By Jack Stubbs
While once regarded predominantly as areas of the city solely centered around industrial uses, several neighborhoods south of Seattle’s Central Business District—namely neighborhoods like SoDo, Georgetown and the Industrial District—area seen as increasingly desirable locations given their proximity to the city’s downtown core, Boeing Field and the Port of Seattle.
On July 30th, six industrial/warehouse buildings sold—as part of two separate transactions—for a combined $17.25 million, King County records show.
In one transaction, the Nordic Building, located at 547 Occidental Ave. S. just south of Pioneer Square and adjacent to Century Link Field, sold for $8.75 million, or roughly $125 per square foot. The buyer of the property was Palo Alto, CA-based REDCO Development, a third-generation real estate company that concentrates primarily on value-add and infill opportunities across the West Coast, and the seller was Nordic Cold Storage Co. Inc. based in Seattle.
In the second transaction, five warehouse/storage buildings—located at 35 S. Hanford St., between SoDo and the Industrial District—totaling approximately 81,188 square feet sold for $8.5 million, with Seattle Arts Project LLC acquiring the buildings from Warehouse 35 LLC, an entity affiliated with James Lunz based in Seattle. The largest of these five buildings is the Seattle Pottery Supply building, a 65,288 square foot warehouse that was built in 1917 and sits on just under two acres.
The Nordic Building is a cold storage property that totals 70,000 square feet, according to NAI Puget Sound Properties’ web site. The warehouse features a flexible lease term and freight elevator, and also includes 2,500 square feet of office space.
For REDCO Development, the acquisition of the Nordic Building follows after the company spent $22 million, or approximately $258 per square foot, to acquire a two-building, 85,000 square foot industrial property located at 60 S. Spokane St. in SoDo from Edmunds, WA-based Seattle Wire and Cable LLC.
In March 2019, a 15-acre industrial/manufacturing property located at 7400 Eight Ave. S. in Georgetown, which is just south of the Industrial District, sold for $13.75 million, with Crowley Liner & Logistics acquiring the property from Denovo Seattle LLC.
As another example of activity occurring in Georgetown, in mid-January 2019, ScanlanKemperBard secured $32.5 million in acquisition financing for a mixed-use campus at the site of the Original Rainier Brewery, a four-building campus totaling 187,466 square feet.
As examples like the Rainier Brewery transformation demonstrate, industrial users and developers continue to look for new ways to reposition more traditionally industrial assets.
San Francisco-based Terreno Realty, for example, is repositioning the 234,000 square foot SoDo Row property located at 4786 First Ave. in an effort to attract a wider variety of tenants.
Along with the various transactions and projects underway in areas like SoDo and Georgetown, the City of Seattle is also looking to contribute to the economic activity occurring there. In June 2018, Mayor Durkan released the Duwamish Valley Action Plan (DVAP), a multi-departmental effort led by the Office of Sustainability and Environment and the Office of Planning and Community Development. In an effort to increase environmental progress and increase economic investment in the neighborhoods along the 5.5-mile Duwamish River, there are more than 170 underway and planned projects in the Duwamish Valley.