Amazon’s HQ is on the market. The 11-building campus in Settle South Lake Union area has no set asking price, but area comps suggest the property could move for about a billion dollars, once somebody adds it to their shopping cart and clicks “check out”.
In 2012, new Seattle office properties including 1918 Eighth, The Russell Investments Center, and 818 Stewart each have set the pace in the area by selling for between $525 and $558 per square foot. If the Amazon buildings go for $550 a square foot, the price of the 1.8 million sq. ft. campus adds up to $990 million. Marc Stiles’s piece in the Puget Sound Business Journal paints a picture of market factors coming together to prompt the landlord to take a closer look at their portfolio. Specifically: historically low interest rates and very healthy valuations for leases to Fortune 500 companies.
The Amazon.com headquarters is 1.8 million square feet, with Amazon in 1.7 million square feet. Restaurants and retailers rent the rest of the space that Healey said is 93 percent occupied.
If the buildings sell for $550 a foot, the sale price would be $990 million.
Peter Shorett, executive vice president of Valuation Advisory Services for commercial real estate brokerage Kidder Mathews in Seattle, said he would not be surprised if the Amazon property sells for “north of $500 a foot.”
The price will depend on how long Amazon’s lease is, and what the rental rate is.
Healey said Amazon’s leases run for between 14 and 16 years. Amazon began moving in several years ago and will move in later this year to the final phase of the property, which is under construction.
Vulcan Real Estate, the real estate investment arm of Seattle-based Vulcan Inc., is selling for two reasons, [Vulcan VP] Healey said.
The first is to rebalance the company’s portfolio. This will reduce Vulcan’s exposure to having so much space leased to Amazon.
In addition, interest rates are at historic lows, and the value of top-tier assets leased to Fortune 500 companies with strong credit is high.
“We want to take advantage of the confluence of these events,” Healey said. “In other words, it’s a good time to sell.”
PHOTO CREDIT: Anthony Bolante, Puget Sound Business Journal