The city of Seattle has recently acquired its first IPO building through LEX, a real estate investment platform founded by Drew Sterrett and Jesse Daugherty.
In May, LEX announced that New York City’s first IPO of a building — 296 Lenox Avenue in Harlem — began trading under the ticker symbol TESLU. Now LEX has expanded even more with SOLIS, an award-winning multifamily and retail asset in Seattle.
SOLIS is located in Seattle’s Capitol Hill, on the popular Pine-Pike corridor, surrounded by restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, tech companies and universities. The building, at 1300 East Pike Street, is a six-story mixed-use building with 34,260 square feet of total rentable space (5,960 square feet across three retail units on the first floor and 28,300 square feet across 45 residential units on floors two through six). The building is currently 100% leased. According to LEX COO Monica Swinney, SOLIS is also close to both Amazon and Salesforce, making it a prime location for employees of the two companies.
“It’s a great asset,” said Swinney. “And it’s very sustainable.”
Swinney explained that the building meets Passive House standards, a voluntary set of regulations for energy efficiency in a building. Passive House construction reduces the building’s ecological footprint and makes it so that the building requires little energy for space heating or cooling.
According to Swinney, LEX worked with the owners of SOLIS to understand the building’s background and get it set up as an IPO.
“Every building has a story,” Swinney said, “And [LEX] really wants to look for the building story, understand the building story. People go in, bang on the walls, go to the basement, check out the elevators. Part of the diligence process is really trying to understand, what is the story of the building? Why would an investor want to own it?”
The owners of SOLIS, Swinney said, are based in the Pacific Northwest, and they know and understand the area well. They wanted to retain the building while having a source of liquidity for it, which is where LEX comes in to open the building up to investors large and small.
Now, like LEX’s Harlem building, SOLIS is being offered as an IPO, open to all U.S. investors. Investors can buy in for as little as $250.
“We’re already seeing demand,” Swinney said. “Investors can go in, and you can buy as little as one share if you want to.”
The Seattle building is very different from LEX’s Harlem building, Swinney noted, but the specific IPOs cater to different investors’ interests.
“One of the ideas behind LEX is that people can create their own bespoke portfolio of individual assets that makes sense in terms of what they care about investing in,” Swinney said. “You could have an investor who really cares about the green element of the Seattle asset, and that’s great. You could have another investor who really is New York-based like I am and wants to have some real estate ownership in the city that they live in.”
For interested investors, shares of SOLIS are now available, and you can purchase those shares directly through the LEX platform. The IPO will close once all shares are allocated, after which they will be open for trading and assigned a ticker. At that point, shares will trade on the secondary market during standard market hours, just like any other stock.