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January 10, 2013

Rockefeller, SRO to Build 2 MSF M-U Office Complex in Suburban Seattle

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Rockefeller CEO Kevin Hackett

The Rockefeller Group and Sterling Realty Organization have teamed up to bring a 2.4 million-square-foot mixed-use office development to downtown Bellevue, Wash. Rockefeller and SRO have 5.5 acres of SRO-owned land to play with and plan to erect three Class A office towers at the suburban Seattle location.

The mega-project is in the earliest of planning stages but Rockefeller and SRO envision enhancing the office property with retail space and public areas. And then there’s the location factor that is expected to serve as a magnet. Sited in the very heart of downtown, the five adjacent parcels are surrounded by all the elements–shops, restaurants hotels and leading employers–that have transformed Bellevue into what Rockefeller CEO Kevin R. Hackett describes as a dynamic 24-7 city. The timing for the development, the partners believe, is just right.

“There is low office vacancy in Bellevue and the Seattle area, which is spurring demand for this project,” a Rockefeller executive  told Commercial Property Executive. “Also, we have identified tenants that are looking for a substantial amount of space.” Indeed, the call for large blocks of premier accommodations is loud and growing louder, according to a fourth quarter report by commercial real estate services firm Kidder Mathews. The constrained supply of large, contiguous Class A office digs in Bellevue’s central business district consisted of just five options more than 50,000 square feet and just one block more than 100,000 square feet at the close of the fourth quarter.

Bellevue’s apartment market is tightening as well; however, Rockefeller and SRO currently have no plans to add the word “live” to what can be described as a work-play destination. “Based on demand, office is the most logical fit for the site,” the Rockefeller executive  said, adding that “while we haven’t completely excluded residential, our focus is on office.”

Rockefeller and SRO are ironing out the details of the project, which can be developed in phases as dictated by demand.