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UPDATE – Surplus: State finds buyer for old Personnel office in Olympia; plan is for street-level shops with housing above

Post by Brad Shannon / The Olympian on April 4, 2013 at 1:38 pm with No Comments »
April 4, 2013 4:56 pm

The Department of Enterprise Services says the former Department of Personnel building at 600 Franklin St. in downtown Olympia has been sold for $2.7 million. The buyer is Walker John, who also redeveloped the Cunningham Building on Fourth Avenue, agency spokesman Steve Valandra said.

The asking price for the 27,000 square foot building was $2.8 million and the sale includes a 119-stall parking lot. The state bought the former Sears hardware store building in 1983 and used it for the Personnel agency that was merged two years ago into Enterprise Services and the Office of Financial Management.

John put down $50,000 in earnest money in the past week and the sale is expected to close by June 30. The property was one of several designated as surplus during the Great Recession and governor Chris Gregoire proposed they be sold.

UPDATE: Chris Lane, a Coldwell Banker realty broker working with the buyer, said John “plans to turn the first floor into retail and or office. And the second floor is going to be residential” with roughly 30 market-rate units. Lane said a similar but smaller project renovating the Cunningham Building at Adams and Fourth went so well they decided to move onto a more ambitious project.

Valandra said the sale money would go into the sate general fund.

There appears to be a pickup of interest in state surplus property. Among properties sold in the past year were the Everett armory, two Department of Fish and Wildlife properties sold for $925,000 near the Olympia Farmers Market, and the Rowesix Office buildings in Lacey sold for just over $4 million.

Gregoire’s final capital budget issued last year also recommended the sale of the Olympia and Puyallup armories and replacement with a single new readiness facility for the Military Department.

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