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January 26, 2015

Pierce saw slight vacancy bump in 2014

Business Examiner

While 2014 was overall a good year in the Puget Sound real estate market according to Kidder Mathews, Pierce County saw slight bumps up in vacancy rates.

There's mostly good news in the industrial market. The vacancy rate moved up to 6.36 percent as delivery of new product outpaced leasing activity, but this is seen as temporary since there are several tenants who have signed leases but will not take occupancy until early 2015.

There are seven projects totaling nearly 2 million sq. ft. that have been delivered in 2014, while another ten projects of about 1.7 million sq. ft. are under way.

Notable sales that occurred in the fourth quarter include the Intel R & D facility in Dupont for $41 million and the Park in Puyallup for $11.6 million.

The office market vacancy rate increased slightly to 9.7 percent with a net loss of occupancy of 26,371 sq. ft. The Tacoma central business district vacancy is 10 percent, which Kidder Mathews says is inflated by a significant amount of space in the market that is non-functional for most users.

Pierce County did see vacancy rate improvements in the retail market, with a total rate of 8.24 percent. At Chambers Bay, Verus is underway on the 250,000 sq. ft. Village at Chambers Bay, which will have a new Whole Foods.

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