MetLife, Panattoni JV to Develop 900 KSF of Industrial Parks in Seattle Area

MetLife is partnering with Panattoni Development to build three new industrial distribution parks in the Seattle area for $63 million.

METLIFEEMetLife, Inc. is partnering with Panattoni Development Co. to develop three new industrial distribution parks in the Seattle, Wash.-area for nearly $63 million.

The partnership calls for MetLife to be the majority owner with Panattoni serving as the managing minority partner. The three sites are expected to bring more than 900,000 square feet of Class A warehouse space to the Seattle region.

“Our strategy is to invest in the major property sectors of commercial real estate—office, retail, multi-family, industrial and hotels in primary markets. Diversification by property type and geography is a key tenet of our approach to long-term investing,” Robert Merck, MetLife’s senior managing director & global head of real estate, told Commercial Property Executive. “Seattle’s strong economy is a considerable factor in targeting the region for ground-up industrial development. The city’s employment growth exceeds the national average by nearly 50 percent, with all sectors exhibiting employment expansion.”

The Ports of Seattle and Tacoma have combined operations to create the nation’s third largest container port, which is a major economic driver in the Seattle region.

“The industrial market is very healthy, with demand outpacing supply, vacancies declining and rents increasing despite record construction activity,” Merck said. “With tenants experiencing limited options of high quality, modern, large cube space, we expect industrial development returns to remain attractive into the foreseeable future.”

Des Moines Creek Business Park will comprise three buildings totaling 535,830 square feet on a 37-acre site in the southern suburb of Des Moines. MetLife and Panattoni have options to expand the site by an additional 1 million square feet.

The Steele Building will offer 206,463 square feet of warehouse space on 8.6 acres in Sumner, Wash. Also in Sumner, the Tamarack Building will consist of a 159,250-square-foot industrial park on 7 acres.

Construction is expected to be completed by mid-2015 for the two Sumner sites, and by the end of 2015 for Des Moines.

It was just three months ago that the two companies announced they would team up to develop an initial portfolio of eight state-of-the-art industrial facilities in four states totaling nearly 6 million square feet on 356 acres. Already announced is the Lambert Farms Distribution Center near Atlanta, a 3-million-square-foot distribution space that may accommodate up to two 1.5 million-square-foot facilities.