Seattle’s PEMCO Insurance looking for new headquarters

Seattle-based PEMCO Insurances plans to sell its headquarters building along South Lake Union and look for a new location nearby better suited to its workforce, the company confirmed Wednesday.

PEMCO’s building is on a city block, just next door to the REI flagship store that is visible from Interstate 5. The property has served as the company’s headquarters since 1949.

At one time, the building served as the location not just for PEMCO but for other businesses, company spokesman Jon Osterberg said. Now just 350 of PEMCO’s 630 employees work there, he said, and the company needs a headquarters better suited to its size. PEMCO will maintain its offices in Lynnwood and Spokane.

In the release from brokerage Cushman & Wakefield, PEMCO CEO Stan McNaughton is quoted as saying the company plans to find its new headquarters nearby. “We want to stay close to the vibrancy, creativity, and growth happening in the South Lake Union neighborhood,” he is quoted as saying.

Osterberg said the company’s preferred option would be to build on land it owns almost two blocks away, on a half-block north of Cascade Park. Since a new building takes several years to finish, PEMCO would like to lease its offices back from any potential new owner.

The current headquarters is on approximately 90,000 square feet of land, according to the news release. It consists of two adjoining office buildings totaling approximately 168,260 square feet, a stand-alone parking structure that provides more than 300 parking stalls and approximately 30,000 square feet of underutilized developable land, Cushman says.