As we mentioned in a prior post late last year, many tech employers are beginning to look to Bellevue and the Eastside for their office needs.

Amazon has been in the real estate news a lot lately. The tech giant announced that it anticipates 15,000 employees in Bellevue in the next few years. It stands to reason that a continually rocky relationship with the City of Seattle and the Seattle City Council may be driving this move of personnel; Councilmember Kshama Swant recently unveiled a new proposed payroll tax designed largely to target Amazon.

Amazon’s plans for Bellevue offices would result in seven times more Amazon employees working in Bellevue than are currently there, and pull from the company’s current Seattle-based workforce. The centerpiece of Amazon’s Bellevue move is the planned 43-story, Bellevue 600 tower, which will become Bellevue’s tallest tower.

In addition to escaping some of Seattle’s increasingly anti-business governance, the move also puts Amazon closer to a large number of tech employees who call the Eastside home. But what does the move mean for Bellevue, the Eastside, and more specifically their office markets?

At the end of 2018, the largest employers in Bellevue were Microsoft with 6,300 employees, T-Mobile with 5,100 employees, and Expedia with 3,900 employees. Along with Amazon’s Bellevue expansion, T-Mobile is in the process of completing additions to its Factoria headquarters, and the City of Bellevue anticipates 18,000 total new jobs by 2025. Per the Broderick Group, Bellevue CBD vacancy rates are predicted to hit an all-time low of 3.2% in 2020, down from as high as 12.2% in 2015.

Beyond Bellevue, Amazon is currently acquiring space in Redmond. As Amazon and other major tech employers continue their growth in Bellevue and the greater Eastside region, all signs point towards a strong office market for the foreseeable future. Additional jobs may also bolster an already hot residential market.

While you may not be building a 43-story tower in downtown Bellevue, opportunity abounds on the Eastside. Whether your project is large or small, give us a call today to start the conversation and talk to one of our experienced loan officers today. Our goal at Juniper is to help you make quality commercial and real estate investments throughout the Pacific Northwest. We take great care to keep ourselves and our clients informed so that you can take advantage of whatever the market brings.