By Meghan Hall
Bellevue’s commercial office sector continues to show strength in 2020, despite concerns regarding the impact of COVID-19 on both the regional and national markets. On March 13th, Chicago-based Equity Commonwealth closed on the sale of Bellevue’s Tower 333 for $401.5 million, or about $923 per square foot. The buyer of the complex was New York-based firm KKR, according to public documents.
Proceeds after credits, primarily for contractual lease costs and transfer taxes came in at about $316.7 million, stated Equity Commonwealth. The company’s cash balance after the sale totaled $3.4 billion.
Equity Commonwealth purchased the asset in November of 2009 from Hines for $167,990,226.02. In August of 2018, Equity leased the entire building — located at 333 108th Ave. NE and which totals 435,000 square feet — to Amazon for 16 years. The Class A office tower is located in Bellevue’s central business district and features a half-acre outdoor plaza and eight levels of below-grade parking. The building was completed in 2008. Prior to Amazon, the previous tenant was Expedia.
The Registry reported in February of this year that the sale, while it was under contracted, had not closed. At the time, President and Chief Executive Officer David Helfand stated on an earnings call that, “Today, we’re a fundamentally different company with a small portfolio of high-quality assets, a strong balance sheet and track record of consistent execution… Our strategy will continue to be informed by market conditions, and we will be patient and disciplined in our evaluation of a broad range of investment options. We’re spending considerable time evaluating opportunities in the office and office-adjacent businesses as well as other sectors where we see attractive fundamentals.”
Just under a year ago in April of 2019, Equity Commonwealth disposed of another asset: the 10-story Bellevue Corporate Plaza and adjacent parking structure. The complex, which totals 256,830 square feet, was acquired by Acorn Development, a subsidiary of Amazon, for $195 million.