Seattle Office Space News – September 2015


Below are comments and links to news articles and other topics relevant to the Seattle office space market from the month of September 2015.


September brought the first news of a mammoth proposed development at 701 4th Avenue by Miami developer Crescent Heights Inspirational Living.  The proposed tower at 701 Fourth Ave will be 1,111 feet and 102 Stories, making it by far Seattle’s tallest structure. The building will potentially have 1,200 residential units, 151,650 square feet of office space, 150 hotel rooms and 15,500 square feet of retail.

Urban Union, the 291,000 square foot office tower being developed by Schnitzer at 501 Fairview, is scheduled to open in early 2016.  A spokesman stated that there are no signed leases but several companies are interested in the project (and it has been rumored that Amazon is taking down the entire thing).

California based Alexandria Real Estate Equities has proposed a ten story lab and office building at 1150 Eastlake Ave E. There is currently a small light industrial building and two parking lots on the site.  Alexandria is hoping that the 280,000 square foot building will be leased quickly as the biotech market continues to grow in Seattle.

A technical panel from The Urban Land Institute concluded that the highest and best use above the transit tunnel in the University District would be a “nontraditional office tower.”  The development of an office tower would bring much needed space to the area and could help create an “Innovation district” where technology companies could expand with valuable proximity to the University of Washington.

Unico Properties purchased the former Pemco headquarters at 325 Eastlake Ave E and plans to reposition the 160,000 square foot office building from Class B to Class A creative space.  Unico has renamed the site Yale and Thomas and will be putting significant capital in to the project in the hopes of attracting the regions next technology headquarters requirement.


As evidence of the frothy commercial real estate investment market in Seattle, an office building under construction at 1101 Westlake sold before it was finished and without any pre-lease. Invesco paid $67.4 million or $449 per square foot for the 150,000 square foot office building, which is scheduled to be completed in December.

Vulcan Real Estate sold their very first South Lake Union project, the Rosen building located at 960 Republican Street, to Urban Renaissance Group in September.  URG paid $41 million for the 60,375 square foot building equating to $769 per square foot. The lone tenant of the building is the University of Washington School of Medicine, who has a long term lease.


Antioch University sold its current campus at Sixth and Battery and announced plans for a move. The non-profit university signed a lease three blocks to the East for 38,000 square feet at Martin Selig’s’ 2403 Third Ave project.

September also brought news of another Bay area tech company opening a Seattle office. Lyft revealed plans to open a development office and hire twenty full time employees by the end of the year.


In big news for the Seattle economy, Chinese President Xi Jinping spent several days in the region in September. Xi met with several key northwest political figures as well as the regions biggest tech leaders from companies such as: Microsoft, Amazon, Alibaba, Boeing, and Starbucks.

This article measures the startling impact that the growth of has had on the Seattle area.  At a Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce meeting an Amazon representative indicated that Amazon’s recent growth has spurred the creation of 28,000 additional non-Amazon jobs, contributed over $400 million in tax revenue, and $5 billion in overall economic impact.

Further proof of the Seattle area growth is seen by the number of new residents settling here. The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area added 61,373 residents last year making it the nation’s 11th fastest growing urban area.

The construction boom in Seattle is definitely tied to all of the employment and population growth.  Interestingly, the city of Seattle reported that 25% of sales tax in 2015 was attributed to construction.


The giant tunnel boring machine Bertha has made a significant step towards resuming operations. Crews have put in place two one-hundred ton plates that make up the machines outer shield. These were the last two parts to be replaced of Bertha’s extensive repair.  The machine has been stalled since December 2013 after overheating 1,000 feet along its 9,270 foot journey.  Engineers will begin testing the machines drive shafts and slowly test the machines ability to resume digging. Once bertha receives the green light to begin drilling, it will begin to make the trip under the Viaduct. The latest schedule for the project has the tunnel opening in spring of 2018.

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Seattle Office Space News – August 2015


Below are comments and links to news articles and other topics relevant to the Seattle office space market from the month of August 2015.


