New city hall offered for $7.4 million


Staff writer

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 Faison’s head.

“When it rains, it pours,” Clirehugh said. “It’s 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 Clirehugh’s offer to the exclusion of other potential sites on the table.

“Given the price, it’s 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 wasn’t 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 city’s Municipal Facility Advisory Committee studied last year, according to a financial analysis included in the committee’s 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, wouldn’t discuss touring the building or if it’s officially on a narrowed list of finalists.

Staff writer Erica Jahn: 925-5565,

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