Tacoma's historic Webster apartments have a new Seattle owner

Tacoma News TribuneMarch 12, 2014 

The Webster Apartments, 629 St. Helens Ave., shown March 12, 2014.

KATHLEEN COOPER — Staff writer

After years of looking, a group of Seattle private investors found a foothold in Tacoma with its purchase of the historic Webster Apartments in downtown’s Triangle neighborhood.

“I think you’ve caught the wave in Tacoma,” Jeff Tilden said Wednesday. Tilden is one of several people, most from Seattle, who pooled their money to buy the Webster. “Y’all have done so much with the town in the past 20 years. It’s been wonderful to watch. We are excited about owning something in Tacoma.”

Tilden and his partners, two of whom are his brothers, paid $3 million for the 1903 building at 629 St. Helens Ave. It has retailers on the ground floor above three stories of apartments. It’s been on the city’s historic register since 2003.

The $3 million sale closed in February. Tilden, a lawyer, said this is the first property in Tacoma that his group has been able to buy, though they’ve been looking for awhile.

“We’ve always been beaten out by people who are prepared to pay more,” he said. “It’s hard for one person to amass enough money to buy a large building in Tacoma. But it’s easier for couples who work and save.”

The Webster is just south of another historic landmark recently purchased by Seattle investors. Ethos Property Group bought The Walker last summer. Both properties share a property management company.

Tilden and his partners plan to spend about $500,000 on remodeling the apartments and common areas this summer. He said the building is in great shape, and he and his partners plan to own the building for some time.

“We’re long-term buy-and-hold people,” he said. “We believe in the area.”

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