Once again the month of August brought a flurry of development news. Eager to cash in on the development of Seattle’s waterfront, Beacon capital is planning a major renovation to the Maritime building located at 911 Western Ave.  Beacon has notified existing tenants that they will eventually be required to vacate in an effort to reposition the building from class C creative office to class A creative office.

Expedia has proposed a master plan that over fifteen years would allow the company to more than double the amount of office space on its new property near Elliott Bay. The campus currently contains 750,000 square feet and Expedia has already revealed plans to build an additional 200,000 square feet.

Seattle developer Martin Selig showed further plans for the former Federal Reserve building. Selig is required to leave the structure of the building in place, and thus he has developed a plan to add major structural reinforcement that will allow him to add 533,000 square feet above the existing structure.

The University of Washington has indicated that it is considering an office tower up to 240 feet above the light rail station. If completed, the building would be one of two new office space developments in the area within the last few years.

Greg Smith has renamed his 1.1 million square foot Stadium East project to simply “S”. S represents not only the curvature of the buildings, but also Seattle, Sounders, and Seahawks.

Miami developer Crescent Heights has submitted early plans for a large mixed use development at the corner of Fourth and Columbia where a parking garage currently resides. The plans show 840 residential units, 160,000 square feet of office space, and 30,000 square feet of retail.


The sale of Columbia Center closed in August. The purchase is part of a larger trend of international money landing in the hot Seattle investment market. Gaw capital paid $711 million for the 1.5 million square foot building, equating to $474/sf.  Gaw has several improvements planned that it hopes will attract new high-tech tenants.

Also, the Dexter Horton Building at 821 Second Ave hit the market in August. The proposed sale is just two years after the purchase by Portland based Gerding Edlen.


In no surprise, the tech industry dominated office leasing news once again in August. It seems that Amazon is not quite done leasing space in Seattle. A source commented that Amazon will be taking the entire 285,000 square foot Urban Union building at 501 Fairview Ave near its campus in South Lake Union.

It has also been reported that Docusign has signed a letter of intent to lease six floors at the Wells Fargo Center (999 Third Ave).  The company would be moving out of the Russell Investments Center where another fast growing company, Zillow, is headquartered.

Tax automation software company Avalara will be leaving its longtime home in Bainbridge Island and moving in to the Second and Spring building in Seattle. The company already occupies 36,000 square feet in the building and will double their footprint.

Trupanion will be relocating their headquarters from Ballard to SODO.  The pet insurance company leased over 100,000 square feet at 6100 4th Ave South, which is owned by Larry Benaroya.


The Seattle economy has continued to be noticed as one of the hottest in the country, ranking #5 in a WalletHub survey for best cities to live in. The survey used metrics such as livability, amenities, activities, quality of health and job growth.

Other indicators, such as unemployment, continue to support this notion.  The Seattle-Bellevue-Everett jobless rate dipped to 3.7% in July according to the state Employment Security Department.

The Seattle area has seen an increase in construction costs, which have gone up 5% year to date and are expected to increase another 6% in the next six months.

Office rents have peaked to a new level not seen since early 2008.

Finally, although the median home prices fell in July, the housing market showed little sign of slowing down. This was the best July on record for the Seattle area according John L. Scott chairman Lennox Scott. Scott commented that median prices traditionally decline at the end of the summer and that the supply of homes available for purchase is still at record lows.


The delays continue for the repair of Bertha, as the replacement of the cutter head is two weeks late. The project is just over two years behind schedule. In related news, a group of eight insurance companies have sued to avoid paying for the $143 million it has cost to repair Bertha. The suit claims that the design of the machine was at fault and the insurance companies should not foot the bill.


In the first significant hiccup for the seawall project, it is now estimated that the project will be 33% more expensive and be at least one year delayed. Officials cited unforeseen issues related to the process of protecting against erosion in the soil for the delay and increase in cost.  In contrast to the Bertha project, this is the first major derailment during the project. The Seawall replacement is now scheduled for completion in 2017.

