Seattle Office Space News – October 2015

News

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

OFFICE DEVELOPMENTS

News of a possible political scandal regarding a proposed mixed-use development between Third and Fourth Avenue and James and Cherry Street produced a bunch of headlines in October.  A Senior Vice President at Triad Development was accused of blackmailing City Council candidate Jon Grant into settling the lawsuit that was stalling the project. Allen sent a text message to Grant insinuating that a $200,000 anti-Grant political activist campaign would go away if the lawsuit was settled. The SVP of Triad is no longer employed there and he issued a statement apologizing for his behavior. Triad has since settled the lawsuit with the Tenant Union. It is unclear if Triad will meet other criteria for the project to move forward by the end of the year.

BUILDING SALES

Macy’s has reached an agreement to sell the top four floors of its building in downtown Seattle as an office condominium. Starwood Capital Group paid Macy’s $216 per foot or $65 million for the 300,000 square foot space.

OFFICE LEASES

Office leasing news was somewhat slow in October.  Alternative newspaper The Stranger, inked a lease to stay in their space at 1021 E Pine Street in Capital Hill.

In October it was also revealed that Snapchat has an office at 999 3rd in the SURF coworking space and it is rumored that they are on the hunt for a larger and more permanent space.

ECONOMY

There seems to be no sign of a slowdown here in Seattle as indicators of growth continued in October. Venture capital investments were up 228% year to date with total investing at $80.14 million.

The Seattle area housing market is now the fourth strongest overall real estate market in the nation, according to a new report by PWC and the Urban Land Institute.  However, a new Zillow report warned that the housing market may finally be slowing down due to the growing feeling now is not a good time to buy.

Robust growth around the area also brings some negative effects such as traffic. A new WSDOT report stated that the Puget Sound region’s main corridors have seen a 19% increase in congestion since 2007. A similar report by INRIX put the region as the seventh worst for traffic congestion in the nation.

An interesting article from the New York Times chronicles Seattle’s struggle to manage growth while not losing its “soul”.  The piece uses examples of other cities such as San Francisco that the report claims have lost their culture to massive growth

TUNNEL/VIADUCT

In no surprise, the giant tunnel boring machine Bertha will be delayed another month. The new schedule has Bertha resuming digging Dec 23. Bertha has only made it 11% of the distance to complete the tunnel and has been plagued with delays.  A new estimate shows that the delays have cost Washington State nearly $80 million dollars. For a detailed account of the repairs being performed Seattle Tunnel Partners released a four minute video found here.

OTHER NEWS

Here is a look at Best Buy’s new Seattle Engineering office.

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