Specialty: Urban commercial office and warehouse business parks
Principal: Tom Leavitt
Year founded: 1979
Local office: Seattle
Largest project in 2002: Tenant retention
Slow and steady wins the race could be the motto for longtime real estate investor and developer Tom Leavitt.
“We are much more of a conservative investment company than anything,” says Leavitt, principal of Leavitt Capital.
Over the past year, he says he’s been concentrating on the firm’s properties in SoDo, Denny Triangle and the Kent Valley. “The best tenant is the one you already have,” Leavitt says.
Development-wise, Leavitt Capital still has a $1 million option on the Pacific Block in downtown Tacoma. That property has a historic building on it, but is mostly vacant. The property abuts a new light rail line and the new convention center under construction.
But overall, Leavitt says there haven’t been a lot cherry picking opportunities during the current downturn.
“Unlike past downturns, we haven’t seen a lot of troubled real estate on the open market. That’s clearly a result of low interest rates.”
Leavitt wouldn’t hazard a guess if more troubled properties will emerge this year.
In the past, Leavitt has worked on a number of historic retrofit projects. But during tough times, he says, those projects make even less sense, especially since he won’t participate unless the project pencils out before any preservation tax credits come into play.
“It doesn’t mean there aren’t some good projects out there. It just means they’re doubly difficult,” he says.wer new homes sold in the markets we’re in, but we still captured a lot more of those markets.”
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