May 28, 2020
Gantry recently announced a pair of financing deals in our region. Mike Wood secured a $17 million loan for the Brewery Blocks in Tacoma, the new mixed-use development by Horizon Partners Northwest. A life insurance company put up the three-year bridge loan. Wood explained, “The Brewery Blocks borrower was seeking a bridge loan to pay off their existing construction loan that was coming due.” Wood also arranged a $7.8 million loan to the unnamed owner of two 17-year-old industrial buildings at Seaway Business Park in Everett. Another life insurance company provided the 20- to 30-year loan, which is interest free for the first five years. That structure, said Wood, “allows the borrower to recoup the prepayment penalty and improve cash flow.”
Microsoft is leasing 523,000 square feet in two full buildings at Atlantic Yards in Atlanta. Its landlord, Hines, made the announcement earlier this week. Invesco Real Estate is also a partner in the project. T. Dallas Smith & Co. was Microsoft’s broker. Terms for the lease weren’t disclosed. Microsoft expects to occupy the buildings next summer, with about 1,500 employees. Hines’ John Heagy said in a statement, “Microsoft’s next generation of talent will be blocks away at Georgia Tech, and once they occupy Atlantic Yards, Microsoft will have unmatched access, retail and restaurant options and a working environment deliberately designed to foster creativity.” Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture designed Atlantic Yards, with Wakefield Beasley & Assoc. as architect of record. New South Construction recently topped out on the project, for which PCCP provided the construction loan.
May 21, 2020
As the DJC first reported last month, Ryan Cos. paid over $46 million for the empty old Farmers Insurance headquarters on Mercer Island. Now the developer has confirmed that it'll give the building a makeover in the hopes of attracting a new tenant (or tenants). Ryan's Marc Gearhart said in a statement, “The investments we plan to make to this 1982 structure will modernize it for today's office user.” More significant is the likely redevelopment of the huge parking lot. He said, “We're also considering a residential use for a portion of the adjacent parking lot. We are excited to engage with the Mercer Island community to understand what we should consider when planning the next life for the property.” Outreach meetings begin this month. No architect has been named for a future residential component. Burgess Design is working on the office redo.
CoStar Group announced last week that it would acquire the digital transaction platform Ten-X for $190 million. The cash deal combines two national players in commercial real estate: The publicly traded CoStar sells data and research, while Ten-X has grown from an online marketplace for distressed commercial properties into a hub used by all the nation's big brokerage houses. (The firm was launched in 2009 to help liquidate casualties of the Great Recession.) Ten-X will join LoopNet and many other real estate websites in being part of CoStar Group. Ten-X has room to grow. Its CEO, Steve Jacobs, said, “Today, only 1% of all commercial real estate sales transactions take place online. Just like CoStar Group, we are focused on driving volume and efficiency and have devoted ourselves to addressing the massive, untapped demand for digital commercial real estate solutions.”