By Jack Stubbs
The Kent Valley area of Washington has long been known as a hub of industrial and logistics activity, and three industrial/warehouse buildings in the city of Auburn totaling just over 173,000 square feet recently sold for $30.5 million, according to public records filed with King County. On September 24th, EverWest Real Estate Investors, a real estate investment management and operating company based in Denver, Colorado, acquired the three properties from Gates LLC, an entity affiliated with William Gates based on Mercer Island.
EverWest Real Estate Investors did not respond to calls for comment about the transaction in time for the publishing of this story.
The sale was for three buildings located at 701 and 713 A St. NE, and 701 A St. NW, according to King County records. The first structure is a light industrial/manufacturing building constructed in 1986 that totals 43,100 square feet, and the second property is a 79,450 square foot Class C industrial/light manufacturing building constructed in 2004. The third building included in the transaction is another Class C property, built in 1981, that totals 50,480 square feet.
It is not entirely clear how much space is currently available across the three buildings, which sit on just over thirteen acres. According to Google Maps, one of the buildings located at 701 A St. NE is currently occupied by ProAmpac, a flexible packing company. The property was formerly home to Mohawk Northern Plastics, a manufacturer of food packaging products, which was acquired by Ampac Packaging in May 2007.
“In purchasing this campus, we’re walking into a very attractive investment opportunity alongside an extremely stable tenant, in an area where extremely tight vacancies and very strong long-term market fundamentals make this one of the most desirable industrial real estate investment locations in the Northwest,” said EverWest Managing Director Ryan Madson, who oversees the company’s Northern California and Pacific Northwest acquisition activity in a statement. “It’s a scenario that benefits all parties, and we’re pleased to be a part of it.”
The asset is approximately half a mile north of Auburn and roughly five miles south of Kent. Additionally, the property is about five miles east of Federal Way, less than one mile from the Auburn North shopping center and less than three miles from access to Washington State Route 167.
A wholly-owned subsidiary of GWL Realty Advisors, EverWest Real Estate Partners aims to create significant value for investors through a combination of capital appreciation, strategic acquisition, development, repositioning and management of commercial real estate assets, according to the company’s website. EverWest—which looks to invest in all of the traditional property types including office, industrial, multifamily and retail—sold assets representing a total transaction volume of just over $206 million as of late June 2018, according to the company’s web site.
Elsewhere in the Puget Sound region, EverWest also owns the West Valley Distribution Center in Kent, a portfolio comprised of three industrial buildings totaling 138,296 square feet. EverWest acquired the properties—located at 19026 and 19042 72nd Ave. South and 19030 W. Valley Hwy.—from Black Creek Group for $17.5 million in late October 2017. EverWest also owns a 78,000 square foot industrial building in Waukesha, Washington, in the RidgeView Business Park, and another 43,000 square foot industrial building in Kent.
On the multifamily side, EverWest provided a mezzanine loan for the Clise Properties-developed McKenzie, a 40-story, 447-unit luxury high-rise tower in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood at 2202 8th Ave. that opened in summer 2018.
Along with the three recently-sold industrial buildings in Auburn, a number of warehouse/distribution centers have changed hands in recent months. In early June 2018, London-based TH Real Estate acquired a 63,500 square foot warehouse in Kent from New York-based DRA Advisors LLC for $10.5 million, or approximately $165 per square foot. And on September 4th, CenterPoint Properties acquired a 294,912 square foot distribution center located at at 7650 South 228th Street in Kent for $49 million, or approximately $166 per square foot.