REO’s mural in-progress
The Sunset Electric atrium
A Maryland-based real estate investment firm has thrown down $89 million to acquire two new preservation-minded, mixed use buildings in the heart of Pike/Pine.
In two separate deals, ASB Real Estate Investments has acquired Sunset Electric and REO Flats – a pair of “beachhead” Seattle investments that the company says is a perfect complement to its $5.7 billion portfolio spread across the U.S.
The acquisitions underscore how developers and investors are increasingly looking to Capitol Hill as the ideal neighborhood to house (and profit from) Amazon and Seattle tech’s ballooning workforce.
In a statement, CIO David Quigly sang the praises of Capitol Hill, including its proximity to South Lake Union.
These acquisitions fit within our overall portfolio strategy to invest in dynamic urban neighborhoods and commercial districts in leading U.S. cities. Capitol Hill is one of Seattle’s most attractive places to live for millennials—it’s extremely
pedestrian friendly and convenient to the employment centers in downtown and South Lake Union. Seattle, meanwhile, commands one of the country’s healthiest local economies, and ASB is pleased to gain a beachhead in the market.
Arizona-based Wolff Co. sold the seven story, 92-unit Sunset building for $41.6 million or $456,000 per unit (not accounting for the value of the building’s four vast commercial spaces). In 2012, Wolff paid $6.7 million for the poster-covered, empty building at the corner of 11th and Pine. The Weber Thompson-designed project was just selected as the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce building of the year. “The seven-story building at 1111 E. Pine incorporates a two-story brick facade that was part of a 1926 auto-row building. The old facade was integrated into the new structure and frames the street-level retail,” the DJC writes.
Hill-based Madrona Real Estate Services and a New York investment partner sold the 14th and E Pike REO Flats for $47 million, according to property records. Madrona acquired the property including the 1925 converted storefronts in 2008 for $1.5 million according to King County records. The building had served as a printing shop in the past. While the project was extremely friendly about its (temporary) displacement of a coffee shop, other longtime businesses including 60 Minute Photo were pushed aside. Johnson Architects designed the building with around 100 residential units.
Sunset Electric was one of the first major projects to open in Pike/Pine that used the city’s 2009 preservation incentive program. The incentives allowed Sunset’s developers to build a fifth floor of residential units in exchange for keeping parts of the original 1926-built facade. REO Flats benefitted from the incentive program as well. The city is now considering expanding the preservation incentive program to other neighborhoods in Seattle.
In addition more than 200 residents, both buildings are home to food and drink establishments with roots of varying depths on Capitol Hill. REO includes Omega Ouzeri, Nue, and Porchlight Coffee while the Sunset is home to Stout.