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NKF’s Kevin Shannon: Why Seattle Reigns King

By Dennis Kaiser

Seattle is one of the hottest CRE markets in the United States. It earned the title of Biggest Company Town in America, a position it achieved riding the explosive growth of Amazon, and it is enjoying an unprecedented construction boom, reflected in it earning the crown of Crane Capital of America.

To gain a better understanding of Seattle and the Puget Sound, Connect Media asked NKF’s Kevin Shannon, one of the nation’s most active CRE investment brokers, to share why the Pacific Northwest market is in demand. Here’s what he had to say in our latest 3 CRE Q&A.

Q: What are the big trends that you are tracking relative to the Seattle market?

A: The biggest trend for the Seattle/Puget Sound area is continued absorption fueled primarily by the technology companies. However, it isn’t the only industry in Seattle, as Starbucks, Costco and Boeing all have a big presence in Seattle.

Q: What are the drivers in the market?

A: What continues to drive market growth is the region’s comparative lower cost of office space, as well as its lower cost of housing compared to NorCal. Housing costs in the Puget Sound region are at about 60% of what it is in NorCal, with wages also in a similar range to NorCal when you reconcile the lack of income tax in the State of Washington.

It’s relatively easy for tech companies such as Facebook and Google to replicate their NorCal footprint in the Puget Sound area on a smaller scale, due to the area’s well educated labor pool. You are also seeing other tech companies starting to do the same, replicating their NorCal footprint due to this region’s lower cost of living, in conjunction with the abundant supply of talented labor.

Q: Can you give any examples of what’s on the horizon that you see?

A: Looking ahead, when you talk about the Puget Sound area, the big drivers will continue to be the growth of mostly technology companies in the region. The Seattle/Puget Sound market is leading the country in absorption this year and we expect that trend to continue, especially with continued big space commitments from the likes of Amazon, F5 Networks, Facebook, Google etc. in Bellevue and Seattle.

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For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Dennis Kaiser


Inside The Story

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About Dennis Kaiser

Dennis Kaiser is Vice President of Content and Public Relations for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Dennis is a communications leader with more than 30 years of experience including as a journalist and in corporate and agency marketing communications roles. He is responsible for Connect’s client content operations and is involved in a range of initiatives ranging from content strategy, message development, copywriting, media relations, social media and content marketing services. In his most recent corporate communications roles, he led a regional public relations effort across Southern California for CBRE, played a key marketing role on JLL’s national retail team, and was responsible for directing the global public relations effort at ValleyCrest, the nation’s largest commercial landscape services company. In addition to his vast commercial real estate experience, Dennis has worked on communications and launch strategies for a number of residential projects such as Disney’s Celebration in Florida, Ritter Ranch in Palmdale California (7,200 homes, 22,000 acres), WaterColor in Florida and PremierGarage in Phoenix. Dennis’s agency background included firms such as Idea Hall and Macy + Associates. He has earned an outstanding reputation with organization leaders as a trusted advisor, strategic program implementer, consensus builder and exceptional collaborator. Dennis has developed and managed national communications programs for Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, both public and private. He’s successfully worked with journalists across the globe representing clients involved in major-breaking news stories, product launches, media tours, and company news announcements. Dennis has been involved in a host of charitable and community organizations including the American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, BoyScouts, Chrysalis Foundation, Freedom For Life, HOLA, L.A.’s BEST, Reach Out and Read, Super Bowl Host Committee, and Thunderbirds Charities.