SEATTLE-Charlie’s Produce has paid $18.5 million for two Port of Seattle buildings at Terminal 106 East that total 700,000 sf. The buildings, one 410,000 sf and one 282,500 sf, were vacated by the toy company Hasbro in 2002. The sale has been under negotiation since early last year.A wholesaler and distributor of food products to the restaurant, grocery, hotel, cruise ship and fishing industries in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, Charlie’s will use the larger of the two buildings to consolidate and expand operations that have been housed in five different buildings totaling about 250,000 sf. Most of the smaller building is being marketed for sublease by David Baumer, the Andover Company broker who represented Charlie’s in its acquisition of the port buildings. Baumer tells GlobeSt.com that Charlie’s plans to move into the Terminal 106 East buildings by the end of the year, vacating four nearby leased properties. Baumer will be searching for sublease tenants for the leases that have significant term left on them. The fifth building that Charlie‘s occupied, a 30,000-sf cold storage facility in Olympia, was recently sold to Kroger, says Baumer.The buildings sit on 16 acres at 4101 East Marginal Way and 4700 East Marginal Way. The Port has owned the properties since the early 1970s, when they were acquired from the federal government. At the time the city acquired the buildings, West Coast ports were in the early stages of moving from breakbulk cargo to containerized shipments. The Port purchased and operated the warehouse buildings to demonstrate that importers could conduct national distribution activities from Seattle.”That demonstration proved successful,” said Port of Seattle CEO M. R. Dinsmore in August 2003, when the sale to Charlie’s was initially approved by the port. “The Kent Valley has emerged as a major center for warehousing and distribution of imported goods arriving at Puget Sound ports.”The Port elected to close its warehousing operation in 2002 after its largest warehouse tenant, Hasbro, consolidated all of its distribution centers around the country at one location in Ontario, CA. The recommendation to sell the two buildings came after the Port was unable to generate strong interest from potential long-term lessees.The sale to Charlie’s Produce is a very good match, according to Charlie Sheldon, managing director of the Port’s Seaport Division. “Charlie’s Produce helps support some of our core businesses, such as the cruise ship and fishing industries,” said Sheldon last August. Port of Seattle spokesperson David Schaefer tells GlobeSt.com the Port retains 535,000 sf of warehouse space and 31 acres at Terminal 106 West that has waterfront access. The properties are available for lease but not for sale, he says.

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