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March 29, 2017

Construction starts on unusual Seattle warehouse project called Georgetown Crossroads

Puget Sound Business Journal

Marc Stiles

A global logistics company is starting construction of an unusual multi-story warehouse project at a busy intersection in South Seattle.

When completed in mid-2018, motorists on the First Avenue South Bridge won't be able to miss the three-story project, Georgetown Crossroads at the north end of the span. At 590,000 square feet it's the largest project to go up in the neighborhood in recent years. Two years ago, Honda and Toyota of Seattle moved to a 400,000-square foot facility at 1925 Airport Way S.

None of the space at Georgetown Crossroads has been pre-leased, according to a spokesman for the developer, Prologis. A potential tenant may be Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN), which is Prologis' largest customer. Amazon's business makes up 3 percent of Prologis' total net effective rent, according to a company fact sheet.

That Georgetown Crossroads will be three stories tall makes it a rarity not just in the Puget Sound region but in the United States. Multi-story distribution centers are more common in land-constrained places, such as Europe and Asia. The only other new multi-story warehouse project in the region is Amazon's two-story distribution center in Kent.

San Francisco-based Prologis (NYSE: PLD) at the end of last year had $66 billion in assets under management.

The company declined to say how much Georgetown Crossroads will cost, though a city permit application lists the value of construction at more than $61.4 million. City records show the project also includes a 542-stall parking structure, which will cost $11.4 million to build. Prologis paid $24.5 million for the 13.6-acre site two years ago.

The multi-story layout of the warehouse adds to the cost. The company says Georgetown Crossroads will have an elevated truck deck serving the second floor and freight elevators serving the third floor.

Market dynamics are fueling the development of Georgetown Crossroads. Distribution companies want to be close to customers in the city, though industrial space is exceptionally hard to come by, with less than 2 percent of warehouse space in Seattle vacant, according to commercial real estate company Kidder Mathews. This caused rents to soar 28 percent in 2016.

Craft Architects of Seattle designed Georgetown Crossroads, which Sierra Construction of Woodinville is building. Broker Wilma Warshak of Washington Real Estate in Seattle is marketing the project for lease.

For the full story, go to Puget Sound Business Journal.

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