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SEATTLE-Essex Property Trust this week picked up the 173-unit [email protected] Apartments in Downtown Seattle for $31.85 million. Completed in 1970, the 25-story concrete tower sits at the corner of 8th Avenue and Pine Street, one block west of the Paramount Theater and immediately north of the convention center.The seller was a joint venture of locally based TriMet Development and Atlanta-based Starwood Capital called Tower TriStar LLC. The brokers in the deal, Geza Berger and Dennis Evans of GVA Kidder Mathews, sold the tower to TriStar in 1998 for $18 million. Berger tells GlobeSt.com that TriStar then invested $7 million in a full renovation of the asset, which had never previously traded hands.Essex’s purchase price–$181,000 per unit or $263 per sf–translates to a cap rate of around 5%. It will remain an apartment property, says Berger. The building has street level commercial space and was well leased at the time of sale. Apartment rents in the building average $1.91 per sf.TriStar at one point planned to convert the building to condominiums. That idea died quickly when the Washington State Convention Center announced it was expanding the convention center and would come to within 10 feet of the tower and be 10 stories high, stealing the views from half the lower-floor units.

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