SEATTLE'S ICONIC 1201 THIRD AVENUE BUILDING SOLD
SEATTLE, November 19, 2012 – A real estate joint venture between MetLife and an institutional real estate investor advised by Clarion Partners has purchased 1201 Third Avenue, the iconic art deco-inspired skyscraper in downtown Seattle, from a partnership of affiliates of Wright Runstad & Company, Beacon Capital Partners, LLC and Shorenstein Properties LLC, the companies announced today.
The Class-A office property in Seattle's central business district is the second tallest and one of the most recognizable office towers in the city. The 55-story building features 1.1 million square feet of rentable office space and 33,000 square feet of retail as well as six below-ground levels of parking. The November 2 sale represents one of the largest single office building sales of 2012 on the West Coast.
"1201 Third Avenue is a Seattle treasure, and we're proud to ensure its continued success through its new ownership team," said Greg Johnson, president of Wright Runstad & Company. "The new ownership team shares our values and vision for a true trophy building that anchors Seattle's downtown skyline."
Stephen P. Latimer, managing director and head of Clarion Partners' Seattle office, said, "The office market in Seattle's central business district has demonstrated strong growth over the last several years, with demand for space focused on higher quality properties. We expect these trends to continue, and are pleased to have the opportunity to acquire what is clearly one of the city's premier buildings on behalf of our client."
Clarion Partners advises its institutional client with respect to a joint venture program with MetLife to acquire and manage a portfolio of similar, high-profile office buildings in major U.S. cities.
"With a strong reputation and impressive list of tenants, 1201 Third Avenue is a well-regarded asset in Seattle and we are pleased to become one of the new owners of this great building," said Mark Wilsmann, managing director and head of equity strategies for MetLife Real Estate Investors. "This Class A property fits very well with MetLife's strategy of buying and holding core commercial real estate in top-tier markets."
Originally developed by Wright Runstad & Company in 1988, 1201 Third Avenue is home to some of Seattle's most prestigious companies. The building holds a LEED Platinum designation and was awarded the prestigious ULI Award for Excellence. The New York Times named 1201 Third Avenue as one of the nation's three best new office buildings the year it opened.
1201 Third Avenue, a classically designed tower, has commanding views of Elliott Bay, Lake Union, and the Cascade and Olympic Mountains. The granite and emerald-green-glass building features a pedestrian plaza with three levels of shops and services, as well as a large public atrium overlooking the plaza, a fitness center, and an upscale restaurant. It is conveniently located close to public transportation, including both light rail and the ferry, and provides easy access to Interstate 5.
Wright Runstad & Company has been an owner of the property since its development together with a succession of partners culminating with an affiliate of Beacon Capital Partners, LLC and a limited partnership interest held by San Francisco-based Shorenstein Properties. Wright Runstad & Company, whose corporate offices are in the building, will continue to manage the property on behalf of the new owner after the sale. Eastdil Secured represented the selling partnership.
The Seattle-area economy remains vibrant, with employment having rebounded strongly in recent years, driven primarily by aerospace and software publishing. Leading companies with a major presence in the region include Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Zillow, Groupon, Salesforce.com, Facebook, Starbucks and Boeing.
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Wright Runstad & Company
Seattle-based Wright Runstad & Company develops, acquires, manages and leases high-quality commercial office buildings located primarily in the Pacific Northwest. The company has a 40-year history as one of the region's premier real estate development and operating companies, delivering outstanding property performance and superior investment returns. Wright Runstad & Company maintains an exceptional reputation among tenants and institutional investors for its demonstrated commitment to integrity and high levels of quality and service. Wright Runstad & Company employs more than 70 outstanding people, each committed to the company's core values: integrity, quality and service. Wright Runstad & Company is privately held by the three active principals of the company.
MetLife, Inc. is a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers. Through its real estate investments department, MetLife oversees a well-diversified real estate portfolio of more than $60 billion, which is one of the largest in the U.S. and consists of real estate equities, commercial mortgages and agricultural mortgages. MetLife invests in office, apartment, retail and industrial opportunities in major U.S. markets as well as outside of the U.S. MetLife is a global leader in real estate investment and real estate asset management, with a vast network of regional offices that keep in close contact with major real estate markets. For more information, visit www.metlife.com/realestate.
Clarion Partners LLC
Clarion Partners has been a leading U.S. real estate investment manager for over 30 years. Headquartered in New York, the firm has offices in major markets throughout the U.S., in S͠ão Paulo, Brazil and London, England as well as a presence in Mexico. With more than $25 billion in total assets under management, Clarion Partners offers a broad range of real estate strategies across the risk/return spectrum to its more than 200 domestic and international institutional investors. More information about the firm is available at www.clarionpartners.com.
Shorenstein Properties LLC
San Francisco-based Shorenstein Properties LLC (www.shorenstein.com) is one of the oldest and most successful private real estate investment companies active throughout the United States in the acquisition, development, ownership and management of office and mixed-use properties. Since its beginning in 1924, the company has evolved from a regional real estate operating company to an active national investor and manager of commingled institutional capital. Shorenstein provides asset management, leasing, property management and construction services to the properties in its portfolio through its wholly owned property services affiliate, Shorenstein Realty Services.
Beacon Capital Partners LLC
Beacon Capital Partners, LLC ("Beacon") is a Boston-based real estate investment firm. Beacon and its predecessor companies have been actively involved in the real estate business for over sixty-five years and have an established reputation as a high-quality property owner, operator, and developer of urban office and mixed-use projects across the U.S. Beacon was formed in January 1998, following the merger of the predecessor public company, Beacon Properties Corporation, with Equity Office Properties Trust. Beacon has sponsored seven investment vehicles representing over $11 billion of aggregate equity capital from various endowments, foundations, pension funds, and other institutional investors.