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Seattle Office Space News – July 2015


Below are comments and links to news articles and other topics relevant to the Seattle office space market from the month of July 2015.

OFFICE DEVELOPMENTS has been the catalyst tenant driving much of the positive absorption and growth in Seattle’s office market over the last few years.  In July it was reported that Amazon is not proceeding with the development of 1.1 Million square foot office building that was planned as an addition to their South Lake Union campus.  The fact that Amazon is seemingly indicating a slowdown in growth should give pause to the more optimistic local economists.

Urban Visions continues to roll out development options with the release of plans for what would be Seattle’s second tallest skyscraper. The one million square foot building at 888 Second Ave would be 880 feet tall and feature a 616 foot high atrium.

Martin Selig started construction on a three story office and retail building at Third and Battery in July. Sound community bank will be occupying the first floor and an undisclosed tenant will be occupying the entire second and part of the third floor.


2201 Westlake sold in July for a record of $792 per square foot.  Vulcan unloladed the 317,000 square foot building to American Realty Advisors for $251 million. The building is 100% occupied and its largest tenants are Amazon and PATH.


Once again, the tech industry dominated office leasing news this month. Fast growing Tableau inked a lease for 210,000 square feet in the Northedge building between N. 34th street and N. Northlake Avenue in Fremont. The building being developed by Touchstone is currently under construction and will be ready for occupancy in mid-2016.

Fast growing legal tech Company Avvo will be moving into a new headquarters at 8th & Olive in the CBD. The company is taking 7 floors or ~105,000 square feet, which will leave enough room for the company to double its workforce.

News also broke this month that Apple has found a permanent home in Seattle. The California based company is rumored to have leased 30,000 square feet at Two Union square in downtown Seattle.


The Seattle based company responsible for repairing tunnel boring machine Bertha provided details for what caused the damage and massive delays in the project to replace the viaduct. Drilling is now expected to resume in November and completion is scheduled for the spring of 2018. While many are frustrated with the tunnel completion date continuing to slip, most in Seattle’s real estate industry are confident that the project will be completed eventually.


The strength of the Seattle area housing market is supported by reports that over half the homes sold in June only lasted 9 days on the market.  Also, median home prices were up 3.8% on the month and 7.7% for the year.

Along with a hot housing market comes a robust apartment development climate. In Seattle there are currently three times more apartments under construction than there were in 2007, which was the height of the most recent development cycle.

Seattle appeared in Forbes magazine’s 2015 List of the Best Places for Business and Careers at #6 in the country.

The Washington State Convention center released new images of its proposal for a 1.2 million square foot and $1.4 billion dollar expansion. The new plans would have about 250,000 square feet of exhibition space, 510,000 square feet of support space and 500-800 additional parking spaces. There are also two adjacent sites that may be turned it to housing and apartments to help fund the project.

Looking forward to the second half of 2015, the Seattle economy continues to show mostly positive indicators with above average income levels and a 4.1% unemployment rate.  However, there seems to be increasing concern locally about a widening wealth gap given the amount of people on food stamps and a lack of affordable housing.


Here is a look at the offices of The Adventure Hub. This space combines three businesses: A travel agency, wine cellar, and outdoor recreational guide service in to one cool space in Sodo.

The commercial real estate industry has tons of room for improvement and integration of better technology.  Some are leading the charge to catch up with technology by providing virtual reality tours of yet to be completed projects. Lake Union Partners and New York based Floor Inc, have created a virtual reality model of its project for the former Taboo video store at 1012 First Ave.

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Q2 2015 Seattle Office Market – Tenant Perspective

Analyzing the Data

General Conclusion: Seattle’s office market continued to strengthen in Q2 of 2015 with vacancy decreasing to 9.6% down from 10.2% one year prior. Year to date there has been  339,629 square feet of positive absorption.  Demand for Seattle commercial real estate investment product has seen no sign of a slowdown and increasing demand for space should continue to put upward pressure on rental rates across all submarkets and building classes.

