Developer doubles down on Lacey, buys 5 more office buildings in city’s Midtown

By Rolf Boone

July 07, 2021 05:30 AM, The Olympian

Over the past decade, Kirkland developer MJR Development has acquired office buildings and land near Lacey’s Huntamer Park, infusing what was once a largely vacant and inactive area with new tenants and projects that it calls The Hub.

And the company has done it again, acquiring eight buildings out of bankruptcy for $50 million, including five in Lacey’s Midtown and one office building at 5000 Capitol Boulevard Southeast in Tumwater, MJR partner Mike McClure said Tuesday. The two other properties are in Seattle and Wenatchee.

The transaction closed Friday, McClure said.

MJR’s earlier efforts brought the steakhouse Ricardo’s to Midtown, as well as South Sound Behavioral Hospital and the state Utilities and Transportation Commission offices.

“We are very bullish on Lacey,” McClure said. “We like the city, we like the business friendly environment and we have been fairly successful there. We have doubled down on the area.”

The eight buildings total just under 300,000 square feet, with the five Lacey buildings representing about 200,000 square feet of that total.

Two of the buildings are occupied by state office tenants and three of them are vacant, McClure said.

The two occupied buildings at 640 Woodland Square Loop and 4565 Seventh Ave. SE overlook Huntamer Park, while the three vacant buildings can be found at 645 Woodland Square Loop, 637 Woodland Square Loop and 629 Woodland Square Loop.

The 5,700-square-foot building at 645 Woodland Square Loop once housed the state Department of Licensing. Details about other current and former tenants were not immediately available.

McClure said the two largest buildings — which are also the occupied buildings — were recently renovated, and MJR has plans to renovate the three remaining buildings.

MJR also has started work on a new 151-unit apartment building on Sixth Avenue Southeast called the Hub Apartments. It is expected to be home to a tap room and have 119 studio apartments, targeting students in the area. South Puget Sound Community College’s Lacey campus is nearby.

McClure said the new apartments are expected to open in September 2022.

July 9, 2021
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