Seattle moves to sell Mercer Mega Block to developer for record-breaking $143.5M
Seattletimes.com - Wed 7 Aug 20:00 GMT

Developer Alexandria Real Estate Equities is known for developing life science and technology campuses. The sale would be the largest made by the city within Seattle, officials said.

  Seattle is in negotiations with a developer to sell a string of properties in South Lake Union known as the Mercer Mega Block for $143.5 million, Mayor Jenny Durkan said Wednesday.

  The much anticipated sale would be the highest-value sale of city property within Seattle, the mayor’s office said.

  Alexandria Real Estate Equities, a firm known for developing life science and technology campuses, submitted the leading offer for the property and has negotiated a memorandum of understanding for development of the property, officials said.

  “This is one of the most consequential property deals the city of Seattle has ever done, certainly in my lifetime,” Durkan said at a press briefing last week.

  The mayor’s office said it plans to use $78.2 million of the sale for housing purposes, such as acquiring property for affordable development and providing loans for the construction of accessory dwelling units, such as backyard cottages and mother-in-law apartments.

  Meanwhile, the office said $25.9 million will go toward transportation projects and $29.1 million will help repay loans borrowed from different city departments for projects like the Mercer Corridor and South Lake Union streetcar.

  After a process that narrowed down seven initial proposals for the Mercer site, Alexandria made a best and final offer that “pretty much moved their (initial) price up about 40 percent,” said Steven Shain, with the city’s budget office.