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SEATTLE-The Port of Seattle recently selected one of 10 developers to move forward on an 89-acre retail development on the south side of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Majestic Realty Co., a privately held company out of Southern California, will develop the site with a combination of big-box retail stores and airport-related uses, according to the agreement.

The estimated $90-million development is called the Des Moines Creek Business Park. It lies within the City of Des Moines. The undeveloped site is bound by South 208th Street on the north, 24th Avenue South on the east, South 216th Street on the south, and on the west by a portion of Des Moines Creek Park.

The Port of Seattle will be entering into exclusive negotiations for a long-term ground lease with City of Industry, CA-based Majestic that will require the approval of the Port of Seattle Commission. The Port’s media officer Perry Cooper declined to disclose verbally the rent Majestic has proposed to pay and Majestic could not immediately be reached for comment.

A ground-breaking for the project is expected to occur in summer 2009. The build-out of the project is expected to occur in three phases over five years. As part of the agreement, Majestic will use the US Green Building Council’s LEED rating system as a basis for designing the entire project, and will incorporate into the project nine acres of wetlands.

City documents state that the retail component was added to the site in response to retailers’ interest in the site though no specific retailers are mentioned. In addition, the Port says it owns additional properties around the Des Moines Creek Business Park site that may be included in future RFPs.Ten companies submitted proposals to the Port for the project. Mark Reis, Managing Director of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport says Majestic’s proposal was among the most responsive to City and Port objectives, which are to help grow the City’s tax base while also supporting growth in air cargo. Majestic’s “deep” experience in developing airport-adjacent business parks also helped it rise to the top of the list of candidates, Reis says.

The development will include a big-box retail center as well as flexible-use business park buildings able to accommodate airport-adjacent tenants that need the immediate proximity to Sea-Tac Airport for their business (such as freight, avionics manufacturers, air cargo company offices, etc.). Des Moines city manager Tony Piasecki says that at full build out the project is expected to generate over 1,600 direct jobs and direct annual tax revenue of $10 million.

Majestic is one of the nation’s largest private developers, with upward of 70 million sf of holdings and a strong development pipeline. The company handles everything in-house with its own architects, contractors and property managers.

Majestic started as a pure industrial developer and the product still accounts for the majority of the company’s developments. Its current projects include a 1,000-acre industrial park a few miles south of Denver International Airport, an 80-acre park in the Las Vegas area and a 235-acre industrial park in Ontario, CA.

When its industrial projects resulted in unused parcels adjacent to the freeway–because industrial developments are typically set back from the road–the company began venturing into warehouse retail development. Eventually, it began buying up land exclusively for retail developments, and also converted some of its industrial land holdings for retail development. It launched its most recent retail project in 2007, a 30-acre, 250,000-sf retail project in Georgia’s Cherokee County at Interstate 75 and State Route 92, which is northwest of Atlanta.

Majestic’s chairman and chief executive, Edward P. Roski, Jr., is perhaps better known as the co-owner of the Los Angeles Lakers NBA franchise, the Los Angeles Kings NHL franchise and Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. He’s also in the hotel and gaming businesses, owning the Pacific Palms Resort in City of Industry and the Silverton Casino Lodge in Las Vegas.

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