- Derek Hermsen, Union Street Corporate Real Estate
Denver: ITRA Global, Fall Conference
In October, over 30 member firms from across the globe converged upon the Four Seasons in Denver, CO to discuss the state of commercial real estate markets around the world. Hot topics included the trending new wave of the dissemination of industry information for free, and the accounting changes by FASB that will require companies and organizations to carry facility leases on their balance sheets.
What I took from the conference was a much better understanding of the FASB impacts on lease structure (Marc Maiona, LeaseCalcs), business strategy and niche focus (John Rice, Quarem), new perspective on technology office design (Jim Cook, Mozilla), technology’s impacts on different industry sectors (Tom McLaughlin, UBS), and some very innovative tenant representation deal analysis (Jeff Tabor, Corporate Realty Advisors).
On a local front, I gained a lot of perspective on where Seattle’s office rents are relative to other major metropolitan markets around the world. The bad news for Seattle office tenants is that we still have a lot of room for rents to continue to rise. It isn’t unusual to find rental rates in New York, Silicon Valley, or Boston that are 50% more than comparable office space rental rates in Seattle. This is concerning since rental rates already are at the highest levels that they have ever been in town, and the market is still chugging along without any obvious signs of slowing. Hopefully a couple new towers coming online this Q2 2017 and some new sublease inventory will help relieve some pressure on rents.
In summary, ITRA Global continues to show leadership in tenant representation through its global network of members stretching from Perth, Australia to London, England and everywhere in between. The twice annual member conferences provide tremendous value and perspective for its members, and leads to the exchange of best practices and market knowledge to better serve its clients.