SEATTLE, WA-Pioneer Square, Seattle’s first residential district, is benefiting from the city’s need for more office space. Many of the buildings now standing were constructed more than 100 years ago, but it has only been in the last few years that developers have viewed the area as a new hot spot for office space.

One of the first developers to begin transforming historic buildings into modern offices was Nitze-Stagen. In 1997, the Seattle property management firm renovated the Merrill Building at 411 First Ave. S. Since, its rents have jumped from near $17/sf to the mid-$30s. Now things are picking up. Seattle developer Martin Smith Real Estate is participating significantly in projects anticipated to add approximately 1.5 million sf of office space into Pioneer Square over the next few years. Most recently, the Seattle developer retrofitted the 90-year-old Provident Building at 568 First Ave. S. for office space, which will be occupied by when tenant improvements are completed this month.

Another upcoming renovation is the Washington Shoe Building built in 1890 at the corner of First Ave. South and South Jackson St. When upgrades are complete, including fiber optics, elevators, new heating and air conditioning, the refurbished building will contain 63,000 sf of Class A office space, ground-level retail stores and underground parking.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.



Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2024 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.