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Seattle’s Eastside: Revitalization of the I-90 Corridor

By Clayton Blueher & Austin Lashley

Seattle’s Eastside has become a flourishing suburb with the rapid development of Downtown Bellevue and global success of local companies like Microsoft that call the Eastside home. With the continued growth of Downtown Bellevue’s Central Business District (CBD), the city has become a mecca for software and financial firms. As Bellevue’s CBD continues to grow, other areas of Bellevue are benefitting from a spillover effect. One particular area of interest for investors and companies alike is the I-90 Corridor, which is currently experiencing exciting revitalization, making it an ideal alternative for Seattle companies.

The I-90 Corridor has long been thought of as a budget-friendly alternative to the glitz and glam of Downtown Bellevue. In the last year, investment in the market has increased drastically and new building owners aim to attract large tenants by offering similar amenities found in urban business centers. The Corridor is highly concentrated with IT companies and is continually attracting more innovative technology firms. Notable companies in the I-90 Corridor include T-Mobile, Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft and REI, to name a few.

Photo of Sunset Corporate Campus via CoStar.

Alongside these big-name tenants, a few high-end, Class-A properties in the corridor currently offer upscale amenities that compete with that of downtown Bellevue or Seattle. Two staple properties of the I-90 Corridor are the Sunset Corporate Campus and Sunset North. The properties are comprised of five office buildings totaling over 774,000 rentable square feet.

Photo of Sunset Corporate Campus’ gymnasium via CoStar.

Amenities include covered parking, adjacent daycare, Park & Ride, on-site dining, on-site security, and fitness centers complete with showers and lockers. With increased investment on the horizon, the area is looking to undergo a promising revitalization as investors continue to expand the supply of high end office space that offers luxury amenities.

T-Mobile recently began planning major renovations to their 1 million square foot headquarters in the Newport Corporate Center. Over the last year, many speculated that T-Mobile was looking beyond the Eastside for their new headquarters, however the recently submitted renovation proposals confirmed T-Mobile’s long-term commitment to the growing region. While the mobile communications giant has yet to comment on the scale and scope of their proposed improvements, the investment will certainly help maintain market stability and attract other companies to the market.

Alongside T-Mobile’s renovation plans, other investment projects began to take shape at the end of 2017 and will continue into 2018. Local real estate investment firms Talon Private Capital and Walton Street Capital teamed up to purchase a number of buildings previously owned by Boeing in Eastgate. The firms are working on plans for a major renovation of the three-story buildings by updating and expanding the existing 250,000 square feet. Specific renovation plans have yet to be publicly filed, but recent changes in zoning laws allow new buildings to be up to 12 stories tall, which could have the potential to significantly increase the amount of available space in the area.

Another investment project taking shape is Miller Global Properties and Urban Renaissance Group’s plan to expand Lincoln Executive Center. While official plans are not yet released, the firms plan to invest in two mid-rise buildings that would drastically exceed the square footage of the current center. Beyond the increased capacity, the company wants to offer expanded amenities at the Lincoln Center that can compete with traditional urban office centers. Amenities discussed include a state-of-the-art fitness center, bike storage and multiple gathering spaces to create a more urban feel to draw top talent to the area. With increased amenities and a more community atmosphere, the investors hope to attract more big-name tenants to the market.

Clayton Blueher is an associate at Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate company specializing in tenant representation and building purchases with offices across the nation. Contact Clayton at 1-844-662-6635 or clayton@hughesmarino.com to learn more.

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