Vanbarton’s $1B gateway cities fund closing in on big Seattle buy

Midtown-based firm in contract to buy PitchBook-anchored office building for $300M

TRD New York /
May.May 01, 2019 04:30 PM
901 Fifth Avenue in Downtown Seattle and Vanbarton Group's Richard Coles and Gary Tischler (Credit: Wikipedia)

901 Fifth Avenue in Downtown Seattle and Vanbarton Group’s Richard Coles and Gary Tischler (Credit: Wikipedia)

Vanbarton Group is getting ready to make its first Seattle purchase out if its $1 billion gateway cities fund.

The Midtown-based real estate private equity firm is in contract to buy the 41-story 901 Fifth Avenue in Downtown Seattle for $305 million, sources familiar with the transaction told The Real Deal.

That price works out to a little more than $560 per square foot for the 1970s era office tower.

The sellers are Seattle-based real estate investment firm Schnitzer West and the Middle Eastern global asset manager Investcorp, which is headquartered in Bahrain.

Spokespeople for Schnitzer West and Investcorp declined to comment, while representatives for Vanbarton did not respond to requests for comment.

A team at HFF marketed the property for the sellers, who reportedly paid $223 million to buy the roughly 540,000-square-foot tower in 2016.

The largest tenant in the building is the financial research firm PitchBook Data.

The purchase will be Vanbarton’s first Seattle acquisition for the $1 billion core fund it closed in 2016 to buy properties in New York and San Francisco, as well as break into markets such as Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston and Washington, D.C.

A source close to the deal said Vanbarton – which founders Richard Coles and Gary Tischler launched in 2015 – could hold 901 5th Avenue for a short term or long term.

In New York, Vanbarton paid $701 million last year to buy the 780,000-square-foot office tower at 425 Lexington Avenue, one of the priciest investment sales of 2018.

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