TIAA-CREF buys Seattle office stake for $235m

The transaction marks the company’s second acquisition in the city this year.

TIAA-CREF, the financial services conglomerate, has purchased a 90 percent stake in a new 13-story Seattle office tower for $235 million.

The New York-based firm used capital from the TIAA Real Estate Account, an open-end fund started in 1995 that managed $22.2 billion of assets as of November 30. TIAA-CREF invests the majority of the vehicle’s capital in domestic income-producing assets.

Swedish developer Skanska USA bought the development site, at 400 Fairview Avenue, in January 2012 for $11.6 million, according to Real Capital Analytics, and finished construction in September. The building has 336,000 square feet for office and retail spaces, including an open-air market hall on the ground floor and a rooftop restaurant.

Stockholm-based Skanska has leased about 75 percent of the office space, according to the Seattle Times. Major tenants for the office component of the building include the corporate headquarters for retailer Tommy Bahama and technology firm Impinj. Retailers Car Toys and Wireless Advocates plan to move in early next year after signing 10-year leases, according to media reports. The building is designed for open office and flexible floor plans and environmental sustainability.

Skanska will retain a 10 percent stake in the building and will continue to operate the project. The firms plan to close the transaction before the end of the fourth quarter, according to a statement from the developer.

In June, TIAA-CREF bought a 235-unit apartment in Seattle for $111.4 million. The 7-story Union SLU has 195,885 square feet with 222 parking spaces underground.