By Jack Stubbs
The Kent Valley—which ranges from Kent to Puyallup, and encompasses cities like Auburn and Sumner—continues to see investment in industrial properties, with steady employment and the continued expansion of e-commerce companies just a couple of factors driving demand.
Boston-based real estate investment management firm TA Realty recently made moves to expand its Puget Sound region portfolio. As part of two separate transactions that were recorded on August 15th, the company acquired two industrial properties in Auburn and Kent for a combined $22 million, according to King County records. The two transactions included the same seller, Pacific West Kent LLC and Brekke White River LLC based in Medina, Washington.
The first parcel, located at 18852 72nd Ave. S. in Kent, includes two Class C industrial flex buildings that total roughly 59,000 square feet, according to public documents. The buildings sit on just over three acres. The Auburn property, located at 2200 W Valley Hwy N. approximately nine miles south of Kent, includes two warehouse/manufacturing buildings that total around 61,000 square feet, according to public records.
TA Realty’s recent acquisition of the two properties in Kent and Auburn follow a busy few quarters for the company in the Puget Sound region. Following up on its mid-April 2019 acquisition of two industrial properties in Puyallup for a combined $38.5 million, the company acquired an 18,000 square foot industrial building located at located at 2002 West Valley Highway N. Auburn—adjacent to the recently-purchased warehouse/manufacturing buildings—for $25.5 million from San Francisco-based Stockbridge Real Estate.
The sale of the various properties in Kent and Auburn come at a time when developers and investors are looking to implement new strategies in their approach to the Puget Sound region’s evolving industrial market. Traditional owners and users of industrial properties, who used to look to occupy space closer to cities’ downtown cores, are moving further out, as constrained land inventory and rising rental prices continue to play a role.
As one notable example, San Francisco-based Terreno Realty was prompted to think ahead when considering such changes, especially with its revitalization of South Seattle’s 234,000 square foot SoDo Row Property, which was repurposed in an effort to attract a a wide variety of industrial owner-users who might not be able to afford a property closer-in to Seattle’s downtown core.
In another transaction that posted in early June, New York-based Clarion Partners spent $81.1 million, or close to $147 per square foot, to acquire three warehouse/distribution buildings in Des Moines totaling 551,988 square feet from LaSalle Investment Management of Chicago.