By Jack Stubbs
Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood has been evolving substantially over the last few months as developers and investors continue to eye the South Seattle neighborhood with interest. And on December 21st, Portland, Oregon-based SkanlanKemperBard (SKB) announced a joint venture with ReCap Real Estate Investment on behalf Reinsurance Group of America (RGA) to acquire the Original Rainier Brewery, a historic, four-building mixed-use property in the heart of Georgetown for $38.5 million, according to public records. SKB and ReCap acquired the property from Sabey Corporation, which had owned it since 2006, when it paid $9.9 million for the asset.
The Original Rainier Brewery, located at 61000 Airport Way South, is a four-building property that consists of 187,466 square feet and includes the Bottling Plant, Malt House, Brew House and General Office, according to a statement released by SKB. The property is 92 percent leased to over 50 tenants across a variety of different industries including Fran’s Chocolates, Patagonia, Elysian Brewing Company and REI.
The property, which sits adjacent to Interstate-5 and Beacon Hill, is roughly five miles south of downtown Seattle and just north of Boeing Field.
SKB has plans to preserve the historic integrity of the property, according to its released statement. “This is the fourth acquisition for our Urban Industrial platform. We see an untapped demand for local and regional manufactures [and] the Original Rainier Brewery asset fits this profile,” said SKB president Todd Gooding.
With its capture of the Original Rainier Brewery property—which was built in the early 1900s to house the Seattle Brewing and Malting Company—SKB hopes to contribute to changes occurring in Georgetown, as well. “We are grateful to the Sabey Corporation for entrusting us to leverage the good work they have already done, both at the property and in the community,” said Brian Hughes-Cromwick, SKB’s vice president of acquisitions. “We are excited to have the opportunity to build off of that work to take the property to the next level and become a part of the dynamic Georgetown community.”
SKB’s acquisition of the property in Georgetown is the latest statement of intent made by the company in the Puget Sound region. In mid-October, the company acquired the 110 Atrium Office Building in Bellevue from LVA4 Bellevue Atrium Place LLC for $111.22 million, or approximately $472 per square foot.
Founded in 1993, SKB acquires, manages and transforms commercial properties into profitable, risk-adjusted returns for select high-net-worth individuals, family offices, trusts and institutional investors, according to the company’s web site. Since the company’s founding, it has originated more than $4.18 billion in total portfolio activity. The company has acquired 28.3 million square feet, has realized a total of 71 deals and has 17 institutional partners that manage over $3 trillion.
There have been several transactions in Georgetown over the last several months, indicating that the neighborhood continues to be seen as an area in transition. In early August 2018, Seattle-based pet insurance company Trupanion acquired the Benaroya 6100 Building in Georgetown for $65 million, or approximately $283 per square foot, from Bellevue-based Benaroya Company. And in mid-August, Dallas-based Lincoln Property purchased the five-building South Seattle Business Park—located at 4634 East Marginal Way—for $17.5 million or approximately $179 per square foot from SMARTCAP Inc. based in Redmond.
The South Seattle Business Park is just one mile north of where industrial developer Prologis Inc. is developing Georgetown Crossroads, a three-story, 590,000 square foot project located at 6050 East Marginal Way South that is set to become the nation’s first multistory industrial building.
More recently, in mid-October, Seattle-based Talon Private Capital—which is often known for its investments in commercial office properties throughout Seattle and surrounding areas—purchased the 75,000 square foot Westcore River Building located at 303 S. River St., a Class B industrial asset, from Westcore Properties for $14.5 million or roughly $193 per square foot.