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Real Estate Bisnow
January 15, 2012 

The Next Ballard?

Venture Real Estate Group founder and president Andy Langsford thinks it's downtown Des Moines, where Venture plans a 90-unit seniors housing development.
Andy and Jamie Langsford at The Lodge at Bellevue Square.
Why does Andy like Des Moines? Location, access to transportation, and a city government open to development. Des Moines set low building heights for years and remained undeveloped, Venture worked with the city to change height limits, making sure their development will have an unobstructed view of Puget Sound. Above, we snapped Andy and his wife Jamie (who does government real estate) recently at The Lodge at Bel Square. Jamie says she knew he was a keeper when she saw him wearing good shoes. Andy's reaction was a bit more direct: "I said, 'Who is that hot woman?'" They've been married a year and nine months.
Tranquil Des Moines, Wash.
Above, tranquil Des Moines. While Andy's a little surprised to see multifamily continue boomin'—"I would have thought we'd be at saturation, but apartments are filling"—it bodes well for the Des Moines project, which will break ground in 2014. On the Eastside, Andy also sees immediate possibilities in Bellevue and certain markets in Renton and Kent, as both are well positioned for long-term growth. And the Seahawks's training facility is in Renton. (We won't talk about it, but let's say we're feeling rather bearish about Atlanta right now.)
An aerial view of Sequim, Washington.
Andy's had a rather roundabout journey to Venture's Bellevue office. Born in South Africa, he moved to tranquil Sequim (above) when his stepfather built a Best Western there. The family lived in one of the suites for several months while settling in. As for 2013, Andy believes it will be a steady year. "We're going to see more of a shift in the economy in 2014, whether positive or negative." What is CRE missing? The creative, techy side that has revolutionized other industries (hello, Redfin) has been slower to transform the commercial sphere. But both Andy and Jamie predict change soon.

Paladino & Co Sustains Success
Paladino and Co.'s Murray Greenwood at a Bisnow event in October.
How important is sustainability in your real estate project? Paladino and Co’s Murray Greenwood says that sustainability is the key driver of business value and competitive advantage for commercial real estate. Job one: advising clients on how to integrate sustainability into the design, construction and operation of property. That means lower costs, increased profitability, and enhanced employee satisfaction. Paladino’s five practice areas cover projects from every angle: signature buildings, portfolio development (new construction), portfolio management (existing buildings), advanced commissioning, and sustainable real estate strategies. You can spot Paladino works globally, but its roots are in Seattle. It has been named a 2012 Washington Green 50 company by Seattle Business magazine. To learn more about our sponsor, click here.

The Holy Roller
Keller Williams broker Mike Armanious at the Seattle Yacht Club.
That's our name for Keller Williams' Mike Armanious, who repped the seller of what is now Mars Hill Church's 38k SF Tacoma location. (He was also enthusiastic about our alternate: the "Godfather of church sales." Mike tells us there's a booming trade in churches. While some congregations are downsizing, others are upgrading. Mike estimates Mars Hill, which moved into its new digs in Seattle in the 100-year-old First United Methodist building on Capitol Hill last weekend, spent somewhere between $8M and $20M on real estate in 2012.
Capitol Hill's First United Methodist Church.
Above, First United, which probably would have been replaced by an office building a few years ago had it not been for the intervention of developer Kevin Daniels. Meanwhile in Tacoma, the congregation that sold their building to Mars Hill is now leasing the Knights of Pythias building. Mike is planning on listing another Tacoma church at the end of the month.

Spec in Seattle
A rendering for Dexter Station, a spec office building to be located at 1101 Dexter Ave. downtown.
We're not sure which is the bigger showing of optimism: that there's a spec office building planned downtown, or that Capstone Partners and Stockridge Capital Group released a rendering showing the new Dexter Station at 1101 Dexter Avenue existing under a blissfully blue sky. Construction will start on the 340k SF space in February, with completion slated for 2015. We like the name Dexter Station, but suggest that the area, already bursting with cranes due to the three new apartment buildings under way from Holland, be temporarily re-named Construction Row.
What are you more excited about: The prospect of Russell Wilson as QB for the next decade, or the prospect of the Sacramento Kings being relocated here? Tell Blythe.lawrence@bisnow.com.
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