BlackRock Said to Sell Seattle Buildings for $70 Million

BlackRock Inc. (BLK), the world’s largest asset manager, agreed to sell two downtown Seattle office buildings it bought near the market’s peak to a unit of Morgan Stanley (MS), according to two people with knowledge of the deal.

The price is about $70 million for the buildings, known as Market Place I and II, and a 426-stall garage, said the people, who asked not to be named because the details are private. The properties are located on Western Avenue near Pike Place Market, one of Seattle’s main tourist attractions.

BlackRock, based in New York, bought the real estate in 2007 from Tishman Speyer Properties LP for $83.1 million, a record at the time for a Seattle office purchase based on the price per square foot. The Market Place buildings are seven stories and four stories, respectively, and overlook Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains.

About $6.5 billion of office buildings in Seattle changed hands since the beginning of last year, making the city the fourth most-active U.S. market for office sales after Manhattan, Los Angeles and San Francisco, according to Real Capital Analytics Inc., a New York-based real estate research firm.

The deals included Amazon.com Inc.’s purchase of its headquarters campus for $1.16 billion; and the $549 million sale of 1201 Third Ave., which at 55 stories is the city’s second-tallest building, to a partnership including MetLife Inc. (MET) Ivanhoe Cambridge, the real estate arm of Canada’s largest pension fund, in June bought the 47-story Wells Fargo Center for $390 million.

Farrell Denby, a BlackRock spokesman, and Matt Burkhard, a spokesman for New York-based Morgan Stanley, declined to comment on the transaction.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hui-yong Yu in Seattle at hyu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net

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