Economy:  The northwest has continued to add jobs in the second quarter of 2015.  Some of the more visible job growth is coming from technology companies headquartered outside of Washington who continue to set up operations in the Northwest. Washington’s preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 5.4% in May 2015 according to The Washington State Employment Security Department, which represents a .1% decrease from Q1. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is reporting a 4.4% unemployment rate for the Seattle/Tacoma/Bellevue area.

Office Construction: The office construction boom continues in Seattle with the following developments under construction:

  • Amazon II, and Amazon Phases VI, VII & VIII totaling:~ 2,094,000 square feet (100% leased)
  • Troy Block :~817,000 square feet (100% leased)
  • Madison Centre:~750,00 square feet
  • Fifth & Columbia tower:~528,000 square feet
  • Former Pemco HQ:~370,00 square feet
  • 200 Occidental:~370,00 square feet (100% leased)
  • 400 Fairview:~367,898 square feet
  • Midtown 21:~365,00 square feet
  • Dexter Station:~ 345,992 square feet (100% leased)
  • Tilt 49:~300,000*
  • Urban Union:~291,00 square feet
  • Hill 7:~285,000 square feet
  • Allen Institute for Brain Science:~272,408 (100% leased)
  • North edge:~202,620 square feet (100% leased)
  • 1101 Westlake:~ 150,000 square feet
  • The Commons at Ballard:~22,000 square feet*

* = broke ground in Q2 2015

Proposed Development

Given the health of Seattle’s market, office developers are eager to break ground.  The following proposed developments made news in the first quarter of 2015:

  • Project: Stadium East, Size: 1,200,000 square feet, Location: Intersection of I-90 and Airport Way South, Developer: Urban Visions
  • Project: Rainier Square, Size: 750,000 square feet of office, Location: Corner of 4th & union, Developer: Wright Runstad
  • Project: 2&U, Size: 700,000 square feet, Location: Corner of 2nd & union, Developer: Skanska
  • Project: Former King 5 Site, Size: 582,000 square feet, Location: 333 Dexter Ave N, Developer: Kilroy Realty Corp
  • Project: Building Cure, Size:000 square feet, Location:1920 Terry Ave, Developer: Seattle Children’s Research Institute
  • Project: 2301 Seventh Ave, Size: 181,000 square feet, Location: 2301 Seventh Ave, Developer: Clise
  • Project: Third and Virginia, Size: 150,000 square feet, Location: Corner of Third Ave and Virginia, Developer: Martin Selig

Office Sales:  Q2 2015 continued to provide proof of the robust demand for office investment in Seattle.  The following transactions were completed in Q2 2015:

  • Project/Location: Columbia Center at 701 5th Ave, Price $725 Million, Size: 1,500,000 SF Price/SF $483, Buyer: Gaw capital, Seller: Beacon Capital
  • Project/Location: Former Amgen Campus located at 1201 Amgen Ct W, Price $229 Million, Size: 750,000 SF Price/SF $305, Buyer: Expedia, Seller: Amgen
  • Project/Location: Maritime Building located at 911 Western, Price $38 Million, Size: 196,000 SF Price/SF $194, Buyer: Beacon Capital, Seller: Maritime Corporation
  • Project/Location: 111 South Jackson Street, Price $34 Million, Size: 70,000 SF Price/SF $485, Buyer: Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, Seller: Brickman Real Estate.
  • Project/Location: Former Federal Reserve building at 1015 Second Ave, Price $16 Million, Size: 99,148 SF Price/SF $161, Buyer: Martin Selig, Seller: GSA

Office Leases:  Office leasing activity was on fire again this quarter.  Below are lease transactions that were concluded in Q2 2015:

