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Sep 07, 2023

Tour the Bellingham waterfront

The weather should be nice on Wednesday, and Sept. 13 should be a fine day to drive up to Bellingham for a waterfront stroll. The occasion is a free walking tour sponsored by our local chapter of the Urban Land Institute. The tour will begin and likely finish at Trackside Beer Garden, departing at 3 p.m. The itinerary will likely include the Boardmill Block, where the old Boardmill Building is slated to become a 107-room boutique hotel; and the 83-unit Millworks affordable housing project, now under construction. Also nearby is the repurposed old Granary Building, owned by the Port of Bellingham and to be redeveloped by Harcourt; and the related but unnamed waterfront condos, also now under construction. Registration and details: northwest.uli.org.

Cushman & Wakefield


Cushman & Wakefield recently announced the hiring of Leah Masson, who makes the move from CBRE. She's a specialist in landlord leasing, advisory and transaction services, now to be a senior director with C&W. That firm's Alison Beddard said in a statement, “Leah's extensive market knowledge, strong work ethic, fresh perspective to the office sector and keen sense in understanding client needs have helped her build reputable relationships throughout the business community — and a great reputation as a broker.” Masson added, “I look forward to collaborating with my new team led by Alison.”

More money for Harvest hotel

There are now three cranes over Harvest, the wine-themed, mixed-use project in Woodinville. It's proceeding in phases, with Wood Mountain as the lead developer and Columbia Pacific Advisors as the main financial backer. Now joining the hotel financing effort is Hall Structured Finance of Dallas. It recently announced its provision of $52 million for the 164-room Somm Hotel and Spa, which is now under construction. (The separate shops, apartments, condos and townhouses all have various overlapping parents.) Brian Holstein of US Hotel Advisors brokered the deal. Hall's Brian Mitchell said in a statement, “The hotel is ideally located for business travelers, business groups and conferences, while also offering high-end dining, retail and wine-tasting experiences for the leisure traveler.” The Somm team is lead by Woodinville Hotel Partners, whose Kent Halvorson added, “We are grateful for the innovative financial solution.” Alco Investment Co. is an equity partner in the hotel, later to be managed by Marriott. Jensen Design Architecture is the designer, and Sierra Construction the builder.

Ziegler closes $118M bond deal for senior community

Over in Redmond, the Emerald Heights senior community recently announced a $55 million expansion of its campus. A new 54-unit building is part of that plan, as is a 42-unit building that began construction last year. (It now has 333 units, and provides other services, in various buildings.) Financing for both, and other campus improvements, is coming from a $118.3 million bond issue successfully sold by Ziegler, a private investment bank based in Chicago. It recently announced that the tax-exempt, fixed-rate bonds, originated by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, also refinanced a 10-year-old prior financing package — and refinanced last year's construction loan. The nonprofit Emerald Communities' Lisa Hardy explained, “This was a complicated financing with several moving parts. It was crucial to us to have Ziegler as our investment banker as we navigated all of the complex dynamics of this financing.” Ziegler's Sarkis Garabedian added, “It has been 10 years since Emerald Heights accessed the capital markets, and they were greeted with strong investor demand, despite a volatile bond market. The financing was well oversubscribed with a deep book of institutional investors.” Fitch gave the bonds an A minus rating.

Gantry finds $11M for Kent refinancing

The 43-year-old Cumberland Industrial Center in Kent recently benefited from an $11 million refinancing package. The five-year, fixed-rate loan was secured by Mike Wood at Gantry, that firm recently announced. Public records indicate Lincoln National Life Insurance as the lender. The borrowers were a trio of local investors. Wood said in a statement, “The industrial market continues to enjoy healthy conditions both regionally and nationally.” He said the owners, longtime clients, have a “reputation for being a great property manager. This has kept occupancy steady at this well-maintained property, which shows continued, long-term upside from successive leasing renewals as well as new tenants.” With about 118,500 square feet, Cumberland has several small business and industrial tenants. It last traded a decade ago for $11 million.

