By Meghan Hall
The owner behind two downtown Seattle offices has headed south, this time buying an industrial asset in Lakewood, Wash. In a transaction that closed on October 28th, Irvine, Calif.-based LBA Realty purchased the former Starlite Distribution Center for $39.5 million. The seller, according to public documents, was Lakewood Industrial Owner LLC, affiliated with Kent, Wash.-based Davis Property & Investment (DPI).
The property is located at 3451 84th Street South, along a major commercial corridor. The B&I Shopping Center and Mall is located just up the road, as are numerous retailers such as The Tame Matrix, Palace BBQ and T-Town Café. Interstate 5 is also just a few minutes’ drive away.
For years, the property operated as the Starlite Drive-in. From the 1990s until May of this year, it was home of the Star Lite Market Place Square swap meet.
Public documents on file with the city as well as an offering memorandum on DPI’s website indicates that the development totals 245,973 square feet. The project was delivered this year and has been dubbed the Starlite Distribution Center. Building features include concrete tilt walls, 32-foot clear heights, and other features such as dock high and drive-in doors, trailer parking stills and 1,200 amps of power. DPI’s website indicates that the property is still available for lease.
LBA’s website states that the firm typically invests in high-quality office properties in major markets, including Northern California and Seattle. In Seattle, LBA owns two assets: 4Pike, a e78,000 square foot office property, and TwoPine, a 130,000 square foot asset near Pike’s Place Market.
LBA’s most recent acquisition marks a departure in both product type and location for the firm. Lakewood sits much further south, outside both the cores of Tacoma and Seattle. However, industrial in the region has been holding steady in recent months thanks to almost overwhelming e-commerce demand.
About 30 percent of the Puget Sound industrial pipeline is preleased, and significant activity has been occurring in markets south of Seattle in recent months. At the end of the third quarter, 20 buildings were under construction in Pierce County, where LBA’s newest asset is located. Pierce County also saw 1.6 million square feet of absorption. Leases signed—but not yet moved in—also total 1.23 million square feet.