- 2014 was the best year for American job gains since 1999, and 2015 has only continued to build upon that momentum. U.S. employers stepped up hiring in February and the jobless rate fell to its lowest level since 2007, which could put pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in June. Whether it’s June or not, 2015 is widely expected to be the year that Chairwoman Yellen presides over a rise in short-term interest rate from near zero. The goal is to push rates higher across the spectrum to avoid fueling economic and market bubbles. Critics voice concern that the Fed will have difficulty increasing longer-term rates, potentially disrupting economic stability. Most economists consider a steep yield curve, or a wide gap between short-term and long-term rates, very healthy. Conversely, a flat yield curve—where longer-term rates are below those of short-term ones—has foreshadowed poor economic times and recession. That last happened June 2007, shortly before the financial crisis.
- Rises in consumer prices suggest inflation pressures are slowly building back up after succumbing to a seventh-month slide in oil prices. Since June 2014, gas prices have plummeted, effectively lowering inflation. In February 2015, the modest 2.4% rebound in gas costs and broad gains in other categories lifted consumer prices for the first time in four months. The Commerce Department also announced that sales of newly built homes surged nearly 8% in February to the highest level since early 2008. Such sales are only about a tenth of all home purchases, but a sustained pickup could encourage more construction and consequently more jobs.
- The U.S. Census Bureau reported the Bend metro-area was among the nation’s fastest-growing from 2013 to 2014. With a population increase of approximately 2.7%, Bend posted the 7th fastest growth rate in the county. In comparison, the Portland metro-area also grew by an estimated 26,000, roughly about 1.7%.
- With steady population gains, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the average Portland metro-area resident to buy a house. Nationally, home price appreciation outpaced wage growth by 13 to 1. In the Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton area, RealtyTrac reported the average weekly wage only rose from $938 in December 2012 to $978 in December 2014. Median home prices rose from $225,000 to $259,777 during the same period.
- The intense competition over the city’s limited creative collaborate lifestyle workplaces continues despite Portland’s Central City vacancy rate nudging up to 9.47% this quarter,
- Last year, a Seattle-based developer bought 1320 SW Broadway. Extensive renovation began in March and the project will offer 170,000 sf of Class A creative space downtown.
- Suburban’s vacancy rate remained strong despite its vacancy rate increase to 13.81%. Tech firm Eid Passport signed a lease to expand its headquarters at 5800 NW Pinefarm Place in Hillsboro. The new lease will add more than 63,000 sf to the company’s existing 72,000 sf office.
- Portland’s industrial vacancy edged up to 7.02% during First Quarter. The metro-area is still reacting to major industrial growth and development, which currently accounts for 7 projects totaling 1,184,385 sf.
- The Southeast submarket has experienced tremendous tightening with its 3.15% vacancy rate, a near 5 percentage point drop from just a year ago.
- During First Quarter 2015, the Portland metro-area’s retail vacancy rate declined to 5.89%, the lowest since Fourth Quarter 2008.
- Vancouver’s retail vacancy rate dropped slightly to 7.92% with 49,723 sf total absorption.
- Portland’s multifamily market continues to be a tour de force in 2015. The market’s vacancy rate dipped to 2.7% with broad-based gains in rent and construction.
- Though high demand and high rents are currently fueling Portland’s apartment boom, there is serious question if the city can sustain such remarkable growth.
University Plaza, a 22,500 sf office property in Vancouver, Washington, has sold for $5,150,000. NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson’s Associate Vice President Doug Bartocci represented the seller, FFLP MTH, LLC. Brian Petro of Horizon Real Estate Group represented the buyer, Sea Mar Community Health Centers.
Over the past year, office sales have increased significantly in response to Vancouver’s tightening market. With low interest rates and low inventory, lenders are hungry to provide owner-occupant loans. It’s an advantageous climate for buyers, especially ideal for growing business sectors like medical office.
“With quality, existing medical space available, and the ability to move-in quickly, University Plaza was an obvious choice for Sea Mar Community Health Centers,” explained Doug Bartocci.
Located at 14508 NE 20th Avenue, University Plaza is part of the developing Salmon Creek community next to Kaiser Permanente and Washington State University. Sea Mar Community Health Centers, founded in 1978, is a community-based organization committed to providing quality, comprehensive health and human services in Washington state.
Padden Industrial Park, a 40,870 sf, 5-building fully leased property in Vancouver, Washington, has sold for $3,250,000. NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson’s Vice President Garret Harper represented the buyer, Herschell Management, LLC. Jim Lewis of Cushman & Wakefield represented the seller, Heuvel Enterprises, LLC.
Since January 2014, Vancouver has had the lowest industrial vacancy rate in the Portland-metro area. The submarket benchmarked a robust 2.83% vacancy for Fourth Quarter 2014 and is expected to continue this trend for First Quarter 2015. These conditions have since created advantageous investment opportunities for existing properties, including Padden Industrial Park.
“Padden Industrial Park is a well-positioned and fully-leased property with local companies as stable tenants,” explained Garret Harper. “It was an excellent investment opportunity for that particular price range, which is becoming harder to achieve in that submarket.”
Located at 7613 NE St. Johns and 4601 NE 78th Street, Padden Industrial Park features industrial/flex spaces from 1,200 to 3,500 sf and has undergone recent upgrades including parking lot repair, T-8 lighting fixtures, electrical and roof.
GBD Architects renewed and expanded its lease to 16,489 sf at the Brewery Blocks II, a five-block shopping and professional destination in the heart of Portland’s Pearl District. NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson’s President Chris Johnson, Senior Vice President MaryKay West and Real Estate Broker Carter Beyl represented the lessee. Senior Vice President Eric Haskins of Jones Lang LaSalle represented the lessor, MEPT Brewery Block 2, LLC.
