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July 1, 2019

EQ Office buys 2 downtown Seattle high-rises for $1.2B

  • Ivanhoe Cambridge was a seller in both transactions.
    Real Estate Editor

    Photos provided by Ivanhoe Cambridge [enlarge]
    The 47-story Wells Fargo Center, at 999 Third Ave., was developed in 1983.

    U.S. Bank Centre, at 1420 Fifth Ave., includes 67,000 square feet of retail.

    Blackstone entity EQ Office announced Friday that it has purchased Wells Fargo Center and U.S. Bank Centre. EQ Office said the two sales had a combined value of about $1.2 billion.

    King County hadn't recorded the sales before deadline on Friday, so the exact numbers aren't available. Brokers, if any, couldn't be confirmed before deadline.

    Wells Fargo Center, at 999 Third Ave., was sold by the Montreal-based pension fund Ivanhoe Cambridge. With Callahan Capital Partners of Chicago, it acquired the property in 2013 for almost $340 million. Ivanhoe Cambridge bought Callahan last year.

    Developed in 1983 on a full-block site, the 47-story tower has roughly 976,800 square feet of offices, plus 17,700 square feet of retail, according to the county. Underground parking totals 668 stalls.

    U.S. Bank Centre, at 1420 Fifth Ave., was sold by a joint venture of Ivanhoe Cambridge and Emaar Investment Management. Each had a 50% stake. Dubai-based Emaar paid a little over $130 million in 1999 for its share. Bentall — an arm of Ivanhoe Cambridge — had acquired the building in 1998 for almost $236 million.

    Developed on more than half a block in 1989, the 46-story tower has about 855,300 square feet of offices and 67,000 square feet of retail, according to the county. Underground parking has about 989 stalls. It was originally known as Pacific First Centre. Some call it a 47-story tower.

    EQ Office is planning improvements to both properties. Major tenants in the two buildings include the two namesake banks and DocuSign.

    EQ Office CEO Lisa Picard is based here, and said in a statement, “Seattle's high quality of life is economically approachable to the young talent that growing companies seek to attract. Combine the lower cost of living relative to other tech markets with access to top academic institutions such as the University of Washington, and you have a recipe for sustained growth. Not to mention, I've lived here for over 20 years and love the energy of the upper left.”

    Puget Sound Business Journal reported last month that the two towers were for sale, citing unnamed sources.

    EQ Office, originally Equity Office Properties, now has about 36 million square feet in its portfolio. Locally, it manages the Exchange Building — purchased in 2017 for $156 million by a Blackstone-related LLC — and 800 Fifth Avenue. A Blackstone fund purchased 800 Fifth this January for $540 million. EQ Office now has about 3.1 million square feet in our market.


    Brian Miller can be reached by email at brian.miller@djc.com or by phone at (206) 219-6517.

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