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Updated Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 11:15 AM

28-story Seattle office tower fetches $278.7 million

By Eric Pryne
Seattle Times business reporter

West 8th, a 28-story office tower in the Denny Triangle, was sold Wednesday for $278.7 million, joining a growing list of Seattle skyscrapers that have changed hands this year.

An affiliate of AEW Capital Management of Boston is the new owner, according to county records. The seller was the real-estate arm of insurance giant Prudential, which built West 8th between 2007 and 2009 in partnership with Seattle developer Touchstone.

The building, at Eighth Avenue, Westlake Avenue and Virginia Street, remained mostly empty until about a year ago, when Amazon.com leased about two-thirds of its 500,000 square feet and gave its market value a huge boost.

West 8th is now about 97 percent leased, according to commercial real-estate database Officespace.com

The purchase price breaks down to about $557 per square foot — similar to what investors have paid recently for other newer, leased-up office towers in downtown Seattle and downtown Bellevue, but less than what Amazon is paying Vulcan Real Estate for its 1.8 million-square-foot South Lake Union headquarters complex.

Some of the region’s most prominent skyscrapers, including 55-story 1201 Third Avenue and the 42-story Russell Investments Center, have been sold this year.

Institutional investors are paying top dollar for prime commercial real estate, hoping for bigger returns than stocks, bonds and other investments offer.

Eric Pryne: epryne@seattletimes.com or 206-464-2231


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