CB Richard Ellis

Specialty: Commercial real estate services

Management: Jim Bowles, principal and senior managing director

Founded: 1903

Largest recent deals: American Port Services lease of 322,465 square feet at Park 277 from RREEF and lease of 358,673 square feet at Rainier Park of Industry from Panattoni; Boeing renewal of 130,690 square feet at Two Renton Place and new lease for 112,068 square feet at Three Renton Place from Hal Real Estate Investment; Metzler’s purchase of Fifth & Pine for $55 million

CB Richard Ellis’ presence in the Puget Sound region may grow in 2006, according to Senior Managing Director Jim Bowles. “There’s lot of opportunity for us to expand,” he says. Possible areas include hotel brokerage, increasing the scope of its burgeoning medical office practice, and expanding in Tacoma. For CB, it’s about finding the niche and filling it, according to Bowles, who is optimistic about the market in general.

Office leasing is “strengthening considerably across the board,” he says, citing job growth. That will prompt companies to lease more space. At the same time, there are not a lot of projects under construction, and that will lead to a declining vacancy rate.

Stagnant industrial rates

The Southend industrial market continues moving southward as developers home in on large parcels south of Lacey.

“Right now there is a heavy degree of interest in larger tracts — 80 to 500 acres. Those are being considered because if you look at it, where are you going to build?”

The trouble with industrial properties are rental rates. Fifteen years ago, rates were 28 cents per square foot per month. Now they’re 32 cents.

Hot retail

As for retail, Bowles says there’s no stopping it. “From my perspective, the real real-estate story for 2005 and probably the piece that is going to be of interest next year is the investment markets. This is the hottest market I have seen.”

Institutional investors are anxious to invest in many areas, “and our market is a fairly attractive one for them.” Several years ago, after the dot-com meltdown, Seattle was viewed as a second market. “It’s really come around and changed,” Bowles says.

Copyright ©2005 Seattle Daily Journal and DJC.COM.
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