Introducing Market Snippets
Do you have an hour a day to dig up Seattle-area A/E/C/RE news, including what's not in the papers? Let's be honest...probably not!
My weekly Market Snippets can help. Every week I assemble a concise summary with a simple focus: What's planned, by whom, and why.
I go beyond the DJC and PSBJ, from agency budgets to blogs to permit applications. Links take you to the primary sources. I also dig up details beyond the articles—anything in italics is added research or perspective.
The format is a basic, quick email so you can edit and share with your team.
This past Tuesday's issue is below.
Interested in subscribing or have questions? Let me know at email@example.com or 206-552-4477!
August 9 issue:
Looking for a good show and Netflix isn't cutting it? Try the OxBlue for Vulcan's Yesler Terrace Block 8 apartments—new photo every 12 minutes! The first season is well along (clearing, grading, temporary access road), and the next will kick off soon with arrival of drilling machines for shoring, signaling a full start. Vulcan allcams.
MARKETS AND TRENDS
CoStar real-time stats for Seattle metro:
Office vacancy: 10.4% (+0.7 YTD)
Apartment vacancy: 5.3% (+0.5 YTD)
Retail vacancy: 2.7% (0.0 YTD)
Industrial vacancy: 4.4% (-0.3 YTD)
The US Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (House pending, might pass easily), including $369b for clean energy and climate protection. What would it mean for A/E/C/RE? Urban Land. ENR. Seattle Times.
Infrastructure and manufacturing investments will be big—solar panels, wind turbines, heat pumps, clean vehicles, emission-reduction at power plants, etc. A great deal of money will go to rural and disadvantaged areas.
Some Washington benefits include support for solar farms and a potential next-generation nuclear power plant in Richland.
Washington could benefit disproportionately due to our aggressive move away from fossil fuels, our stringent energy codes and sustainability culture, and our significant climate-related R&D and manufacturing base.
The bill would also reduce the budget deficit and extend the Affordable Care Act.
Dodge Data & Analytics says the Seattle metro started $3.5b of commercial/multifamily buildings through June. Over four years the trend (through June each year) has been $1.96 > $2.43 > $3.90 > $3.50b. We were #1 on the West Coast, though that's only because California's big two are broken into multiple "metros" each. Dodge.
They omit institutional buildings, manufacturing plants, public work, and single-family housing.
Don't read too much into any trend here. "Start" numbers tend to fluctuate widely based on the timing of a few megaprojects.
Seattle's life science developments totaled 1,200,000 sf with 700,000 sf of known demand per a Q2 CBRE analysis, with 9,260,000 sf inventory. The Boston and San Francisco areas lead the sector. Nationally, there's optimism despite the venture capital market coming off its 2021 spike. Big pharma is the strongest subsector in current demand. PSBJ. CBRE life science RE.
Seattle relies on biotech, particularly subsets like cell therapeutics. We're weak in traditional pharma.
The volume of construction is partially semantics—it's often versatile office/life space with specific characteristics, such as plenty of floor-to-floor height (to handle big mechanical systems) and structural stiffness to protect the labs.
RLB says Seattle experienced the biggest YOY construction cost increases in the US through April, at 11.28%. The final quarter was only 2.26% QoQ however. Worker shortages, supply chain issues, and oil prices are all big contributors. DJC.
UPCOMING PROJECTS / OPPORTUNITIES
Sea-Tac Airport's C Concourse Expansion will break ground this month—vertically expanding and renovating for 226,520 sf where C meets the main concourse. A grand dining and retail hall will reduce crowding, topped by an Alaska Airlines lounge, a chapel, and back-of-house uses. Wood Bagot is leading design. PSBJ.
Turner is GC/CM.
Pierce County Fire Protection District No. 5 (Gig Harbor) has won its $80m bond measure. Projects include a replacement station, upgrades to four stations, and a new training center. Rice Fergus Miller has provided feasibility services. The yes vote was 66% as of Friday. Ballot measure. Project page.
The Si View Metropolitan Park District lost its $25m bond vote for an aquatic center in North Bend. They needed 60% but got less than 58%. EHDD has led design for the new 26,800 sf facility across from Si View Park. Will it come back? Ballot measure. Project page.
