Seattle Commercial Real Estate News of the Day

Friday, January 06, 2012

Seattle Times Daily Journal of Commerce Headline
Unemployment rate falls to 8.5 pct., hiring surges

Chinese developer pays $7M for site in downtown Bellevue

Prolific Seattle real-estate developer John Radovich dies The corner site at 201 106th Ave. N.E. could accommodate office, retail and housing.

A Chinese developer paid just over $7 million for a downtown Bellevue property at 201 106th Ave. N.E. where a 20-story mixed-use project can be built.

Jim Klinger, a Kidder Mathews broker who worked on the deal, said the developer is with Yogo Group. Yogo is an investment fund based in Dalian, a seaport in Northeast China that has economic ties to Bellevue and where Microsoft is expanding.

Three years ago, the two cities signed an economic exchange pact. The Bellevue property sale may be the first time that the agreement has led to a U.S. investment by someone from Dalian.

Bellevue Mayor Conrad Lee chalks up the acquisition to fate rather than the agreement, but he said it could have played a role.

The developer could not be reached. Stacey Lange, a Windermere broker who’s working with him, said he also owns commercial property on the Kirkland waterfront that he plans to redevelop, possibly into retail and office. Lange said he wants to build apartments and retail on the Bellevue site.

The developer is working with MulvannyG2 Architecture of Bellevue on both projects.

Lange said the developer also owns a handful of Eastside residential properties, and is looking to buy more commercial property. She declined to name the developer but said he has family in the Seattle area.

The developer and his wife formed a limited liability company, 12 Bellevue International Investments, to buy the downtown site, Lange said. Records list Xiao Wei Yang and Run Riang Wang, both of Bellevue, as the LLC’s governing persons.

A Taco Time and dry cleaner are on the 106th Avenue property. Klinger, who marketed the property with his son Ross, says the 25,025-square-foot site could accommodate office, retail and housing but a mixed-use complex with mostly housing is the highest and best use. He said it will take 12 to 18 months to get permits so redevelopment is a ways off.

Details about Yogo are not clear. The company’s website is in Chinese.

Conrad Lee, who is Chinese, was elected Bellevue’s first ethnic minority mayor this week. Lee said he has had lunch with the developer, and said Yogo is an investment fund with $300 million. Lee also declined to give the developer’s name.

Lee said he didn’t get a sense that the developer was buying property in Bellevue as a direct result of the economic agreement.

“In China they say the heavens and earth and the people have to line up,” Lee said, and that’s what happened in this case. Business is about relationships, he said, and partners need to be comfortable with each other. The cities’ agreement helps foster trust.

In the middle of the 20th century when communists came to power, many Chinese fled. Lee’s family moved to Hong Kong, and he came to the United States in 1958. He said he and other Chinese immigrants who came to Seattle to work for Boeing ended up in Bellevue, which has continued to attract immigrants.

Today, a third of the city’s residents are foreign-born. Bellevue’s population is 10 percent Chinese and 40 percent non-white.

“Bellevue has come of age,” said Lee.

A limited liability company, Bellevue TT, sold the site to the developer. Records show Christopher, Gayle and Mathew Tonkin, all of Renton, are the LLC’s governing persons.

Lange said the developer’s team has met with city officials in Kirkland to talk about his property there. City spokeswoman Marie Stake confirmed this and said the team has not applied for permits.

Lange declined to give the property address but said it’s near the corner of Northeast Juanita Drive and 98th Avenue Northeast, and is about 79,000 square feet. There was a restaurant on the site that’s now closed.

Public records show that a husband and wife, Xiaowei Yang and Runxiang Wang of Bellevue, last year paid $850,000 for a property that is similar to the one Lange described. It’s at 11451 98th Ave. N.E. A corporation called Renoc was the seller.

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About CRE Northwest

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