  • Tenant: Holland America, Size: 185,000, Project/Location: 450 Third Ave West, Landlord: Martin Selig
  • Tenant: Big Fish Games, Size: 137,500, Project/Location:333 Elliott, Landlord: Martin Selig
  • Tenant: Community Health Plan, Size: 91,800, Project/Location: 1111 Third Ave Landlord: Callaghan Partners
  • Tenant: Wireless Advocates, Size: ~56,000, Project/Location: 400 Fairview, Landlord: Skanska
  • Tenant: University of Washington, Size: 53,400, Project/Location:4501 Roosevelt Way NE, Landlord: Blume Company
  • Tenant: Oculus, Size: 51,000, Project/Location: Stadium Innovation Center located at 1531 Utah Ave S, Landlord: American Life
  • Tenant: Sonos, Size: 50,000 Project/Location: Bullitt Center at 1501 E Madison, Landlord: The Bullitt Foundation
  • Tenant: Twitter, Size: 44,000, Project/Location: Century Square at 1501 4th Ave, Landlord: Pike Street Investors
  • Tenant: IMS Health, Size: 32,250, Project/Location: P-I Globe Building at 101 Elliott, Landlord: Legacy Partners
  • Tenant: Ankrom Mosian, Size: 24,000, Project/Location: 1505 Firth Ave, Landlord: Unico
  • Tenant: Sound Community Bank, Size: 17,200, Project/Location: Third and Battery at 2005 Fifth Ave, Landlord: Martin Selig
  • Tenant: Spaceflight Industries, Size: 17,000, Project/Location: West Lake Union Center at 1505 Westlake Ave, Landlord: Deutsche Bank
  • Tenant: Zonar, Size: 16,081, Project/Location: Exchange Building at 821 2nd Ave, Landlord: Beacon Capital
  • Tenant: Dropbox, Size: 13,000, Project/Location: Columbia Center located at 701 5th Ave, Landlord: Gaw Capital
  • Tenant: Sears, Size: 8,500 Project/Location: Columbia Center at 701 Fifth Ave, Landlord: Gaw Capital
  • Tenant: Kineta, Size: 6,000 Project/Location: 401 Terry Ave N, Landlord: Kilroy
  • Tenant: Azuqua, Size: 6,000 Project/Location: 619 Western, Landlord: L&B Property Investments

Below is a table providing information for the major submarkets of Seattle:

2Q2015 Market Data

The total vacancy rate for Seattle is 9.6%.


If your company:

  1. Doesn’t need to move
  2. Has an upcoming space/lease requirement in the next 2 years
  3. Can reasonably forecast headcount needs for years into the future
  4. Has a rental rate in line with or above market

– Start educating yourself on available alternatives and negotiating with your current building to get an understanding of your landlord’s position in the market.  Given the increasing pressure on rents and decreasing concessions, companies are incentivized to be educated on proposed developments that will be delivering in 18-24 months.  It is also helpful to be educated on the market so you can prepare to react quickly to increasingly volatile conditions.

Alternatively, if your company:

  1. Might need to move
  2. Needs size flexibility
  3. Wants to pursue a sublease or plug-n-play opportunity
  4. Prefers not to commit to a lease term beyond the next six months

– Wait until six months prior to your lease expiration and be prepared to act quickly.  The three to six month window prior to lease expiration is when you are most attractive to potential landlords and when they will offer you the best economics.   However, have a lease/sublease signed three months before your lease expires.  You don’t want to be in a holdover situation or without space and you need to give your company time to complete tenant improvements and plan a move.

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Seattle Office Space News – June 2015


Below are comments and links to news articles and other topics relevant to the Seattle office space market from the month of June 2015.


One of the bigger proposed office developments in the CBD received further approval from city review in June.  The mixed use Rainier Square development at 5th & Union will have 1.2 Million square feet that includes retail, residential and 756,000 square feet of office.   The project, being developed by Wright Runstad, is expected to break ground late next year and once completed will be Seattle’s second tallest tower.

Also, Touchstone has finalized a financing deal with Principal Real Estate Investors and the Bank of the Ozarks for Tilt 49.  Construction of the 37 story apartment tower and 11 story office building in the Denny Triangle started in June.


