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CalPERS sells Seattle building for $387m

A group of unnamed Korean investors is reportedly buying the 50-story office tower.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement Fund is selling a 794,000 square foot office tower in Seattle to a group of Korean investors for $387 million, according to media reports.

In 2005, the US' biggest pension plan bought the building, called Safeco Plaza, at 1001 Fourth Avenue for $163.5 million from New York Common Fund with Houston developer and fund manager Hines, according to real estate data provider Real Capital Analytics (RCA). Hines sold its stake in 2010, according to a spokesman.

The 50-story building is 98 percent occupied, with anchor tenant Safeco occupying 500,000 square feet in a lease that runs until 2028, according to RCA. CalPERS reportedly spent more than $100 million in upgrades, adding tech-friendly amenities such as open-layout conference spaces and bike storage, in addition to renovating the building’s infrastructure.

The sale would mark Korean capital’s first deployment in Seattle since at least 2013, according to RCA. The real estate data provider showed that the volume of Seattle office building sales overall has held steady, with $2.8 billion worth of offices in the central business district sold in the first quarter of 2016, compared with $2.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2015, with technology companies continuing to drive occupancy.

This transaction would be the biggest Seattle office sale this year, overtaking the February sale of the 28-story building at 2001 Eighth Avenue. Boston-based AEW Capital sold the building to Deutsche Asset Management for $370 million, according to RCA.