Privately owned investment firm Vanbarton Group has purchased a 41-story office tower in central Seattle from Schnitzer West and Investcorp for $305 million. The Class A property, 901 Fifth, comprises 541,190 square feet and is located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Madison Street.
HFF and Newmark Knight Frank brokered the transaction, with the building’s leasing agent, JLL, providing market leasing support. The LEED Platinum certified tower is 100 percent occupied, with tenants including Pitchbook and Cray Inc. as well as various professional service and tech firms.
Schnitzer West will continue to provide property management services for the tower following the latest sale. In addition to upgraded building systems and valet parking, the property includes a fitness center, conference center, landscaped outdoor plaza and café. The building, which also has direct access to a Bartell Drugstore, is located within Seattle’s central business district, nearby a Link light rail station and one block west from Interstate 5.
NKF Co-Head of U.S. Capital Markets Kevin Shannon, Vice Chairman Nick Kucha, Senior Managing Director Michael Moll and Executive Managing Directors Rob Hannan and Ken White represented the seller.
West Coast developer Schnitzer West and Bahrain-based Investcorp teamed up to purchase the tower from Kennedy Wilson in 2016, paying $223.3 million. The partners invested more than $7 million to modernize the amenities of the tower, which was built in 1973, including lobby updates and renovations to the conference center. HFF provided $170 million in refinancing in 2018.
Jumping in amid office boom
Vanbarton Group said in a statement that the deal represented its first move into Seattle, where the company is looking to pursue long-term investment strategies. According to a recent Yardi Matrix report, nearly 6 million square feet of office space was under construction as of December. Roughly half of the space being built is already pre-leased.
The city added 21,000 office-using jobs in the 12 months ending October 2018. Seattle’s booming technology sector is fueling quick office absorption, putting the metro in the same tier as other gateway markets such as Manhattan and San Francisco that are enjoying sub-10 percent vacancy rates.