The Dexter Horton Building, a landmark icon located in downtown Seattle was recently sold to Great Eagle Holdings Ltd. of Hong Kong for just over $124.4 million. Named for the founder of the first bank in Seattle, this 15-story building located at 710 3rd Avenue was just recently sold less than 2 years ago to Portland based real estate developer Gerding Edlen. At the time, the building was sold for just over $76.4 million.
The reason for the 63% increase in just two years could be attributed to the potential for rental growth. The building is 89% leased, however, half of these leases expire over the next five years. A fifth of the leases are currently below market rents. The buildings largest tenant, Corbis Corp., owned by Bill Gates, pays only around $27 a square foot, $12 less per square foot than the average rents for top-of-the-line spaces in downtown Seattle.
What this means is that overseas, Asian investors have an appetite for commercial real estate in the Seattle area. For instance: Gaw Capital Partners, another Hong Kong based company, paid just over $711 million for the 76 story Columbia Center Tower. Shortly thereafter, they also purchase the 27 story Seattle Tower for $49.5 million.
Gerding Edlen is also working on two large Seattle developments including an 11 story residential tower on the waterfront and a four building apartment project on Capitol Hill. [Source]
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