VANCOUVER, WA-Demand for quality class A office space remains high in Clark County and developers are reacting to the market with several worthy projects, finds a new mid-year report and prediction by Eric Fuller & Associates, a Vancouver, WA-based commercial real estate services company.

Of the 792,000 sf of new office projects announced last year, a record 473,000 sf of new construction opened to the marketplace, according to the report. The fete was nearly matched on the leasing side, however, as approximately 344,000 sf of class A spaces was leased over the last year. Announced future projects total approximately 768,000 sf, says Roselli.

“Of these projects, I expect approximately 271,000 sf to be delivered, with the balance to be built in phases within the multi building developments as new tenants are signed,” predicts Roselli. “Office users needing less than 5,000 square feet will have several choices to meet their office requirements while users of more than 5,000 square feet may find it a challenge to locate available space in some area submarkets.”

Currently at 9%, vacancy rates will decrease this next year to 6% then rise again as new development comes on-line,” writes company vice president Byron Roselli. In getting there, however, Roselli expects stronger competition for tenants and longer holding periods for newly developed space. Prices are averaging in the mid-$20s per sf, annually, compared to the high-$20s in and around Portland.

Significant transactions of the past year include the purchase of the former Hewlett Packard building on SE 164th Avenue by Consolidated Freightways, according to the report. The property was purchased for the relocation of the corporate headquarters and the transaction eliminated speculation about the 486,000 sf building coming to the market as available lease space. Consolidated Freightways has announced it will lease up to 80,000 sf of the building.

As well, The Bonneville Power Administration, reacting to the recent deregulation of the power markets, has taken approximately 135,000 square feet in two new developments in the mall area. The move completely occupies the new 90,000 square foot Two Park Place Building and the 54,000 square foot Park Place Office Center. Additional space was taken in three existing mall area buildings, all but eliminating the area for consideration by large users. Development of a new building is a minimum of 18 months away, according to the report.

As for the future, there are several projects under construction and in the permitting process. The following is a bulleted list of the projects and where they stand:

–Vancouvercenter: when the first phase is completed it will offer 110,000 sf of class “A” office and retail space. The development includes 195 apartments and 72 condominiums. First occupancy is scheduled for the fall of 2002.

–Columbia Shores Commerce Center: a 25,000-sf office project just east of Beaches Restaurant at Columbia Shores. CE John is developing the building, which will be located on the northern bank of the Columbia River.

The Clark County Public Service Center: the 164,000-sf project broke ground June 8. The six-story, $41 million building will consolidate county employees currently being housed in leased space at eleven different building locations throughout downtown Vancouver.

– Charter Communications: The company currently has approximately 43,000 sf under construction on NE 136th Avenue for a customer service center. The new building will not affect the 14,000 sf of regional headquarters space recently leased at Park Tower II in the Mill Plain One Development.

– Columbia Ultimate Business Systems is currently planning an expansion and relocation into a new building comprised of approximately 40,000 sf on NE 1 St. in East Vancouver. Construction will begin this summer with completion and occupancy planned for the summer of 2002.

— Chinook Building L.L.C. is proposing approximately 40,000 sf in the Mill Plain corridor. Pre-leasing and marketing activity have recently begun and the building could be ready for occupancy in the fourth quarter of 2002.

–The Al Angelo Company has recently proposed as much as167,000 sf in the Four Seasons development at Northeast 112th Avenue and Northeast 28th Street. The proposed development could include as many as seven buildings.

–Dale Haggen is proposing a 136,000-sf of office space in six buildings at Northeast 136th Avenue and 4th Street. The project includes15,450 sf of retail space in three buildings.

–Killian Pacific has announced plans to begin construction of the Riverstone Office Building in The Terrace at Fishers Landing. The 33,600 sf building will be the first class “A” office building in the Southeast 192nd Avenue corridor.

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