Seattle’s tallest building traded hands in June with Beacon Capital selling the skyscraper to Hong Kong based Gaw Capital. Gaw paid nearly $725 million or $483/sf for the 1.5 million square foot property at 701 5th Ave. It was reported that with the sale Beacon was barely able to repay the loan it had originally defaulted on in the economic crash of 2008.

In further proof of the frothy office investment market, an early 20th century building in Pioneer Square sold for nearly 51 percent more than it was purchased for in 2007. Following a lease with co-working space provider Galvanize, the 70,000 square foot building located at 111 S Jackson Street was purchased by Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management for $34 million or $485/sf from Brickman Real Estate.


June brought more news of tech companies from Silicon Valley opening and expanding engineering offices in Seattle.  First, it was announced that Twitter is expanding its presence by taking another floor at 1501 4th Avenue in Seattle’s CBD. The company now occupies over 44,000 square feet and employs as many as one hundred in Seattle.

Additionally, Dropbox inked a lease for an engineering center for as many as 50 employees at 701 5th Avenue in the CBD.

Also in June, Facebook owned Oculus VR leased 51,000 square feet across the street from Safeco Field at 1501 1st Ave S in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood.

In further proof that tech companies need to be located in areas with quality amenities in order to attract and retain employees, it was reported that Tukwila based Zonar Systems leased space at the Exchange Building at 821 2nd Ave with room for 100 employees.

Another Tukwila based company, Spaceflight Industries, will be moving to South Lake Union. Spaceflight is taking 17,000 square feet at the West Lake Union Center.

Finally, the largest lease reported in June was that of Community Health Plan finalizing a deal for 91,800 square feet at 1111 Third Ave in the CBD. The once mostly vacant building is now 80 percent occupied.


Repairs have finally begun on the tunnel boring machine Bertha. Crews have started replacing the seal system that broke down. The 3.1 billion project is now more than two years behind schedule.


Seattle area home prices and apartment rents continue to climb. Much of this growth is related to the tech boom in Seattle. For every 1 percent increase in technology worker salary, Seattle’s home prices rise about a half a percent.  As a result, home prices have increased by more than 9% so far in 2015.

With a steep increase in home prices, more people are renting, causing apartment vacancy rates in King and Snohomish Counties to drop to 4.5 %. Although home prices continue to climb, new data shows that Millennials, who comprise of the bulk majority of tech workers, are not willing to purchase homes at these inflated prices. The rate of people ages 25-34 who own homes in the Puget Sound region are at the lowest levels seen since the Gold Rush era.


On June 24th the groundbreaking event was held for the $72 million addition to Pikes Place market.  The new space will have 30,000 square feet of open space, 12,000 square feet of retail and 40 low income apartments.

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Seattle Office Space News – May 2015


Below are comments and links to news articles and other topics relevant to the Seattle office space market from the month of May 2015.


Once again, developers were eager to announce new office buildings in May. Plans were finally revealed for the former King 5 site.  Kilroy Realty Corp plans to build two 12 story office buildings at 333 Dexter Ave N which combined will total 582,000 square feet of office space.

The PSBJ also took a look at the new designs of the $600 million Rainier Square redevelopment. The Wright Runstad project has a unique curving design and will consist of 780,000 square feet of office, 180 high end housing units, 155 hotel rooms, and 71,000 square feet of retail space. It is not clear when construction will start but the latest plans call for mid next year.

In the first development for Seattle real estate company Henbart, the Commons at Ballard will bring much needed office space to the area. The project will consist of 20,000 square feet of retail, 22,000 square feet of office and 84 apartments. The mixed use building is located at 56th street and 22nd Ave and is expected to deliver in summer of 2016.

More news here about the former Bucca di Beppo restaurant site at 701 Ninth Ave N. Talon and Lake Union Partners are pursuing green building standards that would allow them to build 200,000 square feet, 23,000 of which would be retail. If they are not able to meet the strict green building requirements the project would lose one story.

