Amazon just moved in to a big new office building on the other side of Lake Washington from its Seattle headquarters, and the owners of the downtown Bellevue, Wash. tower are cashing in.
Schnitzer West said this week it has sold Centre 425, a 16-story, 356,909-square-foot office building leased entirely to Amazon for $313 million. The buyers are Tristar Capital and RFR Holding, a pair of New York real estate companies.
The deal underscores how much of a boon Amazon can be for a developer. One of the best ways to compare value of a big real estate deal is through the price per square foot. And this building went for $877 per square foot, one of the highest prices in the region’s history.
“With tech giants Amazon and Microsoft each occupying more than 10 million square feet in their Seattle-based corporate headquarters, and Facebook and Google calling Seattle home for their HQ2 campuses, we will continue to expand our Seattle footprint,” David Edelstein, president of Tristar Capital, said in a press release. “With its natural lifestyle attractions and unmatched supply of workforce talent, we believe the Seattle market will continue to outpace most cities in the country in commercial and residential demand.”
With this deal, Tristar and RFR have dropped more than $1.1 billion on a quartet of office buildings over the last year, totaling 1.3 million square feet, all occupied by tech giants. Three of those buildings, including Centre 425 are Amazon-occupied. The other is Facebook’s new Dexter Station building.
Amazon’s new presence in Bellevue represents a big win for the city, which was reeling in recent years from several un-leased office projects under construction and the impending departure of Expedia to Seattle. Amazon joins a growing list of companies setting up shop both in Seattle and somewhere on the east side of Lake Washington — that includes Google, Tableau Software and others — to access talent around the region as commuting between Seattle and Bellevue becomes increasingly more difficult.
A variety of teams are working out of the office, including Amazon Devices, Amazon Web Services, Amazon Alexa, and the Lab126 hardware engineering unit. Alexa in particular appears to be a focus of the office, as 16 of the 77 positions listed for the Bellevue office on Amazon’s job sites mention Alexa. Amazon said last month that it has more than 5,000 people companywide working on Alexa, with close to another 1,100 open positions on a variety of Alexa-focused teams.