By Jack Stubbs
The largest economoy hotel chain in Japan, Toyoko Inn, recently acquired a nearly 15,000 square foot parking lot in Seattle, likely looking to make its mark in the Emerald City.
On Monday, January 22nd, a parking lot in Seattle’s International District sold for $10 million, according to public records filed with King County. The buyer of the property was Toyoko Inn Economy Hotel Planning & Development Co., a Japanese planner and developer of hotel properties internationally.
The property was acquired from Sweazey Investments LLC, an entity based in Shoreline, Washington, affiliated with Donald Sweazy, whose signature appears on public documents.
The parking lot is sits on a .3-acre parcel of land and totals 14,400 square feet, according to public documents. Located at 201 Fifth Ave., the property sits on the northern edge of Seattle’s International District and just half a mile from Pioneer Square and downtown Seattle. Additionally, the property is roughly half a mile from access to Interstate-5.
It is not clear what plans Toyoko Inn has for the nearly 15,000 square foot property, and no project proposals have been submitted to the city at this point in time.
When contacted about the project, a representative from Toyoko Inn said that the company’s head office could not yet provide any additional information about the Seattle hotel development.
According its web site, Toyoko Inn is the largest economy hotel chain in Japan. It is seeking property-owning partners who are considering using their apartment, office or retail space to develop three-star hotels on their properties and lease them to Toyoko, according to the company’s statement. Toyoko offers leases of the buildings from the owners for a period of 25 to 50 years for which it offers a fixed monthly rent and takes over management of the asset, allowing a stable return on investments in the property.
In terms of Toyoko’s acquisition strategy, the company looks for property sites around 16,000 square feet that are located in major cities close to transit networks.
Currently, Toyoko Inn has 247 hotels and 50,510 units in Japan, seven in Korea and one in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, according to the company’s web site. The company is planning further overseas expansions, with hotels opening in Germany and France, as well as in New York, Chicago and Atlanta in the U.S.