Even with the advent of remote work, Seattle and Bellevue may soon find themselves short of highly coveted office space. While brick-and-mortar storefronts are still recovering from the long-term effects of the pandemic, employers in the tech and life sciences sectors continue to lease as much office space in the city as they can.
While hybrid work models and flexible strategies such as desk hoteling allow companies to marginally save on space, projected job growth in the industries mentioned above means that many local employers may find themselves in need of necessary office space within just a few years.
To combat this, many companies are now taking out 10-year leases for office space in downtown Seattle and Bellevue. In Seattle, lease activity was up 34% in January compared to the pre-pandemic average.
Admittedly, some of the leases include subleases, in which the company leases part of their space to another tenant until they know exactly how much office space they will need. However, the number of subleases in the city is decreasing, according to KUOW.
The biggest drivers of this growth are the region’s ever-present tech companies, life sciences and video game companies. Bellevue has certainly absorbed its share of tech workers in recent years, while Seattle is a bustling destination for both life sciences and gaming companies and start-ups.
Over the next decade, the fight for prime office space is likely to only grow fiercer; employers with deep pockets will likely be the main contenders for the space. With this in mind, organizations like Eastside for All are working to make sure Black, BIPOC and other underrepresented businesses have access to the same resources. Access to loans and financial resources can ensure that even as major employers scramble for office space, Seattle and Bellevue remain desirable and equitable places to do business.
This article was originally posted on KUOW by Joshua McNichols.