Established in 1969 in Portland, Oregon, GBD has throughout its history played a significant design role in transforming Portland’s central city to become what it is today. Every GBD project is guided by a mission to build beautiful, responsible spaces that move and elevate people. A prime example of their work is the Brewery Blocks, a sustainable, mixed-use, multi-block project that has garnered international attention for its urban design qualities. Partnering with esteemed developer Gerding Edlen, the former site of the Blitz-Weinhard Brewery was repurposed into today’s thriving urban epicenter. NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson later represented the property in its sale. Naturally, GBD planned to share in the space they created and relocated offices to the Brewery Blocks II in 2002.
“GBD Architects renewed and expanded their lease because they want to maintain a presence in an area they helped shape from the ground up,” explained Carter Beyl. “It’s a reflection of their confidence and commitment to their work.”
As a testament to the quality of GBD’s work with Gerding Edlen, the Brewery Blocks recently won the prestigious 2014 Urban Land Institute’s Global Award for Excellence. Their expansion included 1,647 sf on the third floor in addition to their fourth floor offices.
Portland-based retailer Columbia Sportswear has leased 27,379 sf at the 1385 Building as part of AmberGlen Business Center campus managed by Unico Properties. NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson’s President Chris Johnson, Senior Vice President MaryKay West and Vice President Brandon Frank represented the lessor, AmberGlen Office Corporation. Vice President Tim Parker of Melvin Mark Brokerage Company represented the lessee.
Despite general unease in the market due to Intel’s recent contraction, Columbia Sportswear wanted to maintain and grow their presence in the Sunset Corridor. Not only did the 1385 Building at AmberGlen Business Center have enough space, but it was an ideal location with strong ownership.
“Columbia Sportswear’s commitment to the Sunset Corridor is part of a growing trend with other existing tenants expected to sign new expansion deals this year,” said Brandon Frank.
AmberGlen is a 217-acre business campus just 20 minutes from downtown Portland.
Analog Device, Inc. (ADI), an American multinational semiconductor company, has renewed their lease of 8,815 sf at the 1100 Building as part of the AmberGlen Corporate Center campus. NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson’s Vice President Brandon Frank and Real Estate Broker Robert Greenfield represented the lessor, 1100 Compton, LLC.
Catron Apartments, an 18-unit, 29,759 sf residential property in Monmouth, Oregon has sold for $2,425,000. NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson’s Principal, Director of Vancouver Production Charlie Kleier and Vice President Garret Harper represented the buyer, Talents Enterprises, LLC. Minutes from downtown Monmouth, the apartment homes are also conveniently close to Western Oregon University.
Real Estate Broker R. Tom Smith, ABR, GRI, EMS, RECS has joined NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson’s Vancouver office to specialize in retail and investment sales. He was most recently the Designated Broker at Columbia Pacific Commercial and has 14 years’ experience in brokerage of commercial property. In addition, R. Tom has 18 years’ experience of commercial property and asset management for residential, office and retail properties. He is a licensed managing broker in the state of Washington.
Eight Norris, Beggs & Simpson Companies employees were awarded advanced titles at the company’s annual Awards Banquet on January 24.
In the administrative division, Birgit Layne was named Associate Vice President and Adele Copp was promoted to Assistant Manager of Loan Administration. Kelly Sullivan was named Senior Brokerage Assistant, Christa Herr was awarded Senior Property Management Assistant and Victoria Petkau received the new title of Senior Property Management Accounting Assistant.
Alexandra Ionescu Henderson specializes in the leasing and sales of suburban and Central City office properties, with an emphasis on conventional and medical office properties. She was nominated for the Portland Business Journal’s 40 under 40 for 2015.
Josh Rutter has been with NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson since 2008. He earned his Certified Property Manager (CPM) designation in 2014. Currently based in Bend, Oregon, Josh is a licensed real estate broker in both Oregon and Washington as well as a Certified Green Broker.
Maija Mueller joined NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson in 2014 with over 25 years in commercial real estate industry. She is a Certified Property Manager (CPM) and her impressive career includes property management, development, acquisition and disposition, leasing and financing.
Birgit Layne joined NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson in 2006. She currently provides support and direction on the Property Management team as well as Norris, Beggs & Simpson’s Multifamily Management division.
Adele Copp joined NBS Financial Services in 2010. She is responsible for closing loans originated by the loan origination staff, and facilitates communication between lenders and borrowers to ensure that all documentation, titles and contracts are in order and satisfy both the lender’s and borrower’s expectations.
Kelly Sullivan joined the Brokerage team in 2007. As Senior Brokerage Assistant, she supports several brokers and assists with departmental operations, research and administrative responsibilities.
Christa Herr started her career with Norris, Beggs & Simpson in 2011 and she assists in the day-to-day operations of retail, office and industrial commercial properties. She most notably assists with the 262,975 sf office property, the Lincoln Building, located in downtown Portland.
Victoria Petkau joined the Property Management Accounting team in 2013. She currently provides support to multiple property managers by assisting in the accounting needs of several office, retail and industrial properties.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest, a residential real estate firm, signed a 4,873 sf lease at the end of December and will now be operating its regional hub for the east side at Mt. Scott Center. Located at 9201 SE 92nd Ave. in Portland, OR, Mt. Scott Center is a mixed use building featuring ground floor retail and office space with excellent exposure and accessibility. NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson Real Estate Broker Alexandra Ionescu represented the lessor, Mt. Scott Center, LLC. Tom Hanacek of Berkshire Hathaway represented the lessee.