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Why Pioneer Square's Like Lower Manhattan

It’s a hot time around CenturyLink Field again this year, and not just because of a winning season for the Seahawks, JLL’s Lori Hill tells us. The Pioneer Square real estate market really has become Seattle’s equivalent of SOMA in San Francisco or even Lower Manhattan, she says. 


“Pioneer Square’s got that funky, creative vibe,” Lori says. It's dominated by older, brick-and-beam buildings coveted by creative users, and it’s one of the most walkable parts of the city (Walk Score: 97 of 100), which in turn has attracted retailers, bars, cafes and restaurants with outdoor seating that has energized the neighborhood, she says. The neighborhood is starting to see a lot more institutional interest in its properties and having an NFL team just next door that is headed to pro football’s championship game again is icing on the cake.


The numbers bear out the neighborhood’s popularity: Vacancy rates for commercial office buildings in the Pioneer Square submarket are below 8.5%, and asking rates for commercial office space in the area have climbed by 10% since the Seahawks raised the Super Bowl trophy last February, and by more than 17% in the last two years, according to JLL. Recently the owners of 111 S Jackson St, an early 20th-century warehouse later converted to office space, tapped JLL (Lori, along with colleagues Stuart Williams, David Otis and John Lo) to take the property to market. Denver-based venture capital adviser and startup workspace provider Galvanize inked a long-term lease to occupy the 70k SF building as its first Seattle campus later this year.