Business

OPG sells offices, land to Safeway; will move to Union Bank building

POULSBO — Safeway has taken another step toward building a store, gas station and pharmacy in Poulsbo, acquiring the Pope Resources office building and land at 10th Avenue and Lincoln Road.

Pope Resources announced Tuesday that it sold the headquarters of Olympic Property Group, its real estate subsidiary, to Safeway for $2.9 million.

"We were approached a couple years ago by Safeway, which had an interest in constructing a new store on the site occupied by our current 10,000-square-foot office building, plus an adjoining parcel owned by a third party," said David L. Nunes, president and CEO. "We are pleased to announce this sale to Safeway has closed, which will enable the relocation of our headquarters to another Poulsbo address later this year."

Pope Resources bought the 30,000-square-foot Union Bank building on 7th Avenue in May 2011 for $3.2 million. OPG will share the building with Union Bank.

In other Pope Resources news, the company closed its third investment Timber Fund and sold nearly 2,000 acres to Tacoma Power as a conservation easement.

Pope Resources announced the Olympic Resource Management Timber Fund III has closed, after raising $180 million from investors to buy timber properties in Washington and Oregon.

"We now have $171 million of timberland assets under management in our first two funds and the closing of this third fund represents yet another significant step forward in the execution of our private equity timber fund strategy," Nunes said. "Through our co-investment we have been able to spread our capital over a larger timberland portfolio than we could acquire on our own which has led to increasing economies of scale and serves to reduce the cost of managing the Partnership's existing tree farms while simultaneously generating fees from management of fund assets."

Tom Ringo, chief financial officer, added, "Investing in real assets in this time of economic uncertainty is very attractive [to investors]. The company has three years to find and purchase forest land, and has 10 years before the fund ends and investments returned.”

Pope Resources also sold approximately 1,850 acres of working timberland and wildlife habitat, in the area above Lewis County’s Riffe Lake, to Tacoma Power, which will be protected from commercial or residential development. The sale was negotiated by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and brokered by Forterra (formerly Cascade Land Conservancy), an environmental nonprofit which proposed the transaction.

The easement was purchased using mitigation funding for the Cowlitz River Hydroelectric Project; the price was unavailable.

 

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