Brixton Capital will rebuild and shrink part of Everett Mall, at I-5 and 99. From the current 490,949 sf, they'll demo the central 215,000 sf and rebuild 97,200 sf with smaller shops. MG2 is leading the design. No S&C general is noted. Meanwhile a former Sears will be renovated into an At Home with Parkway Construction and Architecture. DJC.
Panattoni and Crow Holdings are starting FRED310, a 2,300,000 sf phased industrial development in Frederickson, off Canyon Rd E and E 176th St. A 1,100,000 sf building has been preleased to a "specialty retailer." PSBJ.
Nelson is architect and Sierra is contractor, based on permitting documents.
Bumbershoot is leasing 64,000 sf at the former Bed Bath & Beyond space at 301 Virginia in Belltown for five years—though the site was on the market. The lease involves minor work but no contractor or architect are publicly known. DJC.
The site will be redeveloped someday. It's most of a block (almost 1.3 acres) with no alley and 550' zoning in a spot that would work for residential, hotel, and office. They must be holding out for a better price.
The UW Interdisciplinary Education Building will start in September, aided by $10m from Boeing. It'll be 70,000 sf and cost $90m overall. The design-build team is led by Hensel Phelps with KieranTimberlake. DJC. Geekwire. UW project page.
SECO is proposing five nine-story office buildings at Southport, expanding the current complex that's mostly vacant. They'll total 1,200,000 sf along with 50,000 sf retail. ZFG is lead designer. They're adding a new street connection that will improve marketability. City of Renton.
They did the first buildings on spec, but I'd be shocked if they did it again. This seems like an attempt to attract an anchor tenant, a difficult exercise.
Vibrant Cities plans a 17-story residential building in ID/Chinatown, at 614 Maynard Ave S. Working with Otak, their concept is 200 units and 14,000 sf retail/commercial/event space. Stoller is providing CM services, but no GC is noted. DJC.
They haven't done much on building permits. This looks like a potential spring construction start at best.
KC Metro wants Shoreline to rezone the 19000 Aurora park-n-ride for a major TOD—and will offer the site to developers. They're targeting seven stories and 558-694 housing units. Metro would need parking in a separate garage or integrated with the housing. DJC. Google Maps.
Cedar Coast plans 564 apartments near the Kent / Des Moines Link station, at 3101 S 240th St. Nine buildings would rise three to seven stories. They're working with Studio Meng Strazzara, builder unknown. DJC.
OZ Navigator and Gardner Global plan apartment projects, and have received preliminary DOE endorsements for their hazmat cleanup plans. DJC.
OZ Navigator will build 202 apartments at 701 S Jackson in ID/Chinatown, with Neiman Taber and STS Construction. This will be nine stories and include congregate units, SEDUs, and one-bedrooms. The plan a spring start.
GardnerGlobal plans 259 apartments and condos plus office, retail, and community space in Skyway at 12536 Renton Ave S. No architect is known and project details aren't available, which suggests it's way out.
Bode plans 317 apartments in Downtown Everett at 1918 Pacific Ave. Two seven-story buildings will cover an L-shaped site. Many will be micro units. They're working with Knit as architect, contractor unknown. DJC.
Pryde's mass timber apartment at 1422 Seneca is pursuing a MUP revision to change from 18 to 12 stories. The changed from 12 to 18 previously. "Akari House" has had minimal progress on construction permits. Clarke Barnes is architect. SDCI MUP record.
This seems like a potential spring start based on typical permit timelines. No builder is specified but Swinerton has been involved in the past.
Overlook Walk is the City's hillclimb/bridge, by Hoffman and James Corner Field Operations. It'll be complete by 2025.
Ocean Pavilion is a new building for the Seattle Aquarium, under Overlook Walk's public space. Their team is led by Turner and LMN, and it opens in Spring 2024.
Elliott Avenue is underway with Gary Merlino Construction and will complete in early 2023. Cars headed for northbound Alaskan Way will turn left from Elliott east of the Aquarium addition.