By Meghan Hall
The regional office market has been slow to bounce back from COVID-19, but investment plays from a number of companies are helping to move the market forward. In June, Kirkland, Wash.-based MJR Development purchased a number of office properties across the Puget Sound for $50 million, The Registry has confirmed. The acquisition will add to MJR’s portfolio of residential, mixed-use, office and retail assets region-wide.
The portfolio includes about 293,377 square feet of office space and includes buildings that MJR can reposition into more flexible uses.
The buildings are located at:
- 805 S. Mission Street in Wenatchee, Wash. The property totals 28,455 square feet.
- 4565 7th Ave. SE in Lacey, which includes 66,596 square feet.
- 629, 637, 640 and 645 Woodland Sq. Looop SE, also in Lacey. The four buildings include 33,720 square feet, 17,982 square feet, 85,704 square feet and 5,720 square feet, respectively.
- 5000 Capital Blvd. SE in Tumwater, which totals 45,600 square feet.
- 8820 25th Ave. SW in Seattle. The building includes 9,600 square feet.
The assets will be designed to fit in with MJR’s strategy to provide Class A “satellite” workspaces up and down the Interstate 5 corridor and within easy access to public transit. The firm’s current portfolio extends from Crossroads Plaza in Bellevue to The Sanctuary in Federal Way, through Lakewood and down to assets such as The Atrium, The Hub and The 101 near Olympia.
While a return to the office has not yet manifested itself widely in the Puget Sound, the number of employees returning to their physical places of work is slowly rising. By the end of the second quarter, between 10 to 20 percent of employees were working at the office, according to a report released by Broderick Group. Many companies, notes the brokerage firm, are partaking in phased reopenings that will occur over the course of the year, which means building occupancy will likely continue to increase gradually.
However, companies such as MJR Development and Broderick Group are recognizing that flexible work is here to stay.
“There is little doubt that a greater degree of flexibility for in-person working for employees is here to stay,” states Broderick Group.
Broderick Group predicts that “hot desks” will become more common to accommodate remote workers and those with variable schedules. Moving ahead, tenants likely will be modifying their physical spaces to better coordinate seating, amenities and flexibility. For property owners such as MJR, building these conveniences into assets will be key to maintaining occupancy long-term.