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TUKWILA, WA-In 1999 Opus Northwest LLC secured an option to buy an entire city block on Pacific Ave. in downtown Tacoma, stretching between 15th and 13th Streets. The Bellevue-based company was set to shell out $1.9 million for the block, a surplus property of Pierce County. There it planned to develop Pacific Steps, a major mixed-use project.

Then the real estate industry began to tumble. And, Opus did what it could do adjust–including extending its option a few times for more time to assess viability and scaling back the scope of Pacific Steps more than once.

Then last month Opus Northwest LLC let lapse its final extension. Pacific Steps and the county’s hopes to dump the property appear dead in the water, at least for now. But Opus isn’t just sitting quietly as the bottom of the real estate cycle grinds by. Further north in Tukwila, Opus is moving forward with the planning of a flex/tech development called Opus Park 5/405.

Michael George, a broker with the Seattle office for Colliers International and the leasing agent for Opus Park, spoke with GlobeSt about the project. “There’s not a lot of this type of property available in the Kent Valley. Opus is differentiating this from other office buildings in the area by combining a true Class A environment with flex/tech space,” says George.

In the late stages of planning, the project at 14902 51st Ave. SE is set for 70,200 sf in three stories. The top two floors are slated for office, with the flex/tech space on the first.

George says Opus would like to break ground this coming spring, but that is predicated on signing tenants–at least for one of the 23,400-sf floors. For rents, Opus is asking $19.25/sf NNN for office, and 55 cents/sf for the tech/flex floor. If a tenant is secured in time for a spring start, George says Opus could deliver the building by this time next year.

Andy Taber is the park’s project manager for Opus Northwest–a member of the Opus Group headquartered in Minneapolis.

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