The COVID-19 pandemic has left lasting challenges for Seattle’s office real estate market, but one project might be seen as a sign of the market’s resilience. The NorthShore project by Blue Rooster Development Partners in Fremont has had its permit extended for a 35,000 square foot mixed-use office building, according to a report from the Puget Sound Business Journal. The development is located at 1326 N. Northlake Way.
Around 80 percent of NorthShore will be dedicated to office spaces, with the rest comprising a rooftop deck for a bar and ground-floor retail, designed around a lake-facing space known as a mews. Seattle architecture firm Weber Thompson is responsible for the design, while the contractor remains to be selected. JJ Shephard and Leah Hover of CB Richard Ellis are leading the leasing efforts for office space, and Laura Miller of Gibraltar is handling the retail and restaurant space listings.
Blue Rooster Development Partners had originally planned to break ground on the NorthShore project in the first quarter of 2020, according to the report. However, the pandemic forced a significant pause in their planning timeline. The pandemic disruption, coupled with a protracted permitting process and additional land assembly, led to the expiration of the master-use permit.
Although the project permit has now been extended, no building timeline has been published. The developers would need new state environmental approval for the shoreline project and the current business climate with vacancies rising for several quarters in a row may prove challenging, adds the report. As an example, one of Blue Rooster’s existing tenants, Barn2Door, has prepared for a move to Tennessee, vacating approximately 7,500 square feet in the neighboring Blue Rooster Building, the report notes.
On the other hand, the presence of high-profile companies in the area could draw the attention of out-of-town investors. The NorthShore project could potentially involve joint venture partnerships in the long-term, despite the current challenges.
The era of “work from home” is seen to be evolving, and employers are likely to revisit their office space requirements, which could provide renewed opportunities for projects like NorthShore, concludes the report.
As recently as this spring, The Registry reported on the Salesforce Inc. announcement for its plans to divest Tableau’s Seattle headquarters while retaining its office in Fremont, which was initially intended for subleasing. The NorthEdge building, located at 1621 N. 34th St., encompassing over 200,000 square feet of space, was listed by Salesforce on the sublease market in May this year. Meanwhile, Salesforce still intends to sublease a Tableau office in Kirkland, but it will continue to operate from its existing Data 1 building in Fremont.