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SEATTLE-Three decades ago, the local economy relied heavily on one company, Boeing. The more things have changed, with diversification that has included the birth and growth of Microsoft Corp., the more things have remained the same even though Boeing is now headquartered 1,700 miles away in Chicago.

“With Boeing accounting for 58,000 aerospace jobs and directly impacting almost 100,000 jobs, its impact on the Puget Sound economy cannot be overstated,” according to Grubb & Ellis’ 2004 forecast report.

The same could be said for Boeing’s impact on the area industrial market, which got a boost this month with the announcement that the company will produce the 7E7 Dreamliner in Everett. That decision will cause a domino effect in and around that suburb north of the city, Grubb & Ellis predicts. “There are a number of other large tenants looking for space, and developers are positioning themselves for recovery in that submarket,” according to the firm’s report.

Boeing officials say they spent six months exploring sites across the US before settling on Everett. “Many states submitted extremely competitive proposals and many factors weighed into the decision,” 7E7′s senior vice president Mike Bair said after the company’s board of directors approved the selection. “But it’s clear that the best overall solution for Boeing and the 7E7 is to place final assembly in Everett.”

However, industrial vacancy in Everett surpasses 20% as the year comes to a close, according to research by Colliers International. The vacancy for the entire 10.2-million-sf Northend industrial market stands at 21.9% at year-end, according to Colliers International, but rises to 22.4% when available sublease space is added to the equation.

Meanwhile, as reported last month by GlobeSt.com, Boeing’s 280-acre industrial park in Renton is likely to be redeveloped after the city earmarked $33 million for infrastructure improvements. That submarket is among the tightest in the region, according to Colliers International research, with a direct vacancy rate of 4.67%. Even with sublease space added in, vacancy rate is less than 6.3%.

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