By Jack Stubbs
The city of Redmond on the Eastside has seen a substantial amount of activity in the local office market in recent months, with Facebook in particular having been busy along Willows Road over the last few quarters.
On June 20th as part of two separate transactions, a five-parcel property—which includes the Willows Preparatory School in Redmond and the Bellevue Children’s Academy in Bellevue—sold for a combined $40 million, according to King County records. The buyer, ISP West Coast Holdings Inc., and the seller, BCA Properties LLC, both share the same address in downtown Bellevue.
The recent transaction included five parcels, according to public documents, one of which includes the Willows Preparatory School located at 12300 Redmond Woodinville Road NE, which is a two-story building totaling 8,780 square feet and constructed in 1994. The other three adjacent parcels comprise roughly three acres of vacant land zoned for single-family use. Another parcel, located at 14600 NE 24th St. in Bellevue, contains a 20,900 square foot property built in 1988 and home to Bellevue Children’s Academy, according to Google Maps.
The property in North Redmond is about four miles north of downtown Redmond and six miles east of Kirkland, also sitting State Route 202 from the Sammamish River Regional Park.
Willows Preparatory School is approximately two miles northeast of Willows Run Golf Course, which sold earlier this year. In mid-March, California-based Sasada Sports International acquired the property, located at 10442 Willows Road, for $11.3 million from Access Golf LLC, an entity that shares the same address as Vulcan Inc.
In early January, San Francisco-based Graymark Capital acquired the 79,072 square foot-Building C within the Willows Commerce Park—located at 9805 Willows Road—for $19 million, or approximately $240 per square foot, from Menlo Equities, a private commercial real estate investment firm based in Menlo Park, California.
Technology giant Facebook has also been expanding its reach throughout the city of Redmond over the last several quarters, and the company seems intent on widening its presence in the Eastside City—and has been particularly active along Willows Road.
In June of 2018, Los Angeles-based architecture firm Gehry Partners LLP, submitted plans on behalf of Facebook for its proposed “Building X” on the outskirts of Redmond. According to plans submitted to the City, Facebook hopes to build a 678,000 square foot research and development campus on two lots in Redmond. According to project documents, the building is meant to serve as a centerpiece for the site, and is comprised of two lots located at 10201 and 10201 Willows Rd.
The technology company has amassed nearly 700,000 square feet of office space across a number of properties around Redmond’s Willows Road, according to sources with direct knowledge of the company’s activities in the region.
In other areas, too, Facebook continues to explore the growing world of virtual reality. In mid-August 2018, BuildZoom tracked $106 million in construction and development permits filed
over the past three years for Facebook Oculus’ offices in Redmond. Analyzing data from BuildZoom’s National Permit Database, the company found that of more than 180 permits were filed, issued and finalized for Oculus projects across 11 buildings in Redmond. In total, Facebook had spent more than $106 million since July 2015 to develop labs and offices there, with $88.3 million of those permits filed in 2018 alone.