Seattle's Smith Tower sold for nearly $37 million

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SEATTLE (AP) -- Seattle's historic Smith Tower was sold Friday for nearly $37 million in a foreclosure auction on the steps of the King County Administration Building.

The buyer is CBRE Capital of New York, which acquired the delinquent mortgage last fall after Chicago-based Walton Street Capital defaulted on $43 million in loans. When it bought the building in 2006 it intended to convert the tower into condos, but the condo market collapsed in the recession.

The Seattle Times reports (http://is.gd/7aIvBh ) most foreclosure auctions in Washington result in the lender taking the property.

When it was built in 1914 the Pioneer Square landmark was known as the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. The building is now mostly vacant and rents don't cover operating expenses.

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Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com