SEATTLE-Walton Street Capital recently flipped one of the four office buildings it acquired here in October. The Chicago-based sponsor of private equity funds paid $345 million for 1.2 million sf that included the three Metropolitan Park Towers and the nearby Park Place office building.

It allotted $79.9 million to the acquisition of Met Park North, an 11-story building it quietly retraded two weeks ago for $88.5 million. It is the smallest building in the portfolio at 185,760 sf, but it has the best occupancy rate and the most parking.

The tiered six-year-old building is fully leased on a long-term basis to Nordstrom Inc. and 24-Hour Fitness and comes with a suburban-like parking ratio of 3:1,000 sf. The new owner is believed to be a client of LaSalle Investment Management. Walton Street officials declined comment.

The sale of the building, to which little value could be added, returns some of the equity Walton Street invested in the portfolio and buys down its basis in the other buildings to a more attractive level, local industry sources tell

One of the risks in the transaction for Walton Street is that the building was built with extra parking in support of the other Metropolitan Park buildings. Now that it is under separate ownership, Walton Street may no longer be able to control whether the spaces are leased to tenants of the Met Park buildings it still owns, the 20-story 363,727-sf East Tower and the 18-story 339,868-sf West Tower.

Meanwhile, LaSalle Investment Management is gaining a core portfolio property with views in the Denny Triangle, a neighborhood immediately north of the Downtown core that just got zoned for taller buildings and is seeing a huge amount of speculative activity. That activity includes several high-rise residential developments that will occupy blocks that could otherwise have held competing office buildings.

Russell Cooper and Alison Hawkins of Eastdil (now Eastdil Secured) in San Francisco brokered the sale with local assistance from Bob Watson of R.M. Watson Co. and Tom Craig of TSC Real Estate. Watson and Craig worked opposite sides of Walton Street’s portfolio acquisition in October. The brokers could not be reached for comment.

Late last week, 10 days after flipping Met Park North, Walton Street replaced the relatively new building by closing on a decidedly old one, the 92-year-old Smith Tower, the first skyscraper in Seattle, the fourth in the world and the tallest west of the Mississippi for the first 50 years of its life. For that story, click here.

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