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January 11, 2018

Construction starts on long-planned Lake Union life-science building

Puget Sound Business Journal

Marc Stiles

A four-story office building in the works for 10 years finally is under construction in Seattle's Eastlake neighborhood.

Work on the 1818 Fairview Ave. E. project began in the fourth quarter, according to a new report from real estate company Kidder Mathews.

Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. Chairman and CEO Joel Marcus confirmed the start Wednesday, emailing that the developer is building the foundation but has "not gone vertical."

Construction was planned to have started in October 2014, when it was a different company's project and called the Atrium. Seattle-based Washington Holdings sold the project to Alexandria, which has dropped the name of the project that now is listed only by its address on Alexandria's website.

"The main reason (we sold) was our client was getting out of the office space business," said Washington Holdings Chief Operating Officer Ric Anderson, who didn't name the client. The company works with largest institutional investors.

Anderson said Alexandria was the logical buyer as it's a lab/office building, and that's what the Pasadena, California-based company builds. The companies have a relationship with Alexandria having bought other assets in the neighborhood from Washington Holdings.

"They are friends of our company," Anderson said.

In an earnings report, Alexandria said it paid $8.4 million for 1818 Fairview, which is on land owned by the state of Washington. Washington Holdings signed a long-term ground lease with the state in 2008.

The 1818 Fairview building will total 205,000 square feet and have a four-story lobby atrium facing Lake Union. Marcus did not provide the development cost. Anderson pegged it at between $70 million and $80 million though that was in 2014.

Online records show that real estate brokers Jesse Ottele and Cavan O'Keefe of Newmark Knight Frank are marketing the building for lease. The annual asking rate ranges from $36 to $42 per square foot, plus property taxes, building insurance and maintenance fees.

None of the space has been pre-leased, but Alexandria is in discussions with "multiple potential tenants," Marcus said.

BN Builders is the general contractor, and the project is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2019.

The 1818 Fairview projects is near other Alexandria holdings, including a proposed development at 1150 Eastlake Ave. E.. The Eastlake project is planned to have a two-story "forest."

The 1818 Fairview buildings is one of 13 office projects under construction in the Puget Sound region. The developments total 6.4 million square feet, with 57 percent of the space leased to Amazon.com Inc., Avalara, Facebook, Google, Tableau Software and the Federal Aviation Administration, Kidder Mathews reported.

For the full story, go to Puget Sound Business Journal.

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