Deal of the Year for Denny Triangle Buildings

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor Seattle is back in a big way. The amount of positive buzz and increased activity that has sparked up since the beginning of fourth quarter 2010 has been confirmed recently with a move for the record [...]

Seattle is back in a big way. The amount of positive buzz and increased activity that has sparked up since the beginning of fourth quarter 2010 has been confirmed recently with a move for the record books. JP Morgan Chase has acquired two downtown Seattle buildings in a transaction that would cement Seattle’s reputation as office capital of the northwest. Developer Schnitzer West has hit it out of the ball park by receiving a massive fee for two of its buildings in Denny Triangle.

1918 Eighth and 818 Stewart were bought by the large investment bank for a combined total of almost $480 million. The deal for 1918 Eighth alone is now the title holder as the biggest property sale in King County this year, according to The Seattle Times. The 36-story office building had been listed for sale since May, when the former owner secured a leasing deal for more than two-thirds of the office space from Amazon. The smaller, 14-story office building at 818 Stewart traded hands for $129.3 million, which means about the same per-square-foot rate as 1918 Eighth.

At the time of the transaction, the buildings boasted an eye-catching occupancy rate of 94 percent, according to data from Officespace.com researched by The Times. Schnitzer is not at its first tango with massive transactions, having perfected last year’s Bravern office towers sale for $410 million. That deal went through for the same per-foot rate as this more recent trade. However, the Bellevue complex benefits from a lease agreement with Microsoft, a tenant that generates an inordinate amount of buzz in the area.

The two buildings are also part of a massive downtown office building legacy, according to The Seattle Times. More than 3 million square feet of space came to the market during 2008 and 2009, fresh off the heels of the recession. Those buildings are now extremely attractive to buyers.