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Originally published November 1, 2012 at 5:37 PM | Page modified November 2, 2012 at 1:44 PM

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Denny Triangle apartment sale sets record

37-story Denny Triangle tower sells for $166 million, or $510,000 per unit

Seattle Times business reporter

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Aspira, a 37-story Denny Triangle apartment tower completed in 2010, was sold Thursday for what one researcher says is the highest price ever for an apartment project in King County.

Developer Harbor Urban was paid about $165.7 million for the 325-unit building, according to county records. That tops the $164 million Equity Residential paid for downtown’s 730-unit Harbor Steps in 2005, said Mike Scott, of Dupre + Scott Apartment Advisors.

The Aspira deal breaks down to about $510,000 per unit. That’s also a record, Scott said, easily surpassing the old record of about $418,000 per unit.

Aspira’s buyer is identified in records as T-C Aspira, of Newport Beach, Calif. That corporation doesn’t appear in the Washington Secretary of State’s database and information about it wasn’t immediately available.

The tower, built on the site of a former church-parking lot at Terry Avenue and Stewart Street, has 6,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. It has been on the market for a year.

Harbor Urban announced in May that the building was fully leased

The transaction is the biggest so far in what’s shaping up as a bumper year for apartment sales in Seattle.

Sixty-four King County projects with 20 or more units had sold through mid-October for a total of $1.19 billion, according to Dupre + Scott. That compares with 60 sales totaling $913 million for all of last year.

And 2011 was the best year since 2008.

Investors are buying Seattle apartment buildings now because the city is experiencing job growth that’s expected to continue, said Greg Laycock, executive vice president and managing director at the Seattle office of brokerage Transwestern.

Rents also are forecast to rise, he said: “This market is on everyone’s hit list.”

Eric Pryne: epryne@seattletimes.com or 206-464-2231

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