kats.