Boeing sells its Commercial Airplanes headquarters for $100M, completing its local real estate divestments

Boeing has finalized the sale of its Commercial Airplanes headquarters campus at Longacres, which was put on the market in April.

The buyer is Unico Properties, a subsidiary of a Seattle-based private equity real estate investment firm. The company did not disclose the purchase price but a person with knowledge of the sale gave it as $100 million.

In a news release Unico said it bought the site for its location near commuter rail, the Southcenter mall and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport as a “transit-oriented investment.”

The sale completes a series of large real estate divestments by Boeing this year, driven by its need to drastically slash costs during the pandemic-driven aviation downturn.

The site included not only the headquarters building but another building that once housed Boeing’s state-of-the-art training facilities and full-flight simulators. Pilots and airline mechanics used to come there from around the globe before Boeing moved the simulators to Miami and dispersed the training to other facilities.

Boeing bought the site 31 years ago, displacing the former Longacres horse-racing track.

The lavish flight training center opened first and cost $65 million to build, according to former Boeing Vice President Peter Morton, who finalized the details.

Morton rented a grand piano and commissioned music by Seattle-based pianist and composer Walt Wagner to be played at the opening ceremony in 1995.

Earlier this year Boeing had already sold off:

For the Bellevue offices, Boeing agreed to a lease to continue occupying that office park for two years.

The only Boeing property left on the market is a tiny, quarter-acre parcel on Beacon Hill, the site of a former radio tower.

Ned Carner, Unico chief investment officer, in a statement touted the 150-acre Longacre campus’s “enviable connectivity and a park-like setting,” which includes two large ponds, an apple orchard and a 1-mile walking trail.

It encompasses 962,800 commercial square feet between two large office buildings as well as a day care facility and about 2,150 parking stalls. It’s located 3 miles from the Tukwila Transit Center with next-stop access to downtown Seattle.

Unico plans capital investments to refresh and modernize the properties, the company said.

Correction: A previous version of this story mistakenly conflated two separate occasions when Boeing VP Peter Morton ordered a piano for the company.
For the 1995 opening ceremony of the flight training center at Longacres, Morton rented a grand piano for pianist Walt Wagner, who performed with the Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra and The Boeing Choir.
It was four years later that he bought a $17,000 Baldwin grand piano, which he installed at the Boeing Leadership Center in St Louis for the social side of the executive retreats there.