By Meghan Hall

As downtown Seattle continues to urbanize and densify, investors have set their sights on a new submarket: SoDo. Close to both downtown, the light rail and attractions such as T-Mobile Park and CenturyLink field, property fundamentals have proven attractive to developers. In a recent transaction, which closed on June 17th, a collection of parcels in SoDo traded to American Life Incorporated, a Seattle-based firm specializing in real estate developments and EB-5 investments. According to property documents, American Life purchased the properties for $16.8 million from Levelment LLC, based in Mercer Island, Wash.

The properties acquired are located at 270 S. Hanford St., 3201 3rd Ave. S and 2963 4th Ave. South. 270 S. Hanford totals more than 111,000 square feet and is developed with a nearly 93,000 building constructed in 1962. 3201 3rd Ave. S. is currently a vacant parking lot zoned for industrial uses totaling 8,700 square feet, while 2963 4th Ave. S. is a 25,500 square foot lot with one 10,415 square foot building constructed in 1949. The building is currently used as a restaurant and lounge, according to assessor’s parcel data.

According to American Life’s website, the firm has a number of investments already in play in SoDo, including 66 South Hanford St. LP and 2962 1st Ave S. LP. Both are among more than a dozen other investments in SoDo alone. 66 South Hanford was acquired by American Life in 2005 and renovated in 2007; the three-floor building totals 32,883 square feet. 2962 1st Ave. S., currently a pet rescue and taco grill, totals just over 7,000 square feet. The single-story building was also acquired in 2005 and subsequently renovated.

It is unclear what American Life’s plans are for the properties it acquired and whether renovations or redevelopment will play a part. However, American Life has a variety of hotel, Class A office and mixed-use developments as part of its portfolio in cities such as Los Angeles and Atlanta. The firm specifically highlights Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood as one of its target markets.

“While we invest across the region, we continue to see strategic value in acquiring key assets (large and small) in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood,” states American Life on its website. Seattle’s robust growth provides for reasonable current cash flow while the long term upside continues to be compelling.”