Amazon fuels Seattle commercial real estate

Amazon has helped spur commercial real estate values in Seattle.

The commercial real estate records piled high in 2013 for one area in the state of Washington.

The Puget Sound region, which is home to Seattle and a slew of other nearby cities, set records for hotel construction thanks in part to an influx of Canadian developers to the market, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.

"The Puget Sound market overall, call it King County, is performing extremely well," Chris Kraus, senior vice president at PKF Hospitality Research and a market tracker in Seattle, told the Business Journal.

Kraus added that he expects the hospitality sector to thrive in 2014 thanks to strong corporate, convention and tourism activity.

Amazon bolsters commercial sector
Online retail merchandising giant Amazon set a record for price per square foot. Amazon purchased its 202 Westlake Ave office building in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood for $749 a square foot, which was the highest ever in the Puget Sound region for commercial space at the time of sale in September, according to the Business Journal.

Amazon also helped the sale of the 1800 Ninth Avenue Building in downtown Seattle. Leasing more than half of the 312,700-square-foot tower, Amazon propelled values for the building, which sold for nearly twice what it was purchased for two years ago.

Chicago-based Heitman America bought the 27-year-old building for $150.4 million, according to the Business Journal. Heitman, a global real estate management company with $27.8 billion in assets, purchased the property from a joint venture of Talon Private Capital of Seattle and Prudential Realty Group. The joint venture originally purchased the building in December 2011 from Regence Blue Shield for $76.5 million.

At the time of the 2011 purchase, roughly 60 percent of the tower was available for lease. The building is now nearly full.

Other deals near Seattle
Unico Properties, owner of 14 million square feet of offices, apartments and other property in the U.S., recently paid $17.6 million for a suburban office park in Kent, Wash. The office park, called Creeksides at Centerpoint, is close to major freeways, the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Kent's retail hub.

"Creeksides represented an opportunity to buy one of the highest-quality assets in Seattle's South End," Quentin Kuhrau, president of Unico, told the Seattle Times.

The Creeksides at CenterPoint is a 220,000-square-foot complex of three buildings on 72nd Avenue South in Kent.

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