Seattle’s ‘Twin Toasters’ Pop Up for CBRE Global Investors

CBRE Global Investors is making headlines in Seattle.
Metropolitan Park East West_EXT21

Two office buildings known as the “Twin Toasters” in Seattle have changed hands with a fund sponsored by CBRE Global Investors acquiring Metropolitan Park East and West in the South Lake Union submarket for a reported $273 million.

The sale of the 708,283-square-foot, Class A office portfolio is the biggest in Seattle so far this year, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal. The 20-floor Metropolitan Park East with 370,849 square feet at 1730 Minor Ave., and the 18-floor Metropolitan Park West with 337,435 square feet at 1100 Olive Way sold for $139.2 million and $133.6 million respectively, the Seattle Times reported.

The combined properties are 93.6 percent leased to a diverse mix of tenants. Current tenants include HBO and Facebook but both are expected to leave the complex. Other tenants are Jack Henry & Associates, Swedish Health Services and Virginia Mason Medical Center.

CBRE Global Investors said in a news release its strategy is to lease rollover space by making capital improvements, including its 5-Star Worldwide service and amenity program, to attract both traditional and technology users. The 5-star program will include property management, concierge services and a video-linked conference center. Amenities at Metropolitan Park include restaurants, electric vehicle charging stations, bike storage and locker rooms. The property has balcony decks on certain floors and 867 parking spaces.

The buildings’ unique rectangular designs, which resemble shiny toasters, offers flexible 20,000-square-foot floor plates for tenants seeking open and collaborative working spaces.

The investment fits in with CBRE Global Investors emphasis on repositioning office buildings in Innovation Districts. The complex is located within the hot South Lake Union submarket which has a significant creative and technology office presence but also near the Central Business District and the healthcare-oriented Capitol Hill submarkets, according to CBRE Global Investors.

“The South Lake Union submarket has experienced tremendous growth as a result of the influx of technology and biotechnology tenants,” Vance Maddocks, president, Strategic Partners, U.S., for CBRE Global Investors, said in the release. “Since 2010, the submarket has posted 1.0 million square feet of net absorption, and vacancy has decreased from 14.7 percent to 8 percent.”

Maddocks noted that Metropolitan Park “has already proven its ability to attract a broad range of traditional and creative/tech tenants, and in a market where few owners are offering similar amenities and service, we believe that 5-Star will be a differentiator to further attract new tenants and improve tenant retention and satisfaction.”

Based in Los Angeles, CBRE Global Investors currently has $90.6 billion in assets under management including $17.9 billion in North America. The global real estate management firm has more than 500 institutional clients.  Investments made this year include the acquisition of Park 80 West, two Class A office buildings with 507,000 square feet in Saddle Brook, N.J., and 700 Broadway, a 427,757-square-foot multi-tenant office building in Denver.