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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
from www.seattletimes.com


view of the downtown Bellevue skyline looking east. The office-vacancy rate downtown approached 30 percent two years ago; it's now 10.8 percent.




Big deals gobble up Bellevue office space

By J. Martin McOmber
Seattle Times business reporter


MIKE SIEGEL / THE SEATTLE TIMES
A view of the downtown Bellevue skyline looking east. The office-vacancy rate downtown approached 30 percent two years ago; it's now 10.8 percent.

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Downtown Bellevue's office-vacancy rate plunged nearly 8 percentage points in the past three months, capping a dramatic turnaround for a city that recently ranked among the hardest hit commercial real-estate markets in the country.

The amount of available office space fell to 10.8 percent in September from 18.6 in July, according to a survey released yesterday by brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield. The rate is the lowest since early 2001, when the region's collapsing high-tech economy began to abandon large chunks of space in Bellevue office towers.

The drop was no surprise.

Real-estate experts had been expecting a dramatic change after Safeco spinoff Symetra Financial and online retailer drugstore.com decided to move their headquarters to downtown Bellevue.






But the new number underscores just how fast the suburban city's fortunes have changed. Two years ago, the downtown vacancy rate neared a record 30 percent, a hole so deep many believed it would take the better part of a decade to climb out.

Today, developers including Kemper Freeman, Schnitzer Northwest and Equity Office Properties are once again maneuvering to add office towers to the skyline.

"The real nice places have all been leased up," said Tom Bohman, director of Cushman & Wakefield's Bellevue office. "What's left are the smaller places that are harder to lease."

Bohman predicts Bellevue's vacancy rate will continue to fall, but at a more modest pace. And he expects it will still take several years for average annual rental rates — which inched down from $23.23 in July to $22.99 a square foot in September — to increase enough to cover the costs of a new building.

If landlords in Bellevue are looking toward better days, they have Equity Office to thank. The Chicago-based real-estate investment trust and the region's largest owner of office space, lured Symetra and drugstore.com to office towers with attractive leases that consumed about 340,000 square feet of space.

Although both companies are moving from other Eastside locations — Symetra from Safeco's Redmond campus and drugstore.com from Sunset Corporate Campus near Interstate 90 — brokers expect those spaces to lease quickly.

Bellevue's improving office market also earned the city bragging rights for topping Seattle. For the first time in years, the suburban downtown has a lower vacancy rate than its urban counterpart.

Seattle's office-vacancy rate remained virtually flat for the past three months, falling one-tenth of a percentage point to 15.1 percent.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's not about "maybe" since it's already happening. There is a crane working on the office portion of Lincoln Square and Lincoln tower itself is already twice the height it was when it was first stalled.
 

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^Looking at that map, and experiencing first hand, there's a lot of unused space in between buildings in Bellevue's superblocks, that's why I like these large projects like Lincoln Square, they fill in all that wasted space. I hope more of these mega-projects happen.
 

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Kemper Development Pushing Ahead with Lincoln Square Office

BELLEVUE, WA-Kemper Development is moving ahead with the 500,000-sf office component of its massive Lincoln Square project. The locally based company’s namesake Kemper Freeman tells GlobeSt.com his personal goal is to have the office tower topped out and clad when the rest of the 1.4-million-sf mixed-use development opens in November. “I’m being a little aggressive here but we can, in fact, do it,” says Freeman. “We’ll need to be going in the next several weeks.”

(click here for full link)




(^ older rendering, some things have changed in the design but the basic tower concept should be the same)
 

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Microsoft Sprawl

God Microsoft uses up a lot of space. Why can't they just build a skyscraper in downtown Seattle and locate the entire company there? :doh:
 

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Because that campus setting over the years has been very successful for them, why fix what isn't broken. Plus from what I've seen a lot of newer buildings are 4-6 stories, so they aren't too short. Maybe one day get a light rail stop there.
 

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Bellevue building sells at record price

A downtown Bellevue office complex whose tenants include Infosys, Microsoft and Morgan Stanley was sold yesterday for $460 per square foot, a record price in the Pacific Northwest and one of the highest prices ever paid for commercial real estate in a West Coast city.

The sale of the Civica Office Commons -- a 305,000-square-foot office complex that opened four years ago at 225 108th Ave. N.E. -- signals a complete turnaround in Bellevue's real estate market. A little more than three years ago, office vacancies in the central business district reached 29 percent, and a number of developers were forced to pull the plug on their high rise projects.

(click here for rest of story)


 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Go Bellevue!!! :D On the way to being more urban.
 

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I love seeing all the cranes now. I just can't wait for the whole lincoln square thingy to be done.

Anyone know what's going up next to the new city hall? Looks like a parking structure but I am not sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
:sleepy: oh that's pretty!
 

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Oh yeah! I stole that issue from my grandparents :). BTW, I walked through Bellevue the other day and Lincoln Tower is rising quite quickly. I also saw a huge hole across the street from Bellevue Center (I think that was the tower) that I suppose is City Center II. Emporis says approved but it is very much under construction.
 
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