Seattle Office Space News – May 2019

3/ June 2019

Below are
comments and links to news articles and other topics relevant to the Seattle
office space market from the month of May 2019.


Hudson Pacific Properties purchased the rights to build and office building for $86 Million in May.  The land, formerly occupied by a Honda Dealership, is located between Boren Avenue and Olive Way near the new Washington State Convention Center expansion.  Hudson Pacific is planning a 16 story building with over 500,000 square feet of space.


Highspot is experiencing explosive growth and in May leased 55,000 square feet of office space at World Trade Center East at 2211 Elliott Ave along Seattle’s Waterfront.  The space can accommodate 450 people. The company currently has 200 employees and expects to grow to 300 employees by the time it moves into the office space. Highspot will keep their existing offices in Seattle. In total they will have 90,000 square feet and room for 800 employees.

WeWork is supposedly opening an office in Seattle’s University District. The Co-working giant will lease about 32,000 square feet at Roosevelt Commons Building B located at 4311 11th Ave NE.


According to two people familiar with expected deals, Blackstone Group plans to buy Wells Fargo Center and US Bank Centre from Ivanhoe Cambridge. However, the groups involved declined to comment. Wells Fargo Center at 999 3rd Avenue is 985,000 square feet and last sold for about $390 million in 2013 and US Bank Centre at 1420 5th Avenue is 944,000 square feet and last sold for around $130 million in 1999.

The Colman Building, located at 811 1st Ave in Pioneer Square, sold to Unico Properties for $37 ($246/sf) million according to King County property records. The nearly 150,000 square-foot building was declared a historical landmark in 1990.  

Vanbarton Group, a New-York based investment and advisory firm, is buying 901 5th Avenue in Seattle’s CBD. Vanbarton will open a Seattle office and David Schore was named senior managing director. According to Real Deal, Vanbarton is buying 901 5th for $305 million or $564/sf  from Schnitzer West and Investcorp.

According to two people in the commercial real estate industry, F5 Tower at 801 5th Avenue is for sale. A source said Eastdil Secured, who declined to comment, is privately marketing the building to potential buyers. Stockbridge Capital Group and Daniels Real Estate currently own the building. F5 plans to have all employees in the building by July. The building includes a 198-room hotel. F5 has a 14.5 year lease with options to extend.


Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s budget managers informed City Council members that Seattle’s growth appears to be slowing as well as the growth of City Hall’s tax revenue. Economic indicators are signaling a slowdown and there will not be much unanticipated money to devote to new projects, according to the budget managers. Even though mega projects including Washington State Convention Center expansion and Key Arena renovation will bring in revenue, the city tax revenue budget experts expect revenue from construction industry to decline overall.

According to the 2019 “Best States” ranking from U.S. News & World Report, Washington is the best state to live in. Metrics and data points are used in the rankings to show how well each state serves its residents. The report is based around eight major categories and Washington ranked Top 5, in infrastructure, economy, education and health care. However, in other categories such as crime and corrections, opportunity, and fiscal stability we placed 15th or lower.

According to Glassdoor, there are more than 100,000 open positions in the Puget Sound region with most openings in health care and tech. Daniel Zhao, an economist and data scientist at Glassdoor found that job growth is flat compared to April 2018.

According to the latest report, the Seattle-area housing market is in favor of the buyer. There are many homes for sale and the median sales price in Seattle fell nearly 8 percent according to NWMLS. The median home price decline in Seattle is not shocking when the number of homes for sale is up 111 percent since April 2018. However, in Pierce and Kitsap counties prices rose nearly 5 percent.

In the past year 15,354 people moved to Seattle according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The number of people moving to Seattle has declined from previous years, but Seattle still remains one of the fastest growing cities in America.


The new Highway 99 tunnel has been open for three months and the tunnel has the same amount of users as the old viaduct. There are about 80,000 cars using the tunnel per weekday. Former Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire stated the tunnel was not built to reduce congestion, but “It was always intended to be a replacement for a very unsafe structure and a structure that divided the city from its waterfront.”

As the viaduct continues to be removed the waterfront is slowly transforming. After Memorial Day, deck-breaking will begin at Yesler Way and continue south. To see photos of the transformation taking place click here.


Facebook’s engineering office in Seattle continues to grow. Employees have started moving into a new building called Arbor Blocks 300 located at 300 8th Ave N in South Lake Union. The complex will have two structures and be able to house up to 2,000 employees. The Arbor Blocks 300 building has 196,000 square feet of office space and another building under construction will be ready in summer. The building has an open-concept, unfinished look, with several amenities including gym, laundry, cafeteria and a rooftop deck.

Uber, the new publicly traded company, is planning on opening new space at its Seattle engineering outpost. Uber’s office located at 1191 2nd Ave occupies the 8th, 12th, 14th, and part of the 6th floor and is planning on expanding to two additional floors. The company has 450 employees in Seattle and plans to have 750 employees by the end of 2019. Seattle is home to Uber’s largest office worldwide outside of San Francisco. To see photos of their office space click here. The South Lake Union neighborhood has dramatically changed in the last few years. Earlier in May the Seattle Architecture Foundation had a morning walking tour of the neighborhood. Stacy Segal, executive director of the non-profit stated, “I think we’re just caught in a massive growth that we were not quite prepared for on a number of levels. But I think that if you just stop to look, there is a fair amount of thoughtfulness going into the development. You have to try to appreciate that and that’s something we try to instill in people on our tours.”

Written by // flinn