As long as you don’t mind cloudy or rainy days – Seattle has more than 200 days on average each year – the seaport city has attractive features to offer many e-commerce businesses, with a strong economy, growing population, low unemployment and quick access to transportation routes via port, freeway or air. Demand for industrial space in the Seattle area is outpacing availability, particularly when it comes to high-quality, well-located space. Industrial vacancy rates dropped to 2.4 percent in Q4 2017, and more than 75 percent of new speculative development has been leased before completion, or shortly before delivery, according to JLL’s Seattle-Bellevue industrial report.
“We have a saying, ‘Show me five acres and, I’ll buy it,’” said Travis Hale, director of development at Panattoni Development Company, Inc. during an industrial project tour at NAIOP’s CRE.Insights: The Last Mile conference this week in Seattle. The tour, sponsored by Craft Architects, highlighted two innovative industrial projects: Panattoni Development’s Des Moines Creek Business Park and Prologis’ Georgetown Crossroads.
Des Moines Creek Business Park
With easy access to freeways and 25 minutes or less from the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma, Des Moines Creek Business Park encompasses 1.1 million square feet of completed industrial space, 300,000 square feet of Class A office space and 500,000 square feet of industrial space currently under construction. The business park, developed by Panattoni Development in partnership with MetLife, is being built in four phases; the first three phases are 100 percent leased and the fourth phase, expected to be completed this spring, is 52 percent leased.
- The land for Phases I, II and III is located directly underneath Seatac International Airport flight path and was originally a residential neighborhood. The Port of Seattle, which operates Seatac, purchased the land for airport noise abatement.
- The Port and the City of Des Moines worked together on local infrastructure improvements prior to Panattoni being awarded the project.
- The industrial buildings range from 30’ to 36’ clear heights with 130’ truck courts and ESFR fire protection.
- The industrial buildings are LEED certified and the office space will achieve LEED Gold for both new construction and commercial office interiors.
Prologis’ three-story fulfillment center Georgetown Crossroads is the first of its kind in the United States, and is expected to be completed this fall. Located five minutes from downtown Seattle and the Port of Seattle, with easy access to highways and local mass transit, the site bills itself as “minutes to anywhere.” Georgetown Crossroads features truck access from multiple points on the first level, truck access via ramps to the second level, and forklift-accessible freight elevators from the ground level up to Level Three.
- Level one features 239,029 square feet of fulfillment space with 28’ clear heights.
- Level two includes a 130’ elevated truck court served by two ramps designed for full-size 53’ trailer access.
- Level three, intended as “maker’s space” suitable for light manufacturing, creative offices, laboratory and production, and features common area amenities.
- Surface parking and a three-story parking structure provide a total of 500 parking stalls in a submarket where parking is extremely limited.
Innovative industrial developments in the region continue to flourish.
“Moving into 2018, there is no reason to think that the momentum of Seattle-Bellevue’s industrial market will be slowing down any time soon,” JLL concluded in their report.