By Jack Stubbs
An office building across from Pike Place Market recently changed hands for a significant sum.
On June 6th, 2018, the Chromer Building, an office building in the heart of downtown Seattle—formerly occupied by Amazon—sold for $32.5 million, or approximately $511 per square foot, according to public records filed with King County. The buyer shares the same address as Plus Investment USA, Inc., an entity affiliated with Seattle-based real estate investment company Plus Capital Partners. The seller was Urban Visions, a real estate developer based in Seattle.
Neither the buyer nor the seller responded to calls for comment in time for the publishing of this story. Urban Visions acquired the property for $11.75 million in 2013 and in 2016 went through an entitlement process with the city to develop a 15-story office project on the site.
According to King County records, the sale was for the 4-story Chromer Building—located at 1516 2nd Ave. between Pike and Pine streets—and an adjacent associated parking lot. The Class B Chromer Building was built in 1906 and renovated in 1990. Urban Vision was in 2016 planning to develop a 15-story, 154,000 square feet office building on the site, an undertaking that would have required the demolishment of the Chromer Building. According to Google Maps, the building is currently occupied by construction company Colombia Building Associates, a law firm and Elysian Bar.
The property occupies a prominent location in the downtown core, sitting just four blocks from the Convention Center and two blocks from Pike Place Market and Westlake Park. Additionally, the property is approximately one mile from access to Interstate-5 and Washington State Route 99.
It is not yet clear what plans Plus Investment USA has for the acquired property. According to Urban Visions’ web site, the nearly 20,000 square-foot lot would allow for a 480-foot residential tower under Seattle’s zoning code.
Plus Investment, Ltd. directs and manages U.S. investments for Plus Investment Holding Group, an international investment services company that owns and operates companies with a primary focus on servicing China’s rapidly growing luxury marketplace. It is involved in global capital management, finance, aviation acquisition and leasing, and real estate development, including the first Sotheby’s International Realty franchise in China, which is a vital part of their new luxury lifestyle platform, according to the company’s web site.
According to the company’s web site Plus Investment USA has significant plans in the works in downtown Bellevue to develop a luxury, mixed-use Class A 4-tower project called Elev8—located at 10833 NE 8th St.—that will include 350 condos, 423 apartment units, and 1,698 parking stalls.
Urban Visions is a privately-owned real estate development firm that looks to apply a long-term perspective in anticipating trends that will shape the future of Seattle, according to the company’s web site. The company currently manages a portfolio of over 500,000 square feet of office, retail, mixed-use and industrial space in downtown Seattle, and also has experience with new development, historic rehab, strategic land acquisition/disposition and entitlement endeavors.
Some of the company’s in-the-works office projects include Marion Tower in the Central Business District, a 36-story skyscraper comprising 800,000 square feet of Class A office space (slated for completion in Fall 2018); S, a project that will bring over 1.2 million square feet of office space and 45,000 square feet of retail space; and 74 Jackson, a 7-story, 140,000 square foot office project in Pioneer Square.