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UNICO sets sights on city

Bremerton’s revitalization efforts have caught the eye of at least one more major developer across the Puget Sound.

UNICO, a national leader in commercial office space rooted in Seattle, met at the Kitsap Convention Center for its annual management retreat on Monday.

“I feel like a city in the Puget Sound which has all this waterfront, political leadership and and other advantages can’t stay undervalued for long,” said Dale Sperling, president and CEO of UNICO.

Property values in the city should tick upward in the near future, and UNICO would like to invest in the city before that tick occurs, Sperling said.

“Our objective is to end up with a solid multifamily product that creates reliable steady monthly cashflow,” he said. “We are an investment company, not a build-and-flip or build-and-sell. We want to own our property on a longterm basis.”

Entering the multifamily housing market is not a change of direction for the company, so much as it is broadening the company’s horizons, he said.

“We as a company have begun to look at multifamily housing, and we are looking for a place where you can find moderately priced multifamily housing,” he said.

Sperling, who has commuted by ferry for 30 years from Bainbridge Island to downtown Seattle, said he prefers the ferry to commuting on congested highways.

“I think the commute in Seattle is getting more and more difficult and will not get better anytime soon; so why can’t a 25 minute fast ferry carry 300 to 500 people every day,” he said.

The company doesn’t have any specific projects planned in the city yet, Sperling said he definitely likes what he sees.

“I haven’t come to the conclusion that land here is necessarily cheap, but I think there are opportunities here,” he said.

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