Paul Allen to Sell a Portion of His South Lake Union Real Estate Empire

Since the 1990s Paul Allen, a co-founder of Microsoft and VP of Vulcan Real Estate, has been carefully developing real estate in the South Lake Union area.  Now he’s poised to cash in on his investments.  Previously, an underdeveloped industrial area, South Lake Union has in recent years thrived and grown to become one of the hottest commercial real estate markets in the country.  It’s a level of popularity that Allen plans to benefit from by selling the real estate and buildings which house Amazon’s headquarters so that he can develop land nearby. It isn’t clear if Amazon plans to purchase the property which it currently leases; but it may be in their interest if the price is right.  However, rumors are already buzzing that the 1.6 million square foot property may fetch as much as $1 billion.

Will the sale of the property negatively impact South Lake Union?  No, not at all, according to some long term residents.

A change of owners for the Amazon complex is unlikely to have much direct impact on South Lake Union. But Jerry Dinndorf, president of the South Lake Union Community Council, characterized it as an opportunity for the neighborhood.

“If they’re going to take the cash and use it to do more development in South Lake Union, I see it only as a good thing,” he said. (source)

While Vulcan has made it clear that they want to use this sale to diversify their real estate portfolio beyond commercial property, it is not clear at this time what type of developments they will focus on in the future.

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