Here’s another WaMu update on a subject that will likely have a large impact on downtown’s commercial real estate scene:
From the P-I story:
New York banking giant JPMorgan Chase & Co., which in September bought the branches, deposits and loans of Washington Mutual Inc. of Seattle for $1.9 billion, plans to drop the leases in six downtown office buildings now housing WaMu employees, a WaMu spokeswoman said.
WaMu currently leases about 880,000 square feet in downtown Seattle, said Patrick Mullen, a research analyst with Grubb & Ellis Co., Seattle.
“Assuming Chase lets go of most of the workers in those leased offices, and then lets go of the offices, that event alone could drive up vacancies 2 to 3 percentage points in the central business district,” Mullen said. “It would depress rent rates even more than they are now.”
Mullen said the massive withdrawal could also undercut the roughly 2.5 million square feet of office space due for completion in downtown Seattle next year.
Also, from the Times story:
It also decided WaMu’s Cedarbrook corporate-training center in SeaTac is “not a core asset for us, and we are looking at options for it,” said JPMorgan spokesman Thomas Kelly.
Now is not a particularly great time to be in the commercial real estate business in downtown Seattle.