Puget Sound Retail Portfolio Sells for $175 Million

by Nate Hunter

Seattle — The portfolio includes 15 grocery stores leased to Haggen Foods and Top Foods grocery stores.

Seattle  — MGP X Properties LLC, a real estate development, investment and management firm, has purchased a portfolio of 15 grocery stores located throughout the Puget Sound and Oregon region for $175 million from Briar Development.

The acquisition includes 15 operating sites leased to Haggen Foods and Top Foods grocery stores, in addition to five undeveloped sites for future development. All but one of the properties is located in the Puget Sound area, and the other is located in Oregon.

Paul Sleeth and Billy Sleeth of Colliers International’s Seattle office represented Bethesda, Md.-based MGP X in the transaction.

Briar Development is the real estate holding company for the Haggen family, a Bellingham, Wash.-based owner and operator of grocery stores in the Northwest. In 2011, the Haggen family sold a majority of its ownership interest in the Haggen Foods and Top Foods grocery chains to Comvest, a private investment firm based in Florida.

Syndicators and private families with an established presence in the Seattle-Tacoma market are able to secure attractive debt for their retail holdings, according to Marcus & Millichap. Greater access to financing has led to a surge in retail acquisitions in the area.

The ongoing tech boom in the region has drive the uptick in retail activity in the Washington area, with companies like Twitter, Amazon, Facebook and Google expanding in the region.

The unemployment rate has dipped below 8 percent, and retail sales have risen approximately 7 percent in this past year.

The median price for multi-tenant retail properties in the area is up 33 percent to $177 per square foot, according to Marcus & Millichap. Low interest rates and increased competition have compressed cap rates to the mid-7 to mid 8-percent range.

— Nellie Day and John Nelson

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