What to Expect: Seattle in 2018


We are just weeks from the start of 2018 and as we move closer to the start of the New Year, experts are making their predictions about what to expect in the next twelve months. In anticipation of their upcoming “Seattle Forecast Event” in January, Bisnow outlined a few Seattle trends we’ll expect to see in the coming year.

The Emerald City has been home to many new development and investment projects in recent months, as it currently holds “the most cranes in the nation.” That growth is not expected to slow down, as Bisnow says the city “will be driven by continued expansion of tech companies and increased investment from Asia” despite the “narrowing opportunities in commercial real estate.”

As Henry Liebman, CEO of American Life Inc., tells Bisnow, the company isn’t giving up on Seattle, as they are “looking for commercial/industrial properties” they can “reposition or build-to-suit.” Their holdings include projects within the Pioneer Square and SoDo neighborhoods, such as the Embassy Suites by Hilton in Pioneer Square, which “was financed through the EB-5 program.” Bisnow says some foreign investors are skeptical about using the EB-5 program, because it “keeps being extended for months at a time without reform” and thus remains an “open question.”

William Hillis, Research Editor with Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, recently dove into the future of the EB-5 investment program in an article published on the FutureCast Forum. Hillis writes that the EB-5 has gained traction since the onset of the 2008 financial crisis, as foreign investors have used the program to build commercial enterprises that bring 10 or more new jobs to the local economy. He says there are currently 63 authorized regional centers in Washington state for petition submission, which serve as a testament to the program’s continued popularity and success. Though some market pundits have expressed concern over the future of the program, he says it isn’t likely to go anywhere since it has “prevailed year after year.”

“It will become increasingly relied upon for capital infusions into rural and distressed areas of the U.S., including areas of Washington state,” he added.

Bisnow will offer an even more in-depth look at the future of Seattle at their forecast event being held on January 25th. Experts will address topics including the EB-5 investment program, developing stronger dialogue and partnerships with other countries, maintaining its position as a strong workforce example, incubating marketable ideas, and more. Registration details are available here.