Seattle Office Space News – May 2015

News

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

OFFICE DEVELOPMENTS

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.

BUILDING SALES

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.

OFFICE LEASES

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.

TUNNEL/VIADUCT

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.

ECONOMY

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.

OTHER NEWS

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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