A limited liability company affiliated with Glacier Fish Co. reeled in a bargain last week, buying a new Class A office building in Magnolia for far less than what it would cost to build today.
It's the latest in the story of the development that began with high hopes but was tripped up by terrible timing. Developers envisioned a three-building project called Salmon Bay Center, though only the one building was built.
The $5.125 million that Seattle-based Glacier Fish paid was "a really good deal, especially because of the quality of the building," said Laura Miller of Gibraltar LLC. She brokered the deal for Seattle-based Glacier, which will occupy one of the three floors of the building at 2320 W. Commodore Way.
Another group, the International Pacific Halibut Commission, leased one floor of the building near Fisherman's Terminal, and Miller will market the remaining space for lease. It's the first floor, and the asking rate is $20 a square foot, plus expenses. Expenses are estimated at $6 a foot year.
Both the first floor and Glacier Fish's space are in shell condition. Glacier has hired JPC Architects to design the interiors of its space, and has pared the list of contractors to three, Miller said.
In 2006, an LLC called Salmon Bay Landing West paid $3.73 million for three upland parcels near Fisherman's Terminal. Construction of the first building started just before the real estate bubble burst in 2008.
Designed by Stuart Silk Architects and built by Schuchart the concrete-and-steel building has floor-to-ceiling glass and open floor plates. Stormwater is treated on site before it's released into the bay.
Hiroyuki Sato was the managing member of the LLC that developed the project. Initially, the group planned to sell the units as condos. The list prices before construction began ranged from $450 to $475 a foot. The price that Glacier paid works out to about $159 a foot.
Late last year, public records showed that Sato's group owed more than $12.6 million in principal, interest and fees on the construction loan. Salmon Bay Landing West and Tri Mountain Inc., an Oregon corporation, had borrowed just over $12.5 million from Cascade Bank in Everett. The note later was transferred to California-based Opus Bank, which acquired Cascade in 2011.
At a courthouse sale in January, Opus made a "credit bid" of $3.9 million, meaning that amount would be credited toward what the developer owed on the note. Opus hired Kidder Mathews brokers Todd Battison, Ken Hirata and Andy Miller to market the property for sale. Battison said they targeted owner/users in the maritime industry.
The Gibraltar flier states a marine-related use is not required for first floor. The company says the space, with abundant natural light, would work for design firms or other creative companies as well as traditional office users.
In 2010, Salmon Bay Landing West sold an adjacent parcel, where it had planned a second building, to a climbing gym called Vertical World for $1.6 million. The buyer converted an old boat-building facility into a gym.
The proposed three-building project would have totaled 119,000 square feet of office space. A developer named Ed Ramberg planned what would been the third building. Stuart Silk Architects designed it, but it wasn't built.