The joke in Seattle is that the crane is the new symbol of Seattle. We don’t mean Crane the Bird, but construction cranes. Seattle still leads the nation with 45 cranes dotting our skyline, but this represents one fifth less than the former high. Is this an indicator of the health of the commercial real estate industry in Seattle? Are we at a peak and heading towards a down cycle?

First, consider that most of the cranes are involved in downtown high-rise construction, mostly office or residential towers. Often these uses are in the same tower as exemplified by the redevelopment of the Rainier Tower block. Having said this, you have to step back and look at the time it takes for the development timelines of office space and high-rise multi-family. From submission of plans to completion the process is years, often 3-4 years, not months. Projects starting the process now are looking to completion in the 2020’s.

Seattle Commercial Real Estate has a 5 Year Criteria. We want our clients to adopt the attitude that we will look back 5 years from the time that we make decisions and be able to say that we made a good decision then that is still validated today. We use our 200 plus years of experience to try to make a perfect decision in the imperfect world of commercial real estate.