Bellevue continues to be not just a strong market and retail model for Seattle, but one that stands out in America. That's why we're holding our big Future of Bellevue Summit next Tuesday, April 8. Sign up now.
No conference on the subject would be official without the voice and perspective of legendary Kemper Freeman, who'll be our keynote. The former chairman of ICSC knows a thing or two about retail, and he's pouring literally billions more dollars into his already spectacular holdings. He'll tell us all the specifics, the trends, and the opportunities he sees ahead.
Kevin Wallace, another high profile developer (and now also Deputy Mayor), will also be a panelist. He asks us: How many cities of 130,000 boast firms like Boeing, Microsoft, Paccar, Expedia, Symetra, T-Mobile, Valve, Bungie, Drugstore.com, InfoSpace, Intellectural Ventures, HTC and Concur? Besides being a beehive of cutting-edge companies, the city’s got exceptional demographics, geography location, and infrastructure; low tax rates; and competitive business regulations, he says, making it an employer's mecca.
Bellevue’s also cosmopolitan, and that improves the business climate, Kevin says. For instance, more than 27% of the population is of Asian heritage. “Consequently, Bellevue has become a destination for wealthy Asian families that are comfortable living and investing here,” he notes. Not only that, cultural amenities such as the Bellevue Collection, Downtown Bellevue’s parks, the Bellevue Art Museum, and the Meydenbauer Center add to the character of the city. “Taken together, these factors all make Bellevue an excellent choice for real estate investment and development.”
Downtown Bellevue office properties actually have Class-A average asking rents higher than downtown Seattle. Why? Because companies like its mix of transit and urban living options, amenities, and the cluster of like-minded businesses, especially high tech, JLL managing director Steve Schwartz (who'll be another panelist) tells us. Those fundamentals aren’t lost on institutional investors who’ll continue to pay close attention to the market, pushing down cap rates, he says.
Bellevue isn’t growing in isolation. Berkadia Commercial Mortgage SVP Jeff Stuart tells us he expects robust investment sale and lending activity this year throughout King/Sno/Pierce. A number of factors that contribute to the growth, he explains, but especially an influx of talent. Through the 12 months ending February, in-migration for the tri-county area has been 86,000 and job growth has been 60,000. “Demographics provide a tailwind for the region, with an anticipated 100,000 net increase in the Millennial population for the five-year period ending in 2017,” he says. Recently Berkadia tapped Jeff to help grow the company’s regional lending.
Other top Bellevue players will join us as well: Security Properties CEO John Orehek (with mic above at a previous event), JLL's Steve Schwartz, Talon's Bill Pollard, Vander Hoek Corp's Stu Vander Hoek, and Schwabe's Aaron Laing. Join us next Tuesday, April 8, in Bellevue, for all the facts—and fun. Networking included! More info.