BH Properties buys Pacific Place mall in Downtown Seattle

LA firm pays undisclosed price for shopping center with 45% occupancy

BH Properties Buys Pacific Place Mall in Downtown Seattle
BH Properties' Jim Brooks and Pacific Place at 600 Pine Street in Seattle (BH Properties, LoopNet)

BH Properties has further flexed its West Coast muscle by buying a block-size shopping mall in Seattle.

The Los Angeles-based investor led by Steve Gozini has purchased Pacific Place, a 335,000-square-foot indoor mall at 600 Pine Street, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported. The seller was Madison Marquette, based in Washington, D.C.

Terms of the deal, likely to be the biggest retail transaction of the year in greater Seattle, were not disclosed. Toronto-based Avison Young took over management of Pacific Place in January, and will manage the property going forward.

“Downtown Seattle is deserving of a first-class shopping and dining destination and Pacific Place’s location boasts all of the economic and demographic support required to restore it as Seattle’s premier shopping experience,” BH Properties President Jim Brooks said in a statement.

The Pacific Northwest purchase by BH Properties comes after the firm offered a $10 million lifeline to the owner of a partially built highrise project covered with graffiti in Downtown Los Angeles, bought a waterfront retail center in San Francisco and purchased a defunct college campus in Oakland before setting up a Bay Area acquisitions office.

Its bet on Pacific Place in Seattle comes during economic uncertainty for the city’s Downtown retail businesses, with national brands continuing to prefer suburban properties and smaller store formats, according to the Business Journal.

Madison Marquette bought  Pacific Place in 2014 for $271 million, or $809 per square foot. Two years later, it paid the city $87 million for the 1,200-slot parking garage underneath. At the time, the mall was nearly full.

Occupancy at Pacific Place now hovers around 45 percent. Activewear apparel vendor Lululemon closed its 4,500-square-foot store in April, while maintaining its presence at University Village and five other Puget Sound-area locations.

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In 2022, Hudson Pacific Properties briefly explored a plan to redevelop the mall, turning the top floors into offices, but killed the idea.

Now the nearby Meridian retail center at 614 Pike Street is for sale, according to a CBRE listing. And this month, the historic Coliseum Theater on Fifth Avenue will go to auction.

For BH Properties, the mall purchase follows the firm’s recent acquisition of Pioneer Square’s Olympic Block office property. The company owns and operates nearly 10 million square feet of property across 16 states. Also, it has emerged as a major real estate lender.

This month, the West Los Angeles-based firm offered a $10 million lifeline to Oceanwide Plaza, the 2 million-square-foot condo-hotel-office project abandoned by China-based Oceanwide Holdings, to help the bankrupt project stay afloat.

In August, BH Properties bought Anchorage Square, among the largest private properties on San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, for $65 million. It plans to renovate the mostly empty 322,000-square-foot shopping center and parking garage.

In June last year, BH bought the nearly 57-acre Oakland Hills campus of Holy Names University, a Catholic college that closed after 155 years. The $65 million purchase came just before a foreclosure auction.

In February, BH hired real estate investment veteran Peter Horn to run a new Bay Area office based in Anchorage Square. 

— Dana Bartholomew

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