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CBRE Arranges Largest Single Asset Sale on the West Coast Since 2006

Russell Investments Center in Seattle Trades for $480M

SEATTLE, Wash.  (April 20, 2012) -- CBRE announced the sale of Russell Investments Center in Seattle for $480 million, the largest single asset office sale in the Western United States since 2006.  The seller of the 872,026 square foot, Class A+ office building was Northwestern Mutual, the financial security company headquartered in Milwaukee that has been serving clients for more than 155 years.  The buyer was CommonWealth Partners, a privately held real estate investment, development and management firm based in Los Angeles.  This trophy property, which was constructed in 2006, is located at 1301 Second Avenue in the heart of the Seattle Central Business District and is currently 95 percent leased.

CBRE Vice Chairman Kevin Shannon led the team that handled the sale on behalf of Northwestern Mutual. Members included Todd Tydlaska and Ken White of CBRE’s Institutional Group, along with Seattle market investment experts Tom Pehl, Tom Abbott and Lou Senini. 

Russell Investments Center is one of only eight Class A office buildings constructed in the last ten years in the Seattle CBD and at 42-stories, is the tallest new high-rise building in the CBD.

“This is a best-in-class building that is widely considered one of the top three assets in the entire Seattle market. Its premiere location, unobstructed water views, LEED Platinum status, and exceptional credit tenant base made for a highly competitive bid process,” said Mr. Shannon.  “There were 34 prospective buyer tours of the asset, which is highly unusual for a deal of this size and demonstrates the tremendous amount of capital that exists for core CBD assets.  This is especially true in rising markets, like Seattle, that are experiencing strong job growth resulting in aggressive rent growth.”

In the past 24 months, the building has increased its occupancy from 30 percent to 95 percent, according to CBRE leasing agents Jesse Ottele, Brandon Weber and Owen Rice who represented Northwestern Mutual in the leasing of the property and assisted in the sale.  Over 50 percent of the building’s diverse tenant roster includes investment grade tenants from the technology, bio-tech, retail, and finance industries. No changes are expected for major project tenants, including Russell Investments, JP Morgan Chase, Boeing, Zillow and Nordstrom. 

We are pleased to have generated significant value for our policyowners with this transaction,” said Paul Hanson, managing director, Northwestern Mutual real estate investments. “Our real estate investment strategy typically focuses on long-term holds, but the Seattle real estate market rebounded more quickly than we anticipated and we were able to realize significant gains in a fairly short period of time.” 

“CommonWealth is very pleased to expand its presence in the Seattle market with the addition of this premier quality asset to our portfolio,” said Rick Lewis, Partner with CommonWealth who notes that in addition to Russell Investments Center, CommonWealth owns and operates Safeco Center located just a few blocks away.  “These investments are well-positioned to benefit from the continued momentum in the leasing market. With over $5.0 billion of capital to invest, CWP will continue to look for opportunities to expand in the Seattle area and across major US markets over the next several years.” 

About CBRE Group, Inc.
CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm (in terms of 2011 revenue).  The Company has approximately 34,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through more than 300 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers strategic advice and execution for property sales and leasing; corporate services; property, facilities and project management; mortgage banking; appraisal and valuation; development services; investment management; and research and consulting. Please visit our Web site at www.cbre.com.

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