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SPOKANE, WA-The building at 221 Wall St. served as Spokane’s city hall from its 1912 construction until 1982. Four years later, it was renovated and converted to commercial use by national real estate player, Hillman. Then last month, following a succession of owners, it was acquired by yet another for $7 million.

Texan James F. Cotter came out on top of a short bidding war but upping the ante by $115,000 over the $6.85 million price originally asked by the seller, Irvine, Calif.-based Koll Bren Fund V LP. A total of three bidders participated. The original price translated to a cap rate of 13.12% (the rate at $7 million was not immediately available).

Craig Hill, VP and manager of the Bellevue office of Grubb & Ellis, co-listed the property with David R. Black, CEO of Spokane-based Tomlinson Black Commercial Inc.

Hill tells GlobeSt that in its heyday, Pittsburg-based Hillman owned “sizeable holdings” in the northwest, where it was known for acquiring, rehabbing and re-tenanting existing properties—until backing out of the real estate market in the late 1980′s. It was then that Hillman sold many of its Washington holdings to Spieker Properties, which, in turn, sold a portion of those properties to Koll Bren. One of the buildings to move with the succession of transactions was Spokane’s Old City Hall, situated on the southwest corner of Wall St. and Spokane Falls Boulevard.

The, now commercial, building was on the market for approximately two months until the Cotter was brought to the transaction by Tom Hix, a senior vice president of Tomlinson Black Management Inc. Hix will continue as Cotter’s property manager. The average first-year lease rate is running $14.24/sf, and occupancy in Old City is Hall is now 90%, which is up by 15 percentage points since it went on the market.

The 98,000-sf building set on a 19-946-sf site is occupied by a mix of office and retail tenants, which includes an Olive Garden Restaurant, Wells Fargo Bank, Principal Financial Group, and D.A. Davidson & Co.

According to news reports, this is Cotter’s second major acquisition in the area within the last year—his first being a 61,000-sf retail development in nearby Post Falls, Idaho. Key tenants there include Black & Decker Factory Store and Oshkosh B’Gosh. Transaction specifics were not immediately available, and GlobeSt was unable to reach Mr. Cotter for comment by deadline.

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