Seattle Office Space News – August 2013

News

Below are comments and links to news articles and other topics relevant to the Seattle office space market from the month of August 2013.

BUILDING SALES

Unico Properties continues to expand their portfolio with the purchase of 705 Union Station for $98 Million from Lasalle Investment Management from Chicago.  The sale for the 254,000 square foot building equates to $386/SF and is a significant price increase  since the last time it sold for $59.6 Million in 2011.  The spending spree (Unico has spent over $200 Million over the last year) likely comes in anticipation of their ground lease expiring for the Metropolitan Tract in downtown Seattle.

LEASE TRANSACTIONS

The Washington State Department of Commerce is close to leasing 13 floors of the former Pacific Medical Center on Beacon Hill.  It is also mentioned that Seattle Central Community College will occupy six floors there.  The building was also the former Amazon headquarters

Fast growing tech company Twitter leased 16,000 square feet at Century Square located at 1501 4th Ave in downtown Seattle.  Twitter opened their Seattle location last year and is clearly having success recruiting quality technical talent here.

NEW PROJECTS

Lots of news about Amazon’s proposed three block 3 Million + SF campus development in South Lake Union.  Amazon released a revised design for the three iconic spheres that will be part of the project.  Additionally, Amazon is planning for dedicated cycle tracks around the campus.  The plans caught the attention of the NY Times

In separate news, Harley Marine completed their 45,000 square foot headquarter project on Harbor Island.  The building was designed by Mithun to provide for environmental protection, great views and water access.

PROPOSED ARENA PROJECT

Despite the failed attempt to purchase the Sacramento Kings, plans for the development of an NBA and NHL arena in SODO continue to evolve.  Moving forward with the plans and construction should help attract professional sports teams.  A recent study provides information on the traffic impact to the area if the arena were built and pro hoops games were played there.

ECONOMY

Washington State has experienced job growth for 10 months straight according to the Employment Security Department.  The report indicates that the state has recovered 83% (205,000) of the jobs that were lost during the recession, which leaves the unemployment rate at 6.9%.  Unemployment in Seattle-Bellevue-Everett is 4.8%.

OTHER NEWS

The Furuya Building located at 240 2nd Ave S in Pionneer Square is finally under control.  HAL Real Estate Investments has agreed to loan developer Rob Brewster the remaining money needed to rehab and tenant the building.

This article  provides excellent insight into the Seattle office space market and the large blocks of space that are still available in certain downtown high-rise buildings.  Developers planning new office buildings in Seattle are betting that the market will continue to tighten until 2016 when their projects will be available for lease.

City officials are shifting their feeling on commercial development in Capitol Hill to allow for more office product development.

Finally, the tunnel project to replace the viaduct running the length of Seattle’s CBD on the waterfront side is going slower than anticipated.  Once the tunnel is complete and the viaduct is removed the waterfront area will completely change for the better.  Many developers are looking to capitalize and planners are proposing different ideas for how the waterfront should ultimately look.

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