Five years ago an Amazon-occupied building in Seattle sold for a record price of $749 per square foot. This week, that same building sold for nearly 33 percent more, again breaking a price record.
The sale of Westlake 202, deep in the heart of Amazon’s South Lake Union campus in Seattle, fetched the owner, German firm GLL Real Estate Partners GmbH, $129.5 million, or a record $996 per square foot. The buyer willing to pay the record price was LaSalle Investment Management out of Chicago.
Amazon has for years juiced a construction boom in Seattle, but a lesser known piece of that is the appetite from investors, local, national and international to acquire buildings leased to the tech giant. Landlords have now dropped more than $3.2 billion on Amazon-occupied buildings since the company’s real estate expansion began in Seattle a little more than a decade ago, according to GeekWire research.
There are quite a few Amazon occupied buildings in Seattle — more than 40 with future commitments and its two headquarters campuses — for investors to sink their teeth into. But the company has threatened to slow its growth in the city following the passage of the controversial tax on big businesses earlier this month, potentially making properties like 202 Westlake more scarce further driving up these record prices.
Record sales like these benefit local governments. A real estate excise tax of 1.78 percent is levied on each property sale in Seattle. According to property records, this transaction puts $2.3 million into state and city coffers.