Local brokers align with Side

The online residential real estate sales platform Side, based in San Francisco, recently announced four new affiliates in our market. Redefined Real Estate was founded by Toril Schoepfer in Sumner. In Seattle are Portico Real Estate, led by David Marks; Just Sold Realty, led by Alice Nguyen; and Upside Properties, led by Brian Side. (His name is an apt coincidence.) Founded in 2017, Side says it now has 575 affiliates across the U.S., 50% of which are woman-owned and over 30% of which are minority-owned. It has a Seattle office, led by Scott Dickinson, who said of the new affiliates, “Side offers a choose-your-own-adventure approach to building a real estate company. Each company is uniquely structured and branded. What unites them is a superior quality, since Side only partners with the very best agents.”

M&M does $4M refi deal in Yakima

Marcus & Millichap has announced a recent $4 million refinancing deal for the Powerhouse Villas in Yakima, which closed late last month. M&M's Tammy Linden secured the funding from an unnamed lender, and she had also previously represented the buyer of the 24-unit duplex community at 3105 Swan Ave. That $6.6 million sale was in January. The new loan, with a 5.92% interest rate and 30-year amortization period, retires a prior bridge loan that Linden also arranged.

City of Kenmore


Kenmore's Deputy City Manager Stephanie Lucash was elected president of the Washington City/County Management Association (WCMA) by her peers across the state. Lucash will serve as WCMA's president for the next year. She was elected to the WCMA board of directors in 2019, and previously served as vice president for 2021-22. As WCMA president, Lucash will lead the organization's efforts to support the professional development of, and collaboration between, city and county managers and administrators and other local government leaders from across the state. She has been a WCMA member for 20 years and is the sixth woman to hold the president role since the WCMA was founded in 1960. Lucash will have a voting seat on the Association of Washington Cities Board of Directors for two years, and will also represent the state through the International City/County Management Association. The WCMA also recognized Lucash with the Outstanding Assistant Award. The primary goal of the Washington City/County Management Association is to increase the proficiency, quality and professionalism of local government management by providing education and support services to members and their agencies. WCMA also actively assists the Association of Washington Cities in its programing, legislative efforts, and support role to local government.



Symetra Financial Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Life Insurance Company, designated Sally Jewell as chair of its board of directors. Jewell, former U.S. Secretary of the Interior under President Barack Obama and former CEO of REI, joined Symetra's board in March 2018. She succeeds Thomas Marra, who recently resigned after serving as chair since 2017. Jewell served as president and CEO of REI from 2005 to 2013. Prior to REI, Jewell spent 19 years in the banking industry in a variety of executive roles, preceded by her early career as an engineer in the energy sector. Jewell has served on the boards of numerous corporate, nonprofit and civic organizations. In addition to Symetra, she currently serves on the boards of Costco Wholesale, Green Diamond Resource, and The Nature Conservancy. Jewell served as the interim CEO of The Nature Conservancy from 2019-2020 and as the Edward V. Fritzky Endowed Chair in Leadership at the University of Washington's Foster School of Business for the 2021-22 academic year. In business since 1957, Symetra Financial Corporation is a diversified financial services company based in Bellevue.


Belleuve-based Edifecs, a global health information technology solutions company, appointed Rod O'Reilly as chairman of the board. O'Reilly's experience in the healthcare industry spans business and product strategy, finance and operations. O'Reilly is currently the non-executive chairman of the board for Augmedix, a San Francisco-based medical documentation and data solution company. He also serves on the board of directors for KLAS Research, a healthcare industry research firm; Prescryptive Health, a healthcare consumer-focused mobile communication tool; and Rhapsody Health, a healthcare data interoperability company. He previously served as executive vice president and president of software and analytics at Change Healthcare, and as president at McKesson Corporation. O'Reilly earned a bachelor's degree with a joint major in economics and finance from Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, and an MBA from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

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