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SEATTLE-City Center Retail LLC has acquired the 160,000-sf Meridian retail development Downtown for $54.5 million. The property is 90% leased to several tenants, including Niketown, Loews Cineplex, Levi’s, Fidelity and Sega Gameworks.

City Center Retail’s equity partner for the acquisition was Angelo Gordon & Co., a New York-based investment banking firm that has partnered on several City Center Retail acquisitions.

“We are excited about The Meridian and being active in the Seattle Market; this property has never realized its full potential and we are already in negotiations with several tenants for the vacant space,” says Sigurd Anderson, partner, City Center Retail LLC. “There is tremendous interest from retailers who want to be in the strengthening downtown Seattle market.”

The vacant space was once leased by Planet Hollywood, which earlier this year emerged from its second bankruptcy with 10 locations, down from 95 four years ago. That bankruptcy and another by Cineplex Odeon, which resulted in a reduction in its rent at the complex, combined with the general economic downturn to significantly lower the resale value of the development. When it came onto the market two years ago, the asking price was $70 million.

At that time, the owner was a partnership of Corpus Christi, TX-based Rosche Corp., which reorganized under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code. Greenebaum and Rose Associates of Washington, DC ultimately recapitalized the partnership through the bankruptcy process and gained control of the property. That recapitalized partnership was the seller.

Located on Pike Street between 6th and 7th avenues, The Meridian is actually comprised of two buildings separated by an alley, commonly known as Meridian East and Meridian West. City Center Retail will be undertaking minor improvements to the facade, exterior signage, and parking structure, all of which, the company says, “will help to create a friendlier, more attractive environment.”

City Center Retail LLC Partner Mark Stefan tells GlobeSt.com he thinks City Center Retail is acquiring the property at a good time, toward the bottom of the market. “We like Seattle long term and the building is very well situated,” says Stefan.

San Francisco-based Blatteis Realty Company represented the buyer in the acquisition. The seller’s broker was Investment Realty Advisors Inc., a Bellevue, WA-based investment brokerage company specializing in high quality, well-located investment grade properties.

Investment Realty Advisors President Ted Gibbons tells GlobeSt.com the sale to City Center Retail occurred after Portland, OR-based Harsch Investment decided not to acquire the property. Several buyers were interested in acquiring the property, including Madison Marquette, which joins the rest of the block.

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