Des Moines, Not Seattle, is Home to the Real Estate Deal of the Year

Monday, November 7th 2016

As new office towers rise in the Puget Sound region’s urban areas, it’s a suburban project that was named real estate Deal of the Year Friday at a gala in Bellevue.

Panattoni won the award for a five-story Des Moines building, which will house the Federal Aviation Administration’s Northwest headquarters when construction is finished in 2018. The federal government signed a 20-year lease worth up to an estimated $210 million, and some 1,600 people will work in the nearly 300,000-square-foot building. The Des Moines office will allow the FAA to consolidate the operations of four offices in Renton and SeaTac.

Panattoni wins commercial real estate award for Des Moines building to house FAA’s Northwest headquarters – Puget Sound Business Journal

The FAA project is part of the transformative 87-acre Des Moines Creek Business Park development. Located on Port of Seattle land south of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the property was a residential neighborhood in the late 1980s, when the port started buying out homeowners as part of a jet-noise mitigation program.

It took years to get the project off the ground with a couple false starts. The port initially picked a Southern California company to develop a big-box retail center and other commercial space, but the recession shelved that project. Later, Bellevue-based Benaroya was going to develop a large facility for Puget Sound Energy, but PSE later decided not to consolidate operations in Des Moines.

The port in 2013 selected Panattoni, a privately held, Newport Beach, California-based company with an office in Renton, to develop the business park.

The other Deal of the Year finalist was Google’s (Nasdaq: GOOG) planned campus in South Lake Union. Vulcan Real Estate is the developer of t he four-building project with 607,000 square feet of office and 151 apartments.

Industry trade group NAIOP sponsors the awards presented at the group’s Night of the Stars event. The Puget Sound Business Journal, the event’s media sponsor, on Friday is publishing an insert listing the finalists and winners in a range of categories, from Technology/Life Sciences Development of the Year to Developer of the Year.