There were a couple of stories in the Seattle Times over the weekend pertaining to the health of the local economy. The first was an article on the commercial real estate market, highlighting a forecast for falling rents.
Commercial real-estate brokers James Keating and Sean Barnes have one word of advice for their clients looking to lease big chunks of office space in or near downtown Seattle:
“By the end of 2009, or the first quarter of 2010, the market’s going to turn,” says Barnes, a vice president in the Seattle office of Jones Lang LaSalle.
Vacancy rates will rise, they predict. Lease rates will drop. Tenants will smile.
The article goes into pretty good depth as to the amount of space coming on line both in terms of new construction and space coming available from existing tenants.
The second story was about Olympic Boat Centers filing for bankruptcy protection. For those who don’t know it, Olympic Boat Center is a Redmond-based “seller of boats and yachts including Bayliner, Maxum, Meridian and Trophy”. Boats purchases are highly subject to discretionary income – and are typically hit hard in an economic downturn, so this news isn’t all that surprising. When I saw the article – I figured that it must be exposure to the California market that was dragging them down. This could be the case, but when I dug deeper, I noted that they have 8 locations in California as compared to 11 in Washington/BC – so they are not completely weighted to the California economy. A few months ago, I noted that they had closed their location on Bel-Red Road. At the time, I figured they must be moving to newer and fancier digs. It seems I was mistaken.