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New city hall offered for $7.4 million
By ERICA JAHN
For a year, Mark Clirehugh has been trying to get Federal Way officials to take a look at one of the buildings he brokers as a possibility to house city government, cops and courts. Tuesday night, the city finally heard him.
Clirehugh, vice president of commercial real estate firm Insignia Kidder Mathews, used the City Council meeting to publicly make an unsolicited offer of the Paragon building an 86,000-square-foot, glass-fronted office building located just behind the current City Hall for a price that turned even Councilman Eric Faisons head.
When it rains, it pours, Clirehugh said. Its a hell of an offer on the table.
Insignia Kidder Mathews is offering the building for $7.45 million, which makes it the least costly option the city has seen for a new municipal facility. If the city were to invest $2.5 million in tenant improvements, the total cost for the nine-year-old building would be $10 million, Clirehugh said.
The city has budgeted $24 million for a new city hall. Officials have also discussed building a $10 million community center which could be included as part of city hall complex.
Faison, a longtime proponent of building a new municipal facility downtown, suggested that the city move forward with Clirehughs offer to the exclusion of other potential sites on the table.
Given the price, its quite compelling to me, Faison said, though he added the Paragon building would be, in his opinion, a temporary stay for the city while it prepared for an eventual move downtown.
Councilman Dean McColgan said he wasnt ready to pick just one site, but said the Paragon building is a very attractive offer well within the requirements set forward.
Council members discussed their options during an executive session Tuesday, but declined later to speak publicly about their conversation.
Clirehugh said there is strong interest in the Paragon building among city officials. The tides are turning, he said.
Two other companies also made unsolicited offers for possible municipal facility sites.
Jones Lang LaSalle, a tenant representation group in Seattle, offered to sell or lease the former Capital One building at 32123 32nd Ave. The sale price was undisclosed.
John L. Scott sent the city a bid for an 8.55-acre parcel of vacant property located at the corner of First Avenue South and South 348th Street for $2.5 million.
Until Insignia Kidder Mathews offer, the $18 million estimated to expand at the current City Hall site was the cheapest option the citys Municipal Facility Advisory Committee studied last year, according to a financial analysis included in the committees report to the council in December.
The investment company that owns the Paragon building, Portland-based ScanlanKemperBard, wanted to sell the building to move on to other projects, Clirehugh said.
The two-story building, located at 33325 Eighth Ave. S., has enough room to house all the functions city officials identified.
City officials, citing executive session restrictions, wouldnt discuss touring the building or if its officially on a narrowed list of finalists.
Staff writer Erica Jahn: 925-5565, email@example.com