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SEATTLE-Development Partners Vulcan Inc. and Westlake Partners LLC are looking to break ground as soon as possible on an 85,000-sf, six-story office building in the South Lake Union area now that locally based clothier Tommy Bahama has preleased 91% of the building for its new headquarters. The developers have committed to having the building ready for occupancy in just over a year. Sellen is the general contractor for the project.

Broker Bryan Syrdal of Teutsch Partners LLC represented Tommy Bahama in the transaction while Colliers International brokers Tim O’Keefe and Jesse Ottele represented Vulcan. None of the parties involved would discuss the lease rate on the transaction, but local brokers familiar with the deal tell GlobeSt.com that the developers would need to bring in around $25 per sf per year on a triple net basis just to cover their costs.

The office building will rise at 428 Westlake Ave. Retail tenants will occupy the remaining space of the building. Tommy Bahama’s new headquarters will house the company’s design, merchandising, wholesale operations, retail operations, information technology, human resources and administrative offices—-325 employees in all.

Tommy Bahama is currently headquarters in Vance Corp.’s Tower Building at Seventh Avenue and Olive Street in Downtown. Company COO Doug Wood tells GlobeSt.com the company began operations in the building 11 years ago on half of one floor and now occupies nine floors in the building, as well as some space across the street, for a total of about 54,000 sf.

“This new lease is a real commitment to our employees that we are Seattle based and plan to stay that way, and that we plan to continue to grow and innovate here,” says Wood. “It says all the right things at an important time.”

Tommy Bahama’s closely held owner, Viewpoint International Inc., was acquired earlier this year by Atlanta-based Oxford Industries Inc., one of the largest consumer apparel products operations in the US.

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