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December 10, 2010

Local markets buoyed by cluster-based economic influences



CBA’s Commercial Real Estate Insights — co-hosted by the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, Foster Pepper PLLC and the Washington State Commercial Association of Realtors — brings together experts from different industry segments to present their business insights and share innovations and observations.

Grapes thrive in clusters and so do industries. When it comes to geographic clusters, it’s all good news in the Puget Sound region. Leading economic cluster industries such as health care, software, gaming, coffee, senior housing and wineries are helping to boost our sagging economy. Co-existing as competitors, in a positive and cooperative manner, these cluster industries project an efficient and effective business model that has a healthy impact on the commercial real estate market.

According to Harvard professor Michael E. Porter, the establishment of industry clusters supports the faster improvement of innovative products and services. Clusters are defined as geographic concentrations of competing, complementary or independent firms and industries that do business with each other and/or have common needs for talent, technology and infrastructure.

The Puget Sound region has several highly effective economic clusters that have mitigated the debilitating impact of the recent recession. At this year’s Commercial Real Estate Insights program, we present three speakers from industries that positively impact the commercial real estate markets, as well as our overall regional economy. Interviews with each speaker can be found in this supplement.

The speakers are: Bill Pettit, president and chief operating officer of the R.D. Merrill Co. and Merrill Gardens; John Swanson, senior vice president and manager for Umpqua Bank’s Northwest Investment Real Estate Group; and Allen Shoup, owner of Longshadows Winery and former CEO of Stimson Lane.

The Commercial Brokers Association was formed by the Northwest commercial real estate brokerage community in 1977 to create a vehicle for member brokers to share information about available commercial properties. With more than 4,000 members and a staff that researches nearly 18,000 properties that are for sale or have space for lease, CBA provides the most comprehensive database of information on commercial real estate in the Pacific Northwest.

With access to information on available properties, recent sales and statistical information about market performance, CBA members are able to provide their customers and clients with complete and accurate information about the commercial real estate marketplace. CBA proudly celebrates its 33rd year in business in 2010.

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