Seattle Office Space News – May 2016

News

Below are comments and links to news articles and other topics relevant to the Seattle office space market from the month of May 2016.

OFFICE DEVELOPMENTS

The long-plagued Civic Square project in Downtown Seattle is finally dead. Touchstone, whom acquired the development rights from Triad, has passed on the opportunity and it seems the giant hole on Third and Cherry will remain indefinitely.

Yesler Terrace, a rather undeveloped submarket southeast of the central business district, is in the middle of a dramatic renovation and may become the densest in the City. Currently, Capitol Hill has the highest density with 54,850 residents per mile, but new plans for the Yesler Terrace could bring 350 apartments and one million square feet of commercial space to the area, raising the density to 110,000 per square mile.

This article profiles the largest construction projects in the Northwest and the following office projects in Seattle made the list:

  • Madison Centre, a 36 story office tower in downtown Seattle.
  • The Mark, a 44 story office tower in downtown Seattle.
  • Urban Visions, 1 million square foot Stadium East Campus.
  • Stadium Place, a large mixed use development in Pioneer Square.
  • Troy Block, a 395,000 square foot Amazon Expansion.

The historical Old Spaghetti Factory on Elliott Avenue may be seeing some changes. Nitze-Stagen plans to renovate the two story building and add a third floor of office space. In addition, they are considering adding a seven story apartment building on the site.

BUILDING SALES

There were no building sales reported in the month of May.

OFFICE LEASES

It is rumored that F5 Networks is in the market for 500,000-600,000 square feet of office space.  If F5 does move into that much space, it would be about an 80% increase from their current footprint on Elliott.

ECONOMY

Once again, local and national media are calling attention to the rapid growth in Seattle. The Emerald City is now number 18 on the list of largest U.S. cities and the population growth was ranked as the 11th fastest. In another study, the U.S. Census ranked Seattle as the fourth fastest-growing among the 50 largest U.S. cities.  Expedia’s CFO Mark Okerstom told the Wall Street Journal that the driving force behind its move to Seattle is to retain top local talent; the full interview can be found here.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently ranked Seattle as the 11th best city for innovation, with Boston and the Bay Area taking the top two spots. The demand for jobs has made Seattle the third-best city for Job Seekers by analyzing the number of job openings, cost of living, and worker satisfaction, according to a new study by Glassdoor.

Along with a booming population, the price of commercial and residential real estate continues to skyrocket.  According to Redfin, Seattle area homes are selling faster than anywhere in the nation with an average sale time of eight days, while inventory remains at an all-time low. In relation, seven percent of Seattle homes are now valued at over a million dollars, triple the amount from four years ago.

This month, a union of office space janitors rallied for higher wages as the office space market is the strongest it has been in fifteen years. The union wants a minimum wage of $15/hr and decreased workloads.

TUNNEL/VIADUCT

In the first positive news for the tunnel and viaduct project in a very long time, the State Route 99 viaduct was reopened ahead of schedule as Bertha continues to chug along on her route.

In addition, the WSDOT released a drone video of the inside of the Tunnel that is currently being built, which you can find here.

OTHER NEWS

Technology giant Facebook opened its new Seattle headquarters, featuring impressive outdoor decks and interconnected stairways, to the public. This innovative new design has raised the bar for tech spaces. Photos can be found here.

In addition, Geekwire took a look at the new Groupon office, which will allows the company to grow its presence here.

Also in May, the City Council voted 5-4 against selling Chris Hansen one block of Occidental Avenue South to build a new NBA and NHL arena. Many see this as a devastating setback to the plans for a new stadium and bringing the NBA back to Seattle.

Finally, the City of Seattle just inked a deal with German technology firm Siemens to improve traffic lights. The new high-tech system uses external data to reroute traffic and produce more efficient travel routes. This is just a small piece of the $13 million dollar Move Seattle tax levy that was approved last year, in an effort to alleviate Seattle congestion.

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