CB Richard Ellis

Specialty: Sales and leasing, property management, appraisals, mortgage brokerage

Management: Jim Bowles, senior managing director (local office)

Founded: 1906 (Seattle office in 1914)

Local office: Seattle (headquarters in Los Angeles)

Current projects: SGA Corporate Center in West Seattle, a 116,300-square-foot office building listed at $32.5 million; Esplanade at Mill Creek, a $15 million medical/dental building under construction in Bothell; 7 acres of retail land in the Kent Valley listed at $5.4 million; Canyon Park in Bothell, a 31,400-square-foot warehouse with office space to lease

Image courtesy of Ruhl-Parr & Associates
CB Richard Ellis is the broker for this $15 million medical/dental building under construction in Bothell.

On a national scale, the biggest thing coming up for CB Richard Ellis is a planned $2.2 billion acquisition of Trammel Crow, according to a company press release. If the merger proceeds, it will give CB Richard Ellis 10.5 percent of the real estate market, up from its current 7.9 percent, according to an analyst from JPMorgan. The merger could be finalized by the time you read this.

New Tacoma office

But CB Richard Ellis is expanding locally as well. Late last month, the company opened an office in Tacoma to cash in on the action from the Port of Tacoma. The port is on track to quintuple its container volume, which means it will need more off-dock loading facilities and cargo centers nearby.

“On a national basis, the Port of Tacoma is a big deal in terms of growth potential,” said Jim Bowles, CB Richard Ellis senior managing director. “On the West Coast, nearly all the other ports are maxed out.”

Rental market looks good

Closer to Seattle, Bowles said he is expecting an increased demand for rented office space. The economy is doing well, he said, and that means new jobs, and that means new offices. Bowles predicts that the residential rental market will also heat up, because many apartments are being converted to condos at the same time that rising interest rates are pricing some would-be homeowners out of the residential housing market.

“What does that mean for manufacturing?” asked Bowles. “That there’s a market to build more apartment properties.”

As far as retail goes, Bowles said it isn’t going to stop with the expansion of the Northgate and Southcenter malls.

“We’re on the low end of the scale in terms of available retail space,” he said, citing population statistics.

Bowles predicted that the retail building boom is in no danger of slowing down.

“We’ve got a lot of people with spendable income,” he said.

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