By Kate Snyder
A warehouse in Kirkland traded hands recently in a deal that shows investors continue to be attracted to the Puget Sound region’s industrial market. According to King County property records, the property was bought for $10 million, or about $333 per square foot, by an entity affiliated with the Lee Johnson Auto Group, a Kirkland-based business that operates multiple car dealerships throughout the Seattle area. The seller was an entity affiliated with Richard and Becky Budke.
Located at 12530 135th Ave. NE, the building spans approximately 30,000 square feet and includes a 28,895 square foot storage and warehouse area as well as a 1,105 square foot office, according to property records. The 2.1-acre site is positioned in a mixed-use commercial and residential area in the northeast corner of the city. Nearby businesses include car dealerships, storage facilities and automobile repair shops.
Lee Johnson has been active in the Puget Sound region for a number of years. In 2021, the company purchased a property that was formerly part of the Seattle Times’ offices in Bothell, according to previous reporting from The Registry. The 22,442 square foot building traded hands for $10 million, or about $445 per square foot. The property is located at 18700 120th Ave. NE on just over 7.2 acres.
The Seattle area saw significant growth for the industrial market in the third quarter of 2023, according to a Seattle Industrial Market Report recently released by Kidder Mathews. Much of the growth was driven by substantial gains in the Pierce County submarket, but the entire region added 3.1 million square feet of industrial space, resulting in a vacancy rate of 4.9 percent, marking a 50-basis point decrease from the previous quarter. Sales activity included the closing of 37 property deals in the third quarter, totaling $172 million, with an average price of $232.40 per square foot and an average capitalization rate of 6.07 percent, marking a 7.2 percent increase over the previous quarter.