By Jack Stubbs
On Wednesday, November 1st, a property in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood sold for $10.75 million, or roughly $829 per square foot of land, according to public records filed with King County. The buyer was Seattle-based Security Properties, a national real estate investment, development, and operating company that focuses on residential assets. The seller was Columbia West Properties, a West Coast commercial real estate investment company.
The parcel, located at 314 Bell St., totals 12,960 square feet. There is currently one building on the site, a one-story 7,200 square foot warehouse/office building built in 1914 that currently houses the non-profit Mary’s Place, an organization that provides housing for homeless women, children and families in emergency situations.
The nearly 13,000 square foot property is located on the northern edge of Belltown, roughly half a mile from Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market neighborhood and roughly one mile to the north of downtown. Additionally, the property sits in close proximity to access to Washington State Route 96.
The buyer of the plot of land, Security Properties, operates nationwide, with target markets along the West coast including California, Oregon and Washington, among others. Nationally, the company has acquired or developed nearly 80,000 residential units at a cost of $5.3 billion across 530 assets, having sold over 63,300 residential units exceeding $3.4 billion in cost across 432 properties, according to the company’s web site.
The company has also been active in the Puget Sound Region residential market in recent months. On May 31 2017, Security Properties and Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation acquired Echo Lake Apartments, a 289-unit apartment property located in Shoreline, WA, for $85.5 million. More recently, on October 27th, the company acquired the 178-unit Trax at DuPont Station Apartments from Spokane, Washington-based Garco Construction for $32.25 million.
It is not clear what Security Properties plans to do with the newly-acquired parcel of land in Belltown. However, part of the company’s overall strategy is providing affordable housing by improving communities and creating investor value through the acquisition and preservation of existing low-income housing, according to the company’s web site.
Additionally, the company’s affordable housing platform includes the purchase of properties with existing government rental subsidies, acquisition and rehabilitation of properties that utilize low income housing tax credits (LIHTC), and the preservation of existing LIHTC properties through the purchase of partnership and fee simple interests, according to its web site. Some of Security Properties’ affordable housing case studies include Claremont Villas, a 154-unit senior community in Claremont, California; Village Crest, a 120-unit LIHTC property in Denver, Colorado; and Suncrest Apartments, a 100-unit LIHTC complex in El Paso, Texas.
Founded in 1988, Columbia West Properties acquires and develops a variety of property types including commercial office spaces, retail, urban parking, hotels, marinas and storage facilities. Along with the parcel at 314 Bell St., one of the company’s other urban development opportunities includes 130 5th Ave N., a 37-stall parking lot in Belltown. The company also provides a variety of tenant services for potential clients, employing building engineers and property managers to aid in asset management.