Sea Mar Community Health Centers purchases Tacoma site


Sea Mar Community Health Centers purchased the Merit Building on April 29 for $6.22 million.

Lee & Associates

A healthcare entity recently invested in some Tacoma real estate with its purchase of a downtown building.

Seattle-based Sea Mar Community Health Centers purchased the Merit Building, 615 S. Ninth Street in Tacoma, for $6.22 million.

The building’s namesake is tied to Merit Construction of Lakewood, founded by the late EJ “Jimmy” Zarelli, and was built in 1975.

The seller was a Lakewood-based LLC representing the Carl and Leonard Zarelli family LLCs.

According to a release announcing the sale, Sea Mar Community Health will occupy the top two floors, or approximately 18,000 square feet, of the 3-story building. The first floor of the 28,050 square foot building is leased to two other tenants.

In the early 1990s, the building played a key role in the redevelopment of county offices to provide more space for criminal proceedings at the County-City Building and for it to focus on courthouse function.

In recent years, promotional material online has shown portions or the entire Merit building available to tenants.

John Bauder and Harrison Laird of Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services represented the seller. Brian Petro of Horizon Real Estate Group represented Sea Mar.

Bauder and Laird are also involved in Tacoma’s current Super Block real estate offering, a collection of parcels now including parking lots.

News Tribune archives contributed to this report.

Debbie Cockrell has worked for The News Tribune since 2009. She reports on business and development, local and regional issues.

Maria J. Book