The uproar years back was that part of Pike Place Market was being handed over to New York investors. Now it's the whole town - once named, you'll recall, New York - Alki. It wasn't enough that Tishman Spyer Properties of New York bought the Marketplace I and II buildings on Western Avenue for $56 million a year ago; it has now sold the four-story and seven-story structures for $83 million - or a city record $655 a square foot. The buyer, by the way, is BlackRock, a New York investment firm with a $1.2 trillion management fund - one of many NY firms investing in Seattle. (Boston owns a big chunk as well: Beacon Capital Partners of Beantown is considered Seattle's biggest landlord after recently buying 14 buildings from the Blackstone Group - of NY).
But the biggest deals are yet to come, with the Clise Properties' premium 13-acre Denny Regrade slice up for grabs. The parcel, strung out over seven blocks, is expected to fetch up to $1 billion for the buyer who agrees to Clise's theme-park conditions - the properties have to be developed along the lines of, say, the Rockefeller Center complex. That's in NY by the way. And there are plenty of suitors, the New York Timesreports today. Al Clise says he's fielded 69 requests for tours since he put the property on the market in June - the biggest piece of land for sale in any downtown in the country, brokers say.
You really can do anything you want with it" because it is already zoned for a wide variety of uses, said Mr. Clise, chairman and chief executive of Clise Properties and the fourth generation to run the company. "It'll have a major impact and reshape the city." A buyer could put as much as 14 million square feet of offices, condominiums and rental apartments on the parcel.
Seattle, the Times notes , is on every investor's shopping list; the city is considered the best place in the country to buy and sell office buildings - new or old: Ken Alhadeff, chairman of Elttaes Enterprises, says he received a dozen bids for five historic buildings downtown last fall. "We got 20 percent higher than we had anticipated only six months earlier," Alhadeff said. That's Seattle today: Get rich quick, wait.