A landmark could be preserved and the City could indeed receive a better price by proving incremental value above a clear baseline.
One of the key strategic drivers behind the City of Seattle’s decision to purchase the 62-story Seattle Municipal Tower was the desire to consolidate city departments into one central space. Once the Tower transaction was complete, the city faced another real estate and public relations challenge: what to do with the city-owned 15-story Dexter Horton Building, a much-loved historic landmark in need of extensive rehabilitation. Again, the City turned to Kinzer.
The first order of business was to articulate the whole of the public-sector challenge: How to secure the highest price possible, identify a buyer qualified to rehab a historic building, and satisfy the public’s demand that Dexter Horton remain a cultural landmark. To address all, Kinzer conducted an in-depth analysis of all of the alternatives well ahead of the marketing and buyer selection process. Moreover, Kinzer managed negotiations with a fully drafted back-up offer in place to preclude any retrading.
The City was able to close the sale to a developer with stellar historic rehabilitation experience for $46 million, $10 million over the back-up offer. In addition, Kinzer negotiated staggered leases, to provide the City with flexibility during the move to Seattle Municipal Tower.
Today, Dexter Horton is beautifully renovated and stands as a proud architectural reminder of Seattle’s history.