By Meghan Hall
Located on First Avenue near Pike Place Market, Seattle’s historic Alaska Trade Building has sold for $11.5 million, or $421 per square foot, to Mercer Island, Wash.-based Azose Commercial Properties. According to King County records, the property was sold by ATB LLC, a Washington limited liability company represented by David Zarett, of Zarett Properties, a privately-owned Seattle real estate development and investment firm.
Property records show that Zarett originally bought the building for $7 million in January 2001 from a group of investors, including Paul Liao, former CEO of engineering firm KCM Inc.
The building, which was constructed in 1910, is currently used for offices. The Alaska Trade building is often associated with The Seattle Union Record, the country’s only Union-owned daily newspaper. The property is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
According to a leasing brochure by Colliers International, spaces within the building range from 2,904 square feet to 6,761 square feet. The top level of the building is the smallest, with 2,904 square feet of rentable space. The second and third floors are larger, at 6,761 and 6,743 square feet, respectively. The first level, called “Level A,” is 5,945 square feet and includes three private offices, a kitchenette and a conference room.
Its address of 1917 1st Ave. means that it has unobstructed views of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains and Mt. Rainier. The building also boasts high ceilings and exposed brick, and includes amenities such as showers and a bike room. The property has a transit score of 100 and a Walk Score of 98 — a near perfect score — thanks to its proximity to dozens of restaurants and eateries from Le Panier to Cloudburst Brewing. Several bus and Light Rail stations are also nearby, and the site is easily accessible from Interstate 5.
Zarett Properties, founded in 1992, focuses on the purchase and rehabilitation of historic assets; the firm is well known for its work on the 100-year-old Seattle Ice Building. Zarett bought the 122,000 square foot building in 1997 and spent three years and $10 million on renovations. The building became home to The Cobalt Group and Starbucks upon reopening and sold for $20 million in 2007.
The buyer of the Alaska Trade Building, Azose Properties, is a local and family-owned property management and investment firm based in the Puget Sound. Established in 1965 by Morris Piha, a local real estate professional, the firm manages and owns a diverse portfolio of properties. According to its site, Azose Properties has experience managing office, industrial, retail and self-storage properties ranging in size from 4,000 to 300,000 square feet throughout Seattle, Tacoma and the Eastside.