West Coast Equity Group

Real Estate

What’s Next for Commercial Real Estate?

commercial real estate update bellingham washingtonThe Strategic Thinking Advisory Committee of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) was tasked with the responsibility of producing a report detailing the risks and opportunities in the commercial real estate industry. With the help of the Swanepoel T3 Group, the below findings examine the risks and opportunities presented by trends in technology, demographics, lending, and politics.

Excerpted from an article originally published by REALTOR® Magazine. Read the full article here: http://realtormag.realtor.org/commercial/feature/article/2017/05/what-s-next-for-commercial-real-estate. (more…)

U.S. Commercial Real Estate Market Update – Office, October 2015

Public perception has generally been that activity is weakening in the Commercial Office Real Estate market, but according to Walter Page, Director of Research at the Costar Group — the commercial real estate industry’s leading provider of information and analytics — the Office market is actually booming right now. Page provided a 2015 market update at the Commercial Real Estate Show podcast on October 14th. (more…)

Industrial Market Update (and How Light Industrial is Becoming the New Retail)

Industrial real estate for sale Bellingham WAOn the national level, the industrial asset class is white hot right now, experiencing record low vacancy rates and significant sales volume on both a local and national level. Sales volume has also started to pick up due to a severe shortage of new starts (although there is a vast amount of new industrial construction underway which should alleviate some of the pent up demand in 2016). If you own or wish to lease industrial property here in either Whatcom or Skagit County, there are both opportunities and issues to be aware of. This article is based on an August 2015 talk given by René Circ, Director of Research – Industrial, and Manager of Industrial Portfolio Strategies at Costar, the commercial real estate industry’s leading provider of information and analytics. (more…)

Top Ten Issues Affecting Commercial Real Estate (from the CRE Counselors 2015-2016 Report)

Commercial real estate for sale Whatcom and Skagit County WAThis is a market update from the Winter 2015-2016 Real Estate Report, put out by the Counselors of Real Estate, a Chicago-based organization that publishes scholarly articles each trimester by national thought leaders. The goal is to provide expert opinion on the most important issues impacting the US real estate market, to facilitate better decision making for real estate investors, brokers and advisors. The perspective below was provided by Noah Slayze, a former commercial real estate appraiser and 2015 CRE chair and guest speaker on the August 6, 2015 Commercial Real Estate Show. (more…)

Forcing Equity in Older Whatcom County Apartment Buildings (While Saving the Environment)

All real estate investors want to force equity, and you don’t have to be a developer to cash in on some great forced equity opportunities here. Investors seeking pre-existing, cash flowing apartment buildings can also force some substantial equity in seventies and eighties constuction.

It’s the classic model: buy an older building which is being poorly managed, with below-market rents. Typically it will sell for a higher cap rate because of these problems. Make some interior improvements, and get the rents up to market rate as the units turn over. Any smart investor will do this, but this equity takes time. (more…)

Downtown Happenings, Spring 2015

Some people think Bellingham’s best food and entertainment destinations have moved to Barkley Village, Bellwether on the Bay or to Fairhaven. But the coolest, edgiest things happening in Bellingham are still going down in the center of town, and especially around Railroad Avenue, where a handful of enterprising business owners are reclaiming the downtown core. Here is a list of the top things to do there.
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Bellingham’s Business District To Be Expanded on September 8, 2014

Bellinghams new central business district boundary and zoning mapThe City of Bellingham’s Central Business District is about to get bigger thanks to new zoning regulations that officially take effect on September 8, 2014.

The revised zoning regulations are primarily intended to stimulate development in the Central Business District and to increase the range of mixed uses in proposed “Transition Zones” adjacent to the downtown core, located along the west, southeast, and northeast sides of the city center.

The City Council will also be changing the name of the Central Business District to “City Center Neighborhood”. (more…)

Multi-Family Tax Exemption Program Target Area Being Modified by the City of Bellingham

Bellingham multi-family abatement mapThe multi-family tax abatement program target area in the City of Bellingham’s downtown core will soon be slightly modified by City Council. The City Center Targeted Area map is being amended to align with the revised Downtown Bellingham Plan boundary.

The multi-family tax exemption program makes 8 and 12-year property tax abatements available to property owners that redevelop multi-family housing in Urban Village zones within the City of Bellingham city limits. The tax exemptions apply only to new residential improvements and the owner continues to pay taxes on the value of the land, any pre-existing units that have not be redeveloped, and any non-residential improvements made to the property. The exemption is in addition to any exemptions received for historical preservation, and if the property is on the historical register, it must preserve all parts of the building deemed historic in order to qualify for the multi-family tax abatement program. (more…)