“Living Building” Eyed for Fremont; First & Stewart Trades for $30M

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor Attracting tenants in Seattle’s competitive office market requires owners and developers to raise their games a notch. Sustainable practices are a Seattle trademark, so some developers are seeking new ways to make their properties attractive to [...]

Attracting tenants in Seattle’s competitive office market requires owners and developers to raise their games a notch. Sustainable practices are a Seattle trademark, so some developers are seeking new ways to make their properties attractive to tenants as well as socially responsible.

To cite a recent case in point, Skanska USA and Fremont Dock Co. owner Suzie Burke are applying a fresh twist on the green building theme in a proposal for a five-story, 120,000-square-foot office project in the Fremont section.

As the Puget Sound Business Journal recently reported, the developers intend to participate in Seattle’s “living building” challenge. To gain recognition for the designation—created by the International Living Building Institute—properties must demonstrate a 75 percent increase in energy efficiency, reduce water usage by 75 percent and cut storm water runoff by at least 50 percent.

A property that meets with these standards will be able to command premium rents, but Skanska executive vice president Lisa Pickard, the project’s supervisor, told the Business Journal that the company will build the project with an eye toward ensuring market-rate prices for tenants. A city design review panel is scheduled to take a first look at the proposal on Sept. 12.

In other news, Dallas-based L&B Realty Advisors L.L.P. has completed its $30.3 million acquisition of the First & Stewart Building, a 100,000-square-foot office property in Downtown Seattle, the Seattle Times reported.  At that price, the seller, an affiliate of BlackRock Inc. sold the 24-year-old property for $6 million less than what it paid for the asset in 2007.