By Meghan Hall
Seattle’s remaining development sites are continuing to be bought up by interested investors, as firms continue to use the current market slowdown as time for planning and entitlements. In a transaction that closed just this week, New York-based Silverstein Properties spent $17.5 million on an undeveloped lot in downtown Seattle. The seller was 2121 Westlake Ave. LLC, an entity affiliated with Seattle-based creative food company Sugar Mountain.
The property is located on two parcels at 2115 and 2121 Westlake Ave. N. According to King County Assessor’s data, the property is developed with a 26,000 square foot building originally constructed in 1925. The property is home to The Butcher’s Table, a popular upscale restaurant and butcher shop. The restaurant has closed in compliance with shelter-in-place orders but has remained open for take-out.
Numerous other eateries line Westlake Ave., including Vinason Pho and Grill. Princi Bakery and Shake Shack. Denny Park is located several blocks away, as is a shopping center anchored by a Whole Foods Market.
No plans for the property were immediately available. Silverstein Properties, is a privately-held, real estate firm that has developed, owned and managed more than 40 million square feet of office, residential hotel and retail properties around the world, including the World Trade Center. The firm focuses on projects involving value-add repositioning, land and ground-up construction and pursues “premium quality real estate projects,” across multiple cities throughout the United States, according to Silverstein’s website.
Westlake Ave. operates as a main commercial and pedestrian corridor, leading to the heart of downtown Seattle. Further north in South Lake Union, Westlake Ave. has become a significant draw for investors, particularly in the office sector; DivcoWest, LaSalle Investment Management, CBRE Global Investors and Invesco have all invested in properties along Westlake Ave. in recent years.
Sales volume for retail properties—such as the one that Silverstein Properties just acquired—fell dramatically during the second quarter of 2020, according to a Kidder Mathews research report. Cap rates declined slightly to 5.26 percent, and of the 31 retail sales of $2 million or more that occurred across the region, 15 were classified as land plays or redevelopments. An additional five sales were owner-user purchases.