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December 29, 2015

Millions from sale of medical office to go to charity

Seattle PI

Daniel DeMay

A medical office in the Nordstrom Medical Tower recently sold for $8.5 million and the seller plans to donate all of the net proceeds to a charity fighting blindness.

The seller, a north Seattle man unnamed in a news release sent out by Kidder Mathews, is blind and plans to donate the money to the Foundation Fighting Blindness, Inc., a Maryland-based organization that promotes research into prevention, treatment and cures for a degenerative retinal diseases.

"It is a very sizable and generous gift, and certainly one of the largest we've ever received," said John Corneille, director of gift planning for the foundation.

The 14,291-square-foot 15th floor of the Nordstrom Medical Tower has been owned by the seller since he purchased it in 1996 for just shy of $3 million, said Mike King, with Kidder Mathews, the commercial real estate firm that negotiated the deal.

The space is connected to Swedish Hospital by a skybridge.

King acknowledged that it is rare for an investor to sell out and donate the money to charity. Usually, they reinvest whatever profits come from the sale, he said.

But the seller had good reason to give the money to that charity in particular: he himself is blind because of a degenerative retinal disease, Corneille said.

The money from the sale will go into a trust set up by the seller, and then once taxes and any other costs associated with the sale are paid, the remaining balance will go to the foundation, Corneille said.

King estimated the gift would still total more than $8 million.

The Foundation Fighting Blindness takes in roughly $40 million annually, so the gift, though it may be several years before it is in the hands of the foundation, will make up about one fifth of its income stream, Corneille said.

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