By Meghan Hall
Investor interest in the Eastside neighborhoods outside of Seattle shows no sign of slowing anytime soon. Nuveen, the Chicago-based investment management arm of TIAA which oversees a variety of real estate classes, has purchased two assets from Denver, Colo.-based Simpson Property Group on the Eastside for a total of $244.6 million. The sales, which closed early this week according to King County records, were for the two buildings that comprise Bellevue’s Metro 112 Apartments, and Sammamish’s Boulder Creek Condominiums.
The larger of the two transactions was the purchase of the 317-unit Metro 112 Apartments; the complex is comprised of two buildings located at 317 112th Ave. NE. and 288 11th Ave. NE., for which Nuveen paid $139.2 million and $20.8 million, respectively. Nuveen paid $504,731 per unit. Metro 112 is comprised of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments and has several amenities, including a rooftop terrace with a grilling station and firepit, a 24-hour fitness center and an entertainment suite. While the complex is easily accessible to Interstates 405 and 90, as well as State Route 520, the building boasts a Walk Score of 88, or “Very Walkable.” According to Simpson Property Group’s website, rent for the apartments starts around $1,670 per month.
The Boulder Creek complex offers a slightly different type of product, and is composed of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and townhomes. Located at 4425 Issaquah Pine Lake Rd. SE., Nuveen purchased the property for $84.6 million, or $414,705 per unit, King County records show. The property is located roughly eighteen miles east of downtown Seattle and boasts an array of amenities including a yoga and barre studio, resident lounge and outdoor pool and spa. Rent, according to Simpson Property Group, starts at around $1,925 per month.
Both properties are located within close proximity to some of the area’s largest employers, including Amazon and Boeing. Facebook recently signed a 13-year lease at Wright Runstad’s & Shorenstein’s upcoming Block 16, prompting other investors and developers to seek out opportunity in the area. Continental Properties, for example, purchased the 184-unit Park in Bellevue Apartments at 1515 Bellevue Way NE. in December 2018 for $90.75 million, or $493,478 per unit. Valley Yellow Pages, an entity associated with AGI Publishing of Fresno, Calif., also moved into the Eastside markets with the purchase of the Sparc Apartments for $150 million, or $485,436 per unit, at the end of 2018.
Nuveen has $930 billion in total assets, $125 billion of which come from real estate that it owns around the world. It possesses one of the largest real estate portfolios in the world, according to its site, and manages a suite of funds across both public and private investments. The firm often invests using a strategy it calls “resilient series,” focusing on high-quality assets in leading cities that are well-poised for growth and can withstand long-term structural trends and demographic changes.
Simpson Property Group and its affiliate, Simpson Housing, has also been active in the Seattle region, building and investing in other properties such as Neptune, a mixed-use community located in South Lake Union. Simpson Housing, according to its website, is actively pursuing multi-family acquisition and joint venture equity partnerships around the country, and has properties in many other major cities such as Phoenix, Houston and Nashville.