Finally, Skanska invited the public to voice their opinion on what amenities may be present at the appropriately named 2&U project on the corner of 2nd and Union. Plans call for 700,000 square feet of office, some retail and a “village” at the base. Skanska is considering some of the ideas presented by the public for the village area such as a concert area, cantina, and waterfront outlook.


In the biggest building sale of the year, Expedia finally closed on the $229 M purchase of the former Amgen campus. Expedia plans to expand this office to house 4,500 employees.  You can see Expedia’s official announcement here.

Also, Beacon Capital bought the Maritime Building at 911 Western Ave.  The 196,000 square foot building will likely be significantly renovated.


May was a tremendous month for news of office leasing activity.  First, Holland America will move its nearly 1,000 employees in to 185,000 square feet at Martin Selig’s new building near Seattle Center. The move will leave only 9,000 square feet vacant at the nearly completed building located at 450 Third Ave W.

Seattle based PitchBook data will be doubling its headquarters footprint after leasing 35,000 square feet of office space at 901 5th Avenue.

Two companies signed leases at 400 Fairview in May.  Both Car Toys and Wireless Advocates are each leasing a floor in the new South Lake Union development by Skanska.

In a rather large expansion, fast growing architecture firm Ankrom Mosian leased 24,000 square feet of space at 1505 Fifth Ave.

Sound Community Bank leased 17,200 square feet of space at Martin Selig’s new development at 3rd & Battery.

The south lake union neighborhood continues to boom as Biotech Company Kineta expanded into another 6,000 square feet at 401 Terry Ave N. The company now occupies more than 16,000 square feet in the area.

California based Sonos is setting up shop for an engineering office in the Seattle. Sonos will be located at the Bullitt Center, a 50,000 square foot building on Capitol Hill known as the “greenest Building” on the planet.

Sears, another out of state company, will be opening an engineering office in the Columbia Center. The 8,500 square foot space will be able to house nearly 60 employees.

Fast growing cloud services provider Azuqua has inked a lease for 6,000 square feet of office space at 619 Western in Pioneer Square. Azuqua will join several other tech companies in the building such as Qualtrics, Artefact and Chef.

One of the very few new developments on Capitol Hill, Chophouse Row, will be home to two tech companies Mazlo and Glympse. The project at 1424 11th Ave is one of the more unique developments in recent memory.


In more bad news regarding the tunnel project, this month inspectors found more damage to the tunnel boring machine Bertha than originally anticipated. The project will be more delayed than originally anticipated. WSDOT has not provided any time estimates for the project that was originally scheduled to be completed at the end of this year.


In further proof to the “great tech migration” from Silicon Valley to Seattle, a new report by Juniper Research indicates that half of the world’s most influential tech execs’ have an office in Seattle.

With all of these tech offices in Seattle it seems that more and more people are considering a move to the region. The number of residents in the bay area searching for homes in Seattle has quadrupled in the past four years.

As a result, rental and home prices continued to soar in the region. Reports indicated that home prices in Seattle increased faster than almost any other city, growing by 7.5% in the last year. This increase in home prices in Seattle has also led to increase in Snohomish and Pierce counties. The median price was up more than 13% year to date in Snohomish County and 8.6% in Kitsap.

Further, new studies show that while Seattle rent is expensive, the number of residents spending half of their income on rent has decreased to 20%. A similar survey showed that residents in the most expensive cities had no gripe in shelling out the extra cash for the strong economy, amenities and other perks that come with living in a vibrant community.


The first images of what will be the new Washington State Convention Center were released in May. Pine street group is helping oversee the $1.4 billion expansion.

Also, here is a look at the office spaces for Picmonkey and MG2.

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Seattle Office Space News – April 2015


Below are comments and links to news articles and other topics relevant to the Seattle office space market from the month of April 2015.


April brought on a handful of new proposed developments as developers are eager to cash in on the hot office space market.  Urban Vision announced this month that construction could begin as early as 2016 on Stadium East, a 1.2 million square foot mixed use campus in So-Do. The campus is designed by NBBJ and there has currently been no pre-leases signed.

