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I look at Madison Centre’s anemic leasing rate and think this isn’t a great thing.
Madison Centre hasn't been very active in announcing their leases, mostly because they're in one and two floor increments. Word in the leasing world is that Schnitzer's over 80% leased and has no shortage of traction on the remainder. Once they reach a certain leasing threshold, say 80%, the rest of leasing is really just about optimizing the rent roll and trying to spike rents at least once or twice to allow investment sales brokers to 'credibly' justify an above-market rent in the building when they market it for sale.

More relevant to Rainier Square, I heard the rumor as well but it really doesnt sound like as big a deal as that article would suggest. Amazon isn't breaking the lease and will pay rent just as if they were occupying it. The downtown space market is EXTREMELY tight and I know of at least three firms who'll have interest in 100k-200k SF chunks of this space. Amazon'll either sublease it up at premium rents and collect a little spread or work something out with the developer to assign their lease in chunks and pay a moderately fat penalty for what one would assume would be a downgrade in tenant credit.
 

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I'm hoping some of the professionals on here can chime in and double check me on that explanation.

But to further pull from my arse, my guess is its down to fabrication costs for building the box. You're building 2 full walls of steel instead of just a lattice of re-bar, plus a more involved fabrication. For a shorter building, the amount of time/worker cost saved for sped up construction vs the extra cost of building the core box might not pencil out as well as it would in a taller building where you have a lot more floors to build.
I'm not a high-rise guy but my general understanding is that there are a few major benefits to this system:
1. Instead of having a concrete crew and a structural steel crew interface as you normally would with a concrete core and steel superstructure, you have a single point of contact and work with the steel erectors. One of the biggest reasons this is notable (besides that fact that it's always better to coordinate between fewer trades) is that the American Concrete Institute standards for vertical alignment differ from that of the American Institute of Steel Construction such that the vertical control is a PITA to maintain and there tends to be issues at the interface between the concrete and steel thus construction take longer.
2. It takes 3-4 days per cycle to build a one-story concrete core on a high-rise like these. It takes 4-5 days per cycle to build the two-story steel structure around a concrete core. That would mean on a 50 story tower, you're looking at ~200 working days for the core whereas you're more like ~130 working days for the steel structure. Even if you add a day per cycle for the steel core, you still come out ahead by ~20%. The concrete that is added into the core sandwich can be done after the leading edge steel erection is done, removing this from the critical path for work.

TL;DR: this system: 1. reduces conflicts between concrete and steel construction tolerances and 2. allows the faster activity (steel erection) to be the critical path, not the concrete core construction.
 

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Boy, somebody nailed the call on a camera on Wamu. With that awesome news it sure looks like this tower will have the slender and tall factor proportions to balance out the ever growing 440ft 'table top'.
 

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Boy, somebody nailed the call on a camera on Wamu. With that awesome news it sure looks like this tower will have the slender and tall factor proportions to balance out the ever growing 440ft 'table top'.
We definitely needed a tower to punch through that 40-45-floor "flat-top plateau" that our current skyline has become in recent years!
 

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We definitely needed a tower to punch through that 40-45-floor "flat-top plateau" that our current skyline has become in recent years!
Yea but this isn't where the flat top plateau is happening. the north part of the skyline is looking like a hedge line.
 
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This tower will put the plateau in it's place when viewed from the north end, thinking Gas Works park especially.
I couldnt agree with anymore enthusiasm! Rainier Square's central, downtown Seattle location is beautifully situated between Union Street, with 1201 3rd Avenue (formerly known as The Washington Mutual Tower) and Two Union Square.
 

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Madison Centre hasn't been very active in announcing their leases, mostly because they're in one and two floor increments. Word in the leasing world is that Schnitzer's over 80% leased and has no shortage of traction on the remainder. Once they reach a certain leasing threshold, say 80%, the rest of leasing is really just about optimizing the rent roll and trying to spike rents at least once or twice to allow investment sales brokers to 'credibly' justify an above-market rent in the building when they market it for sale.

