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BELLEVUE, WA—Schnitzer Northwest has purchased the five-acre Raymer Square from Tochterman Management, making way for a multi-use project estimated at $300 million. Adjacent to the Meydenbauer Center convention facilities, the parcel at NE 8th St. and 112th Ave. is one of Bellevue’s most prominent Downtown locations.

For more than 100 years, the Tochterman family owned the property, which was originally part of a 15-acre farm. In the 1950s, seven acres were sold to accommodate the building of I-405. In 1999, the Tochtermans sold the land under the Meydenbauer Center to the City of Bellevue for $7.8 million plus land for an expansion of the center at $1.5 million.

In recent years, the family had taken a run at a major development with New York City-based Palladium Co., but the project was never brought to fruition. Connie Grant, a member of the family as well as the chair of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, said the decision to sell the property to Schnitzer was in part due to the fact that Schnitzer’s “goals and objectives for the property were so closely aligned” with Tochterman’s. Schnitzer Northwest is a partnership with Portland-based Schnitzer Investment Group.

Grant and other sources revealed that Schnitzer plans to build a 1.5-million-sf complex, with a 500 to 600-room hotel and two office towers with a combined 1M sf of office space. Grant declined to divulge the price paid for the property, stating that she was contractually prohibited from releasing that information. The real estate community, however, is speculating that the price is between $28 million and $34 million.

The Tochtermans will not be participating in Schnitzer’s development but will use proceeds from the sale to invest in other area properties. “It’s a matter of diversification,” says Grant. The sale, set to close in early December, hinges on approval by the City of Bellevue, which had a previous agreement with a developer to build an expansion of the convention center in conjunction with a larger project on the Tochterman property. Approval could come today, when the Bellevue City Council is set to meet.

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