In the Seattle commercial real estate economy, 50% of all jobs are centered in downtown Seattle. We lead the country in the number of cranes in the downtown area and most are for the development of multifamily housing. The number of units in this cycle are calculated to be 27,000. Of that number, 94% will be rental properties and most of those properties will feature unique urban amenities.
Seattle Commercial Real Estate is not locked into servicing our clients only in “downtown”. One of our clients asked us to assist in finding a suburban location for propane distribution. We accomplished this as part of a larger parcel with additional land held for future development. One of the potential users of that land was an entrepreneur growing grass and taking his unique product to downtown multifamily projects to create “watering” areas for Downtown Seattle Dogs. We assisted him in finding a home to grow the grass for distribution, and that did not mean in downtown Seattle.
Why this is important is that it points out the extent to which amenities are required as part of the urban lifestyle by new urban dwellers. The older of these employees are now transitioning to marriage and still want to stay downtown. This has led to a resurgence in condominium housing sales. In the last wave of condominium development prices were $300-400 per square foot and now are three to four times that level. A 378 unit condo project opened to the public and logged sales of 70% of their project in the first weekend…and delivery won’t even start until 2019. It is truly a new lifestyle.