By Jack Stubbs
Los Angeles-based Clarion Partners on Friday, September 7th acquired the Lake Washington Park office building in Kirkland for $39.25 million, or approximately $560 per square foot, according to public records filed with King County. The seller of the property, SC Lake Washington Park Inc., shares the same address as investment management firm Townsend Group, who is listed on public documents as the seller. According to a source with knowledge of the transaction, Townsend was a consultant for the Sacramento County Employees’ Retirement System, which was the owner. The transaction was recorded on September 12th.
Neither Clarion Partners nor Townsend Group responded to calls for comment about the transaction in time for the publishing of this story.
New York-based global investment management firm BlackRock was previously the operator of the Lake Washington Park office building. Broderick Group, who represented BlackRock when they were the owner of the property, has been retained by Clarion.
According to Grant Yerke, principal at Broderick Group’s Bellevue office, the new owner sees positive potential for the Lake Washington Park property over the next few months. “There are some leases rolling next year, and they are very excited about the opportunity to potentially offer over 65,000 square feet of available space in mid-2019,” Yerke said. “The space will be 3 contiguous floors with unobstructed water views and exterior decks, and we also have the ability to provide prominent building signage fronting Lake Washington Blvd.”
The three-story Lake Washington Park Office building, located at 5108 Lake Washington Blvd. NE., is a Class A property that totals 70,019 square feet and was built in 1986. According to Google Maps, current tenants in the building include internet marketing service Donuts Inc. and Enom.
Located in the Lakeview neighborhood of Kirkland, the asset is approximately one mile south of downtown Kirkland and roughly four miles north of Bellevue. Additionally, the property sits adjacent to Lake Washington Blvd NE and is about two miles from access to Interstate-405.
Yerke thinks that the property represents an attractive proposition for potential tenants given the size of the property and the relative lack of available inventory in the surrounding areas. “Currently there are no buildings with over 50,000 square feet of available space in Bellevue or Kirkland outside of I-90,” he said. “So we are eager to bring this unique offering to market. I anticipate it will be highly sought after.”
Originally founded in 1982, Clarion Partners has investments in a wide variety of assets including commercial, retail, industrial, multifamily, residential and hospitality. In terms of the company’s acquisition strategy, Clarion Partners acquires 100 percent ownership interests, forms joint venture partnerships, provides equity capital to developers, and invests in various debt instruments, according to their website.
The company currently has $46.6 billion in total assets under management and more than 300 domestic and international institutional investors. The company acquires and manages real estate assets nationwide, with regional offices in Seattle, Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Boston.
In October 2017, Clarion Partners acquired a three-parcel property in Renton—including a 479,100 square foot warehouse building—for $67.1 million, or approximately $140 per square foot, from UK-based global real estate investment management company TH Real Estate.