By Jack Stubbs
There’s no shortage of activity in Seattle’s Central Business District, and two office buildings totaling roughly 121,000 square feet recently changed hands between two New York-based private equity firms.
On Tuesday, January 9th, the Vance and Sterling buildings, located in the 1400 block of Third Avenue at Union Street in downtown Seattle, sold for $43.3 million, or a combined $357 per square foot, according to public records filed with King County.
The buyer of the property was Brickman, a real estate company that operates and invests in multi-tenant office buildings. Brickman acquired the property from New York-based Jonathan Rose Companies, a company that invests in real estate that promotes environmental sustainability. The transaction was recorded on January 16th.
Neither the buyer nor the seller responded to calls about the details of the transaction in time for the publishing of this story.
The sale includes the 104,101 square foot Vance Building located at 1402 Third Ave. and the 17,110 square foot Sterling Building, which is located at 1418 Third Ave. The 14-story Vance building was built in 1929 and renovated in 1998, and the three-story Sterling Building was constructed in 1910 and renovated in 2002.
According to the listing on office.space.com, which was last updated in October 2017, there are currently approximately 11,034 square feet available in the Vance Building across six floors and 11,994 square feet available in the Sterling Building across two floors.
According to the property’s web site, the Vance and Sterling Buildings combine art deco architecture with an integrated green design to create a premier office and retail space. Some of the prominent features of the Vance building include open, flexible floor plans to accommodate a variety of tenants; green finishes and systems that allow for improved indoor air quality and tenant experience; two conference rooms; and bike and shower rooms.
The property’s location in the downtown urban core offers tenants views of Elliott Bay and the Seattle skyline and easy access to the University St. Light Rail station. Approximately 85 percent of the tenants walk, bike or ride mass transit to work, according to the web site. The office buildings sit in the heart of Seattle’s Central Business District, adjacent to sites like Benaroya Hall, and are also just two blocks from the historic Pike Place Market. Additionally, the property is approximately one mile from access to Interstate-5.
Founded in 1993, Brickman purchases multi-tenant office buildings and distressed assets, both loans and real estate, from financial institutions. The company has invested over $1.5 billion of equity, primarily through six commingled private funds, on behalf of institutional and high net worth investors, according to its web site.
Brickman has owned, operated, leased and asset-managed over 8.6 million square feet of office property, with a current office portfolio of 2.3 million square feet in eight markets across the United States including New York, Miami, Seattle, Washington D.C., Austin, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Boston.
The company owns two other office buildings in Seattle, according to its web site. These include The Pacific Building, a 23-story 133,190 square foot office building located at 720 Third Ave. in downtown Seattle, and the Olympic Block, a 73,557 square foot office building located in Pioneer Square.
Founded in 1989, Jonathan Rose Companies develops, acquires, owns and manages multifamily assets that promote environmental, social and financial responsibility, according to the company’s web site. The company seeks well-located, transit-oriented assets in high-demand urban markets across the country and aims to create value through hands-on asset management and capital improvement programs focused on enhancing the residents’ experience.
Jonathan Rose Companies has had a hand in another prominent planning project in the Seattle area in recent years: the company worked with a multi-disciplinary planning team led by GGLO Architects to create the Yesler Terrace Master Plan. This plan included Market Analysis and Preferred Environmental Assessment Alternative for the redevelopment of the Seattle Housing Authority’s (SHA) Yesler Terrace at 12th and Yesler, a redevelopment project completed in 2011 that totaled 70,000 square feet, according to the company’s web site.