By Meghan Hall
At the nexus of the Seattle’s retail core, South Lake Union and downtown, the Plaza 600 Building has been at the heart of the city’s revolution since 1969. The 20-story building is blocks from Amazon’s expanding campus, as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Facebook and Fred Hutch. According to public property documents, the building’s owners—Urban Renaissance Group and the Joshua Green Corporation—brought a new equity partner on board for $97 million ($463 per square foot) in a transaction that closed on December 17th.
Urban Renaissance and Joshua Green purchased the building, which rises 20 stories and totals 209,256 square feet, in 2012 from Vance Corporation for $54.9 million, or about $262 per square foot. Since then, the two companies have added a new retail space at the building’s base, updated common areas and building systems like HVAC, added new ceiling lights, lobby furniture and additional access from Westlake Avenue. Renovations were completed in 2016, according to Urban Renaissance Group’s website. Currently, the building has several availabilities ranging in size from 1,100 square feet up to more than 11,000 square feet.
Urban Renaissance group and Joshua Green Corporation did not respond to The Registry’s request for comment in time for the publishing of this article.
The two firms have worked closely with one another over the past eight years; in November of 2012, Joshua Green announced that it made a significant investment into Urban Renaissance Group. At the time, the transaction included Joshua Green’s existing $150 million real estate portfolio. The initial deal also included $50 million of additional investment into Urban Renaissance’s first fund, Urban Renaissance Investment Partners, LLC, (URIP).
In July of this year, Urban renaissance recapitalized another Seattle asset: the SeaTac Office Center. Urban Renaissance and Iron Point Partners sold the nearly 550,000 square foot building to a partnership between San Francisco-based PCCP and Urban Renaissance. Urban Renaissance and Iron Point had originally acquired the asset in 2015 for $47.1 million, according to public documents.
Seattle’s downtown office market is expected to remain hot, according to a recent report released by Cushman & Wakefield. Any major office projects that delivered in 2019 were preleased to tech tenants: Arbor Block was leased to Facebook, Lakefront Blocks to Google, The Atrium to several biotech firms. Rents continue to surge, reaching the mid-$60 per square foot range and four pre-leases greater than 100,000 square feet were signed by Apple, Dropbox, Qualtrics and Adaptive Biotechnologies, indicating a promising outlook for office property owners in the year to come.