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Dec. 10, 2013

Seattle’s Tallest Skyscraper Announced; HFF Finances Yakima Valley Retail Properties

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

As the city’s development market skyrockets, a big change to its skyline has been announced, with local developer Greg Smith expressing plans to build the city’s tallest building, setting a new bar for new developments in terms of both height and ambition. According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, should the development come to reality, the process would be time consuming as the necessary design approvals and paperwork would take at least a year.

Urban Vision’s plan is to build a 77-story tower in downtown Seattle, a white hot area for office and residential development where the city’s tech appeal has greatly improved the image of the area. The proposed tower would only beat Columbia Center, the current title holder, by just one floor. The location of the skyscraper, according to PSBJ would be the current site of the Metropolitan Grill steakhouse. Greg Smith’s Urban Visions, a privately held local real estate development company, will work on the project with Martin Smith Inc., a real estate investment and management entity, for which Mickey Smith, Greg Smith’s brother, is a principal.

In other real estate news, Holiday Fenoglio Fowler recently announced that it had provided a retail center in Yakima, Wash., with a loan worth $42 million. HFF worked on behalf of CenterCal Properties, the owner of the Valley Mall and Valley Mall Plaza properties totaling 679,845 square feet of space. The regional mall and the retail power center boast a vacancy rate of six percent.

HFF arranged a seven-year, full-term interest-only loan at a floating-rate of LIBOR plus 170 basis points. The two properties’ tenant rosters include names such as Macy’s, Sears, Kohl’s, T.J. Maxx, Ross Dress for Less, Bed Bath & Beyond, Michael’s, Ulta and Old Navy. The property last went through a renovation twelve years ago. The owners will use the funds secured with the help of HFF for the refinancing of maturing debt on the asset.  

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