Seattle Office Space News – February 2020

3/ March 2020

Below are
comments and links to news articles and other topics relevant to the Seattle
office space market from the month of February 2020.

OFFICE DEVELOPMENTS

Alexandria Real Estate Equities tower at 701 Dexter Ave N will have the third and final design review March 11 at the Queen Anne Community Center. The proposal prepared by designer ZGF Architects includes an 11-story office and lab area with 206,809 square feet, plus a landscape roof deck with 2,000 square feet, and 190 parking stalls. The South Lake Union project is working towards LEED gold certification. A feature at the entry will be an automated bike parking system made by German company  Wohr.  To read more about the bike safe and other features in the building click here.

Canadian companies are purchasing land in the Seattle region due to the relatively low cost of land and as compared to Vancouver. The average per square foot cost in Vancouver was $2,505 (US) compared to $983 in Seattle. Onni Group recently purchased half a block in Denny Triangle at 2301 Seventh Ave and Westbank Corporation has three Seattle projects together worth about $1.5 billion. Westbank’s First Light, a 500-foot-tall mixed-use office and condo project, will begin construction soon in Seattle CBD.

OFFICE BUILDING SALES

The Black Manufacturing Building in South Seattle located at 1130 Rainier Ave S was purchased by Nitze-Stagen for $26.75 million; approximately $430 a square foot. They plan to preserve the historic industrial building and then add 396 units of workforce housing to its north of the 1.5-acre site. The seller was related to Pam and Paul Krug of Seavest Realty. The property was acquired in 1998 for a little under $4.8 million. Peter Nitze said, “As an opportunity fund comprised of local entrepreneurs we are committed to the success of local businesses, and hope that this project can serve as a model for development in the neighborhood.”

ECONOMY

This month we learned that eight of the country’s 50 highest price office sales last year were in Bellevue and Seattle and two of the sales were in the top 10 according to Commercial Café. The top sales were driven in part by Amazon. KKR & Co. purchase of the Summit campus for $756 million and Ponte Gadea’s purchase of two-building Troy Block for $740 million were the eighth and ninth most expensive sales. To read about the other purchases that took place last year click here.

 Wage increases in the Seattle metro area are the second-highest in the U.S with San Jose, San Francisco and Denver also in the top five. In Q4, Seattle had a 4.4% year-over-year spike and a 0.9% increase from Q3. The highest wage increase was seen in Nashville.

Seattle’s tech gender pay gap is more pronounced than you would think. SmartAsset study ranked the 59 best U.S. cities for women in tech and Seattle ranked thirty-second on the list. Only 81 percent of women’s median earnings in Seattle match their male colleagues according to the study. Even though Seattle is one of the top cities for tech job growth less than 21 percent of jobs are filled with women—below the national average of 26 percent.

Seattle’s growth in home prices accelerated at the end of 2019. Throughout the nation there was a period of slowed growth. After examining the past five years, Seattle home prices have grown nearly twice as quickly as national rates. Nationally, home prices rose 3.8% year-over-year in December.

In a city with growing home prices, tech workers’ salaries are double the average wage of any other sector in the area according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Tech workers earn $279,000 on average in total compensation. The report does not include median salaries; therefore high-paid executives have an impact on the average. Total compensation takes into account stock and bonuses.

U.S. long-term mortgage rates declined in February as concern grew over the economic impact of China’s Coronavirus outbreak.  The global stock markets saw a steep downturn and we saw the worst drop in history for the month of February.  Freddie Mac says the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate fell to 3.45% from 3.49%.  In the event of an economic downturn, U.S. Treasury securities are seen as a safe option.

TRANSIT

The new two-way Columbia Street reopened as a busway in February connecting Alaskan Way and Third Avenue. The 26,000 commuters from West Seattle and Burien relied on the viaduct, but when it was demolished for the construction of the new Highway 99 tunnel their commute was disrupted. Commuters will now benefit from the new busway. The new street includes new water and sewer lines, electrical infrastructure, a drainage system, and a new street and sidewalk.

NHL Seattle will spend $7 million to upgrade the Monorail and offer transit incentives to get fans to the new arena. The 58-year-old monorail offers rides to and from Westlake Center to Seattle Center in just 90-seconds. All season tickets and single game ticks will receive fully subsidized public transit passes. This is the third professional sports organization to fully subsidized public transit. The arena is schedule to be completed next summer.

ARENA

The arena backers have big plans for the new Key Arena. With public transportation subsidized for NHL fans, and luxury suites and private clubs inside, the transformation is well underway. The Rockwell Group unveiled renderings of amenities inside the former Key Arena. The world-class venue for hockey, basketball, and music includes luxury suites, two private lounges (Symetra Club and WaFd Bank Club), a food hall (Mount Baker Hall), a private restaurant (Metropolitan Club) and a bar (Space Needle Club). To view the plans and read details click here.

OTHER NEWS

GeekWire Awards are just around the corner on March 26th and one of the awards will go to Geekiest Office Space. The five finalists are: Create33, doxo, Highspot, Rover and Sonos. Some features in the office spaces range from epic views, dogs, snacks, music, and more. To purchase a ticket to attend the GeekWire Awards and read more about the other awards given at the event click here.

Written by // flinn

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