Published May 2002

Cushman exec sees rebound in commercial space market

By John Wolcott
Herald Business Journal Editor

SEATTLE — Business parks in southwest Everett, including Seaway Center and the Mountain View Business Park, are destined to be ground zero for office and industrial development in Snohomish County during the next few years, a top Cushman & Wakefield executive said recently.

At a news briefing on vacancy rates, construction and leasing activity, officials at the real estate services company said the market appears on the rebound after lackluster performances during the last half of 2001.

As the Seattle and Eastside markets see business beginning to stir in areas with 13 percent to 26 percent vacancy rates, respectively, Snohomish County sees its market gaining attention for lower prices and more varied opportunities for development.

“In (Snohomish County), the market is specifically Seaway Center and southwest Everett near the Boeing plant,” said Cushman & Wakefield Director Gary Bullington.

“Seaway Center was originally planned as a technology park, with landscaping, sidewalks, jogging trails and even fiber-optic cable in the ground,” Bullington said. “So today it’s a four-star park in an attractive environmental setting priced for manufacturing and offices as well as high-tech.”

Bullington said the Snohomish County Economic Development Council and city of Everett officials are doing the right kind of development in the area, seeking businesses with skilled living-wage payrolls and quality names.

“The trend (of companies) moving north into Snohomish County for expansion and development is not going to change,” he added. “Its pace will depend on the national economy. If that accelerates, you will really see a lot of movement in southwest Snohomish County.”

Cushman & Wakefield statistics for that area for the first quarter of 2002 show a vacancy rate for office space of 20.9 percent, up from 15.3 percent a year earlier; 701,962 square feet of office space available compared with 449,149 square feet a year ago; and office rental rates averaging $24.66 per square foot for Class A space compared with $25.78 a year ago.

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