More relevant to Rainier Square, I heard the rumor as well but it really doesnt sound like as big a deal as that article would suggest. Amazon isn't breaking the lease and will pay rent just as if they were occupying it. The downtown space market is EXTREMELY tight and I know of at least three firms who'll have interest in 100k-200k SF chunks of this space. Amazon'll either sublease it up at premium rents and collect a little spread or work something out with the developer to assign their lease in chunks and pay a moderately fat penalty for what one would assume would be a downgrade in tenant credit.
There is speculation that with the possible tilt toward anti-business city hall has prompted Amazon to stop further NEW downtown Seattle investments. This would align with their Bellevue office activities. I don’t fault Amazon if Seattle City Council hates growth and business.
 

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There is speculation that with the possible tilt toward anti-business city hall has prompted Amazon to stop further NEW downtown Seattle investments. This would align with their Bellevue office activities. I don’t fault Amazon if Seattle City Council hates growth and business.
Where have you been the last four months?!
 

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Apparently there will be a 3rd camera angle. Oh they are just spoiling us now!

Camera angle #3 listed with: "COMING SOON!"
I would love to see that third cam situated high up and to the east pointing roughly west southwest, USBC has plenty of rooftop nooks for that. Regardless of that, the third cam needs to focus on the east side so we can all see how they go about the steel/curtainwall construction on that sexy slope.
 

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I completely understand people being a little freaked out about Amazon not taking all this space. But let's put on our "real world" hats for just a second. Seattle in the last 5 years or so has settled in to this "Amazon will fix everything" attitude that EVERY office development, hotel complex, apartment building, etc, is all directly tied to Amazon's growth. Amazon CAN'T grow that much more downtown and SHOULDN'T. It's already in the UNHEALTHY stage of having such a huge % of the overall market. You never want to be a one company town. Everyone remembers the old "would the last person leaving Seattle turn off the lights" billboard related to Boeing shrinking when they were the ONE big employee. We're more diverse now (still have Boeing, and Starbucks, and Microsoft, and Amazon, and bio-tech, and game developers, etc). I get it's easy and seems a quick fix to just assume the magic of "Amazon" will fill EVERY new office project and push every new building, but they already have an outsized presence. God forbid they have a bad year(s) or a new CEO gets in a snit and decides to move to St. Louis or something, Seattle would see that billboard again. It's not smart to wish 25% to 50% of your downtown is controlled by a single company. It does make things easier and while that company is growing (like Amazon is now) it makes for a boom time but it's not sustainable.

I moved here in '96 when Amazon was a strangely named company that sold books out of a warehouse in SODO, and had JUST decided to sell CDs too! Then for years they were "that company" who took over the old PacMed building on the corner of Beacon Hill. Then they took over half of South Lake Union. Then they announced new 40 story HQ downtown, 2nd one to come and 3rd "IF NEEDED EVENTUALLY" and then all 3 buildings popped up, plus so many others. It seemed like EVERY new real estate move was JUST about Amazon (Macy's shrinking and turning the top few floors into office space...for who? Oh Amazon). It's become silly. I don't know that Amazon CAN expand that much more here. YES I get why that would be "nice" in terms of new buildings and simple real estate, but it's probably not realistic.
 

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I'm not sure what you're reading that says people are "freaking out." There's still a bunch of spec office space under production, most of which is being/has been filled by substantial leases from a vast array of companies, big and small. I'm sure there is some hand-wringing in a handful of business or real estate advocacy groups but even they are concerned about the long-term prognosis if Amazon owns all the leases/buildings. The reason amazon has been relied upon to suck up office space is because, well, they've been sucking up all the office space.
Whatever sensational news stories are floating around trying to put people in a panic over Amazon "leaving" or "fleeing" or whatever is totally hyperbolic and should be dismissed as half-true noise. Real estate markets are dynamic and complex and rarely flip quickly. The people who "lose" in large scale commercial real estate tend to be giant institutions or extremely wealthy individuals/families. Even if Amazon stops growing right now and no additional spec office space gets developed the worst case scenario is a stagnant market or a slight decline in asset value, which, but for a small privileged few who own commercial real estate assets, will be a nice break from the real estate frenzy of the last 5 years.
Geoff, I eagerly await your "the previous two comments were moved to the 'coffee shop' thread"!
 

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I am curious as to why for cam 3 they decided to place it on the shortest building there when in about 3 or 4 weeks time it will be sort of useless and will be like cam 1, pointed at a wall that will show nothing of the progress. Why not move it to those much taller buildings on the east side as was mentioned earlier?
 
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