Moving On Up!

I share an office with several interesting folks (like him, and him, and him, and him). We've been together for several years in different combinations, and most recently spent three years in the Green Lake neighborhood in Seattle.

We were paying nearly $21.50 per square foot (that's $21.50 per foot per year) because we rented the space in mid-1999 when the dotcom mania had driven all reasonable prices off the market. This price was gross, but with no services, meaning we didn't pay an allotment for taxes, depreciation, and so on, but we paid separately for utilities.

It's now the cold, hard glare of 2002, and there's a lot of empty office space in Seattle. I used OfficeSpace.com to do some preliminary searches, and found that we could get a huge discount off our current rent. We asked our landlord if he'd consider us paying something more reasonable (about $14/sq. ft., which is a large premium for "junk" space, which is what our office was considered). He said no, as he is building next door, and eventually replacing our building, so needed some flexibility and some office space.

A real estate broker from CB Richard Ellis (name available on request to local folks!) led us to a space he started repping for the landlord about a week after he started showing us spaces. For about $14.50/sq. ft., including all services, but with a small yearly rent increase and a responsibility for a percent of increases in utilities and so forth, we moved into Class C office space, recently renovated, with full HVAC (heating, ventilation, A/C).

It's a little further than our current office from my house, but I'll still be within bike commuting distance: most of the additional distance is heavy with traffic and traffic lights. Driving from home to the new office is 20 to 40 minutes. Biking? 35 minutes.