Seattle based developer Martin Selig, continued his buying spree in April purchasing a parking garage and building across from Bed Bath and Beyond on Third avenue. Selig thinks the project will have 150,000 square feet of office space with an undetermined amount of apartments above the office space.

It was revealed in April that Seattle Children’s is planning a thirteen story downtown research facility at 1920 Terry Ave. The project named Building Cure will contain 440,000 square feet of research space; it is unclear of the timeline for the start of construction.

Clise is looking at three possible design options for its large mixed use complex at 2301 Seventh Ave. The proposed development calls for 181,000 square feet of office, 21,000 square feet of retail and 750 housing units. The possible design options are the Cubist, The Angle, and The Grid; you can see more details on these options here.


In a HUGE deal, Expedia purchased the 750,000 SF former Amgen Campus along Seattle’s waterfront for $228.9 Million or $304/SF.  The online travel company will renovate the buildings and relocate their headquarters from downtown Bellevue to the 40 acre campus in 2018.  This news came with anguish from many employees who believe commute times will increase exponentiallyHere is more info on the site.

It was confirmed in April that Martin Selig was the winning bidder of the former Federal Reserve Building located at 1015 Second Ave. Selig paid $16 Million for the 99,148sf building or $161/SF.  Selig has plans to upgrade the interior of the building and rent the premises as office space. Selig’s plans aren’t formalized, but the redevelopment will likely include adding floors and expanding the existing footprint to the building that is protected under the National Register of Historic Places.

Antioch University has put its current 65,000 square foot headquarters at 2326 Sixth Ave on the market. The building, which is directly next to Amazon’s huge four building campus was purchased twenty years ago for $3.8 million.  The property is currently appraised at $19.4 million.


The University of Washington inked a new lease for 53,400 square feet of office space that Seattle Based Blume Company is developing in the University District.

Big Fish games has continued to expand in its current building taking over an additional 28,000 square feet and will soon occupy the entire 137,500 square foot building at 333 Elliott.

Just down the street, global technology company IMS Health is moving into the P-I Globe building located at 101 Elliott. IMS has signed a ten year 32,250 square foot lease and the 101,725 square foot building is now full.


The giant tunnel boring machine Bertha spent all of April out of the ground and under repair.  The project, which was originally scheduled to be completed in December, is now more than two years delayed.  In 2009, the Legislature passed a bill that the state would not pay more than $2.4 billion for the project, if there are substantial cost overruns it is unclear who will foot the bill.

In connection with the Viaduct project crews have been inspecting the Viaduct and have found two new cracks since the last inspection in October. There have been several visible cracks and sinking reported as the tunnel project proceeds.  WSDOT continues to assure the public that the viaduct is safe.


April was another month of indicators for explosive growth and rising expenses in the Seattle area. In technology news, local execs posted this article about Seattle’s booming startup scene referencing that 32% of people cited the regions quality of life and natural beauty as a driving force behind growth.

Here is an depth look at all of the engineering centers that companies based in other areas have set up in Seattle. It is interesting to note that only 42% of the 1,403 venture capital deals in the last five years have come from in state investors.

In residential real estate news, the Seattle area has the lowest supply of homes ever recorded, 2.2 months, which ties San Francisco as the most competitive market.  With the decrease in supply of homes for sale, rent are on the rise. Seattle is #10 on the most expensive cities to rent list. Forbes also ranked the most expensive cities on total cost of living and Seattle came in at #16.

In another indication of a booming economy, construction costs are also on the rise.

Finally, Seattle’s cruise industry is expecting a record year with more than 192 ships bringing 900,000 passengers through Seattle’s waterways this year.


Here is a profile of office space occupied by cloud company Blue Box and this article has pictures of different tech company spaces for Bungie, Edifecs, Limeade, Moz and Synapse.

Finally, future real estate mogul William Gregory Hayden was born on April 13, 2015 at 10 lbs 8 oz and is happy and healthy!

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