It’s been years since Seattle-headquartered Goodman Real Estate has developed a project in Tacoma, but now it’s planning a sizable development where Kmart operated until closing four years ago.
Goodman recently paid $14 million for the 10.6-acre property at 5132 Sixth Ave., in the Central Tacoma neighborhood up the street from the Tacoma Boys market off of Highway 16. Goodman plans a three-story project with up to 400 units, company President George Petrie said.
“It’s become very, very difficult to develop in the city of Seattle. The suburbs have started to capture some of that growth, and Tacoma has such a pro-business focus,” Petrie said. “We’ve been bullish about the Tacoma market.” The company owns 30 multifamily properties in Pierce County totaling around 4,750 units.
Over the last year, average one-bedroom rents in Tacoma have increased 19% to $1,423, according to apartment search website Zumper, though that’s 11% lower than a month ago.
The seller, San Francisco-headquartered Merlone Geier Partners, which invests in West Coast retail properties, bought the property eight years ago for $5.5 million. The company’s website shows it owns 26 properties in the Puget Sound region.
Studio Meng Strazzara will design the apartment building for Goodman, which builds its own projects. Petrie said that ideally construction on the market-rate project will begin in 10 to 12 months. He said it is too early to discuss development costs and financing.
A year ago, just as the pandemic hit, Merlone Geier Partners said it was seeking office and retail tenants for a large project near the Lynnwood Transit Center and future Link light rail station. The phased project ultimately will have about 500,000 square feet of office space, 250,000 square feet of retail and 1,370 apartments.
Seattle brokers Kenny Dudunankis, Ben Johnson and David Sorensen of Berkadia put the Kmart deal together, representing both the buyer and the seller.