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April 13, 2018

$37.3 million sale underscores 'insatiable' demand for warehouses in Fife

Puget Sound Business Journal

Marc Stiles

Nearly a dozen big warehouse projects are under construction in Pierce County and a recent sale of a new distribution center in Fife shows why.

BlackRock, an investment manager, paid $37.25 million for Fife I-5 Commerce Center, 2801 78th Ave. E., according to public records. A joint venture of real estate development company Trammell Crow and a private equity firm called the Carlyle Group, sold the 250,500-square-foot building, which is fully leased.

Warehouse users are leasing up space at a ravenous pace in Fife due to its proximity to the Port of Tacoma and Interstate 5. Maybe the only demand "more insatiable" is from institutional investors looking to buy assets like Fife I-5 Commerce Center, NKF Executive Managing Director Bret Hardy said in a news release. He was on the team that listed the building for sale.

Seattle-headquartered Amazon.com Inc. is fueling the Puget Sound region's economy, driving up demand for distribution centers and housing. It is the latter sector that was behind the sale of the Fife I-5 Commerce Center,which houses Associated Materials Inc., a manufacturer of vinyl siding and windows.

The Pierce County industrial market has a vacancy rate of just 2.7 percent, according to real estate company Kidder Mathews. Eleven projects are under construction. The developments total nearly 3.6 million square feet,or more than half of the region's 6.1 million square feet of development.

Another 15.1 million square feet of development is being planned and most of these projects are in Pierce and Thurston counties, according to a Kidder analysis based on CoStar data.

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

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