Ten office buildings largely occupied by state agencies - most of them in South Sound - are being managed by an Olympia commercial real estate company after the properties fell into default, the president and chief executive of the real estate business said Tuesday.
The Rants Group of Olympia was appointed receiver in Thurston County Superior Court to be the property manager and leasing agent for 10 buildings in Lacey, Olympia, Shelton and Port Angeles, President and Chief Executive Pat Rants said. Their work started Dec. 2, he said.
“Our charge from the court is to make sure that the values of the assets don’t deteriorate and to try and improve the value of the assets, if at all possible,” he said.
Seven of the buildings are in the Woodland Square Loop area of Lacey, one is in downtown Olympia, one is in Shelton and one is in Port Angeles, Rants said. Overall, the 10 buildings total 285,000 square feet with a vacancy rate of 22 percent, he said.
The Lacey buildings have about 55,000 square feet of available space, Rants said.
The properties are owned by an “entity” of Prium, a Tacoma company that is considered one of the state’s largest state agency landlords. A Prium representative could not be reached Tuesday.
Rants said the property fell into default, and then the lender, Wells Fargo, appealed to Superior Court to name a receiver.
The Rants Group is not the only receiver to be handling Prium property; Ted Durant & Associates is the receiver of Rock Pointe Holdings LLC in Spokane, said Steve Valandra, a spokesman for the state Department of General Administration. Four state agencies have 11 leases in the property owned by Rock Pointe, he said.
Among the buildings being managed by The Rants Group in Lacey and Olympia, the tenants include the state Employment Security Department, the state Department of Early Learning, the state Health Care Authority and the state Department of Corrections.
The fact that the buildings are in receivership does not affect the tenants, Valandra said.
The Port Angeles property is occupied by two federal agencies and an optometrist, and the Shelton office is home to Behavioral Health Resources, Rants said.
Rants said he expects more commercial property defaults as a result of the slower economy.
The slower residential real estate market led the country into recession, and now the commercial real estate market is being affected by job losses, loss of values, higher vacancies and refinancing issues, he said.
“The value of the property has dropped, and lender requirements are much tighter,” Rants said.
The Rants Group also is trying to sell a two-story office building in Lacey that was repossessed by its lender through the foreclosure process, he said.
Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 email@example.com www.theolympian.com/bizblog