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August 14, 2014

It's not just tech: Yesler Terrace could see a big medical tenant, too

Puget Sound Business Journal

Rachel Lerman

The city of Seattle and commercial real estate firm Kidder Mathews are marketing Yesler Terrace as a hot destination for tech companies- but that's not the only industry they want to see in the site.

The medical market is also one they want to move into the space, said Jason Rosauer, senior vice-president and partner at the real estate firm.

The 4.41-acre parcel that is being developed into about 900,000 square feet of office space is located near Harborview Medical Center, Virginia Mason and Swedish Medical Center.

"Beyond tech, there is tremendous need and demand for medical in that market," Rosauer said.

Medical and tech are both booming industries in Seattle, and the city is seeing an increasing number of companies relocate from expensive Silicon Valley to take part in Seattle's scene.

Maybe a hybrid of the two could work for Yesler Terrace - biotech is an attractive field for Washington state, and one that needs a little help to be preserved after giant Amgen announced it would close its Seattle and Bothell offices.

Kidder Matthews isn't picky about which companies they are targeting for the project. Rosauer said right now they are talking to everyone including a number of tech companies from California.

"We're tapping that state because it's bursting at the seams in cities like San Francisco and L.A. and it's difficult to grow. We have an all-but-shovel-ready site that can facilitate those companies' needs," he said.

The Seattle area has the big tech anchor tenants like Microsoft, Amazon, but it also has emerging giants such as Zillow and Tableau. Combine that with a growing startup scene and the region has become a hot spot for growth.

Kidder Mathews expects to see demand from both medical and tech clients for the Yesler Terrace space.

The land is through regulatory checkmarks such as the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) process, and the Seattle Housing Authority has done a significant amount of planning on it already. That, along with the prime downtown location, make it a very appealing location.

"In terms of land available to build in Seattle, it's about as good as it gets," Rosauer said.

It has many of the features prominent Seattle tech companies seem to like - a central location, a big, open campus and stunning views of the water.

The Seattle Housing Authority is redeveloping the Yesler Terrace area, which is currently a 30-acre low-income housing project, into a mixed-income community of residences and office space.

For the full story, go to Puget Sound Business Journal .

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