Seattle Commercial Real Estate News of the Day

Monday, November 21, 2011

Seattle Times Daily Journal of Commerce Headline
Onslow’s projects help shape Seattle neighborhoods Port may put a hotel in Sea-Tac
Apartment builders target long-ignored Interbay Travelers looking to spend the night near Sea-Tac International Airport could soon have a new option.

The Port of Seattle is soliciting hotel development firms to see if any are interested in building a hotel adjacent to the main terminal or the parking garage. The port’s request for expressions of interest said the hotel could be upscale because there is a “lack of significant upscale supply within the market area.”

Perry Cooper, a spokesman for the Port of Seattle, said the request is “exploratory” — a chance to see what developers think of the idea.

Responses are due Dec. 7 and could be followed by a request for qualifications and proposals to select a developer. A notice appeared in the DJC Nov. 18.

A new off-site rental car complex opening next April will free up space in the terminal parking garage for the hotel, Cooper said.

The port is proposing three possible sites for a hotel, ranging from 1.5 to 1.9 acres. The largest sites are adjacent to the north and south ends of the main terminal. None of the proposed sites would involve placing the hotel within the airport’s screened passenger zone.

After seeing declines in passenger volumes during the recession, Sea-Tac expects this year will be its busiest yet, Cooper said. That would mean surpassing the 32.2 million passenger count the airport saw in 2008.

With so much activity, now could be a good time to advance new development proposals, he said.

Andy Olson, a vice president at Columbia Hospitality, has been advising the Port of Seattle on the possible hotel development.

“If you look around the country, in-terminal hotels have significant advantages,” he said, citing their accessibility to transportation, parking and terminals.

A 500-room Westin hotel is under construction in a terminal at Denver International Airport, and others are in place in airports in Chicago, Dallas and Orlando.

With proximity to the light-rail line and rental car facilities, an in-terminal hotel at Sea-Tac could be popular with most types of travelers, including people on business and leisure trips, Olson said.

Cooper said there are no plans so far for financing the hotel, including any use of public funds.

Plans for a 14-story, 385-room Westin hotel at Sea-Tac came under criticism in the late 1990s after King County offered $8 million in loan guarantees in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Federal Aviation Administration also expressed concern about the design of the hotel, and it was never built.

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About CRE Northwest

Specialist in office & investment real estate in Seattle & the Eastside
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