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Seattle WA Office Space Guide

[Updated Oct 2020] A guide to executive suites and office space for rent in Seattle as well as general information that may be useful if you are thinking of renting offices in the city.

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History & Geography

As the largest city in the Northwestern United States, Seattle is both a dynamic modern city and an internationally recognized icon. The city lies between Puget Sound and Lake Washington on America’s Northwest coast. Further west is the Kitsap Peninsula and the Olympic Mountains. The area around Seattle was occupied by the Duwamish tribe when Europeans first arrived. The British captain and explorer George Vancouver visited the area in 1792 in his expedition mapping the Pacific Northwest. In 1853 the settlement of Seattle was formed, named after Chief Seattle of the Duwamish, who cooperated with the new settlers and chose a path of accommodation rather than conflict. In time Seattle became an important center of the lumber trade resulting in the town prospering and the population increased rapidly. When much of the central part of the town was destroyed by a fire in 1889 it was rebuilt quickly. When the Klondike Gold Rush hit Seattle prospered even further, becoming an important transportation hub and supply center for the miners in Alaska. This economic boom lasted until well into the 20th century and many companies still successful today were founded in Seattle during this period, including Eddie Bauer, Nordstrom and UPS. During WWI Seattle also became a major shipbuilding center. However, during the Great Depression Seattle was the site of a massive conflict between management and labor. During WWII Seattle once again prospered and became a major site of operations of Boeing. Boeing’s success after the war ensured Seattle continued to prosper. During the 1960s and 70s however, the city experienced a depression and much of the population left to find work elsewhere. However the city’s economy picked up again in the 1980s and the suburbs of the city became a popular destination for technology companies like, RealNetworks and others. This success resulted in an increase in population and wealth for Seattle. Today the city is one of the most economically dominant on the West coast of the US and has become a leader in green technology and sustainability.


Seattle has a strong and diversified economy, made up of both new and old industries. Currently, Seattle has the 12th largest metropolitan economy in the country. A main bulwark of the economy is the Port of Seattle, which is the eighth largest port in the US and a major transit point for trade with Asia. Boeing moved its headquarters to Chicago in 2001 but the city is still home to several major companies, the most famous of which is the coffee giant Starbucks. Internet retail giant Amazon is also based in the city, as is the department store outfit Nordstrom. Many others are based in the area, for example, Costco is headquartered in the nearby town of Issaquah and Nintendo has its American headquarters in Redmond. Biotechnology has also become a large industry in Seattle with companies such as Immunex and Corixa recently set up in the city. Recently Seattle was judged to be among the top ten cities in the US for encouraging business expansion. However, it has also been ranked as the most expensive American city for buying a house based on per capita income. Seattle has a thriving tourist industry, and though it is not as sizable as its neighbor to the south, San Francisco, it is still a large part of the city’s economy.

Tourism & Culture

The Port of Seattle is a major destination for cruise ships, with over 200 visiting every year, bringing almost a million visitors to the city. Additionally, the city has a number of festivals and events which also bring many visitors. Seattle hosts one of the most sizable Gay Pride festivals in the country, and also one of the most respected film events, the Seattle International Film Festival. Other events include the annual Greek Festival, Seattle Hempfest and large celebrations for the fourth of July. Seattle is also known as a cultural center and boasts some of the best museums and galleries on the West Coast of the country. Among them is the Henry Art Gallery and the Seattle Art Museum. The Frye Art Museum and the Olympic Sculpture Park are also popular destinations for visitors who are culture vultures.


Seattle is served by the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, known as Sea-Tac Airport. It is operated by the Port of Seattle and sees both passenger and cargo flights. The city itself is served by a comprehensive public transportation system which is superior to most other major American cities. Seattle’s bus system is one of the only ones in the US to also feature electric trolleys. The city also has a light rail system called Central Link. Currently, Seattle is one of the most badly congested cities in the country, however, this is gradually improving as more residents leave their cars behind, the latest statistics have shown.

Office space to rent in Seattle

Currently, Seattle has a vacancy rate of 12.99 percent, however, it has been forecast that this will drop in the coming year or two. Nearly one million square feet of new leases were signed in the Seattle CBD in 2011. Currently, the average rental price for Grade A office space in the Seattle CBD is USD 27.85 per square foot. It has been predicted that over the next few years the average rental rate will rise gradually, however a significant change in the near future is unlikely according to recent forecasts.

We carry out a free office space search and our advisory and acquisition services are also free, always. Our Seattle office space brokers and agents are globally regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) ensuring the highest standards of commercial property advice and service at all times. We look forward to helping you find the best office space for rent for your business.

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