Historic high-rise will be at completion the tallest residential building in Downtown Core
SEATTLE (June 15, 2020) — Real estate investment and operating firm Unico Properties LLC, a subsidiary of Unico Investment Group LLC, and Pinnacle Partners, a boutique Qualified Opportunity Zone investment firm, formally announced Washington Building Apartments, their 18-story, 156-unit historic multifamily development in downtown Tacoma. Expected to deliver in early summer 2022, the vintage apartments will feature expansive views of the city and Puget Sound, and a unique tenant lounge in the building’s historic bank vault. The rooftop and penthouse space—which historically housed Tacoma’s medical Scientific Zoo—will be transformed into a first-of-its-kind rooftop amenity deck with uncompromising views of the Sound and Washington’s famed mountain ranges. The project will be redeveloped as part of a single-asset joint venture between Unico and Pinnacle Partners’ respective Qualified Opportunity Zone Funds, which acquired the property in May. Unico is developing the $60 million project on behalf of its and Pinnacle Partners’ QOZF investors.
“Unico have had an ownership presence in Tacoma for 22 years—and we’re proud to partner with Pinnacle Partners to undertake this once-in-a-generation opportunity to rehabilitate a beloved landmark and deliver to the market its only vintage urban residential high-rise experience,” said Ned Carner, Unico Chief Investment Officer. “We are excited to soon embark the revitalization of Tacoma’s historic downtown building, bringing residents and activity back to the heart of the city, and spurring new life and vitality after hours.”
Unico deeply appreciates the City of Tacoma for their insights and input in helping us to achieve our vision to restore this beloved building in the heart of Tacoma and bring it back to its original glory
“This project is a testament to the value the Opportunity Zone program can unlock especially in underinvested, historic neighborhoods,” said Jeff Feinstein, a managing partner and principal at Pinnacle Partners. “Unico’s deep relationship with lenders, their expertise in rehabilitating and adapting historic properties, and their commitment to our downtown communities was a great match for Pinnacle Partners.”
“Unico deeply appreciates the City of Tacoma for their insights and input in helping us to achieve our vision to restore this beloved building in the heart of Tacoma and bring it back to its original glory,” said Julie Currier, Unico Vice President of Development, who is managing the development of the project.
Built in 1925, the Washington Building Apartments has been an important part of the fabric of Downtown Tacoma. It was the tallest building in Tacoma and the second tallest in Pacific Northwest, behind Smith Tower in Seattle’s Pioneer Square, when it was completed. Unico acquired the building in 2017 in an off-market purchase and worked with the City of Tacoma on the preservation of the historic façade, which was completed last year. Unico sought and received landmark status for the building from the National Parks and City of Tacoma in 2018. Demolition work will begin in July 2020 followed by 21 months of construction set to start later this year.
About Unico Properties LLC
Unico Properties LLC, a subsidiary of Unico Investment Group LLC, is a commercial real estate investor, developer, and full-service operator focused on office and multifamily assets in emerging markets throughout the United States. Founded in 1953, Unico has been transforming the built environment by creating innovative, people-focused building experiences through a cadre of subsidiary companies that deliver boutique expertise and institutional execution for its own accounts and select third-party clients. The private equity real estate investment firm currently owns and operates 18 million square feet of commercial properties across the United States and continues to grow. For more information about Unico, please visit the firm’s website at http://www.sorghumandstarch.com.
About Pinnacle Partners
Pinnacle Partners is a source of strategic capital for select JV Partnerships that include developers, owners and users with actionable opportunities in target Opportunity Zone markets. These relationships provide us with a unique sourcing advantage, as well as local market development and repositioning expertise http://www.pinnacleoz.com
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- Washington Building Apartments isn’t the only historic conversion Unico has done: in 2007, the company successfully converted the historic Cobb Building into apartments. Read about how Unico did it in this adaptive reuse case study about The Cobb Building.
- Want to learn more about the history of the Washington Building Apartments? Brian Miller on the history of the Washington Building Apartments in a story for Seattle’s Daily Journal of Commerce.
- Did you know that the Washington Building Apartments used to house a Scientific Zoo on its rooftop? Read this Grit City article on Tacoma’s only rooftop menagerie.