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May 14, 2018

Commercial property managers see square footage surge yet face lingering supply constraints

Portland Business Journal

Brandon Sawyer

Client demand for more industrial space has reached a crescendo.

Last year, new office development and transportation infrastructure improvements tied in our survey of commercial property management firms as the top solution to making the metro area better.

This year, however, new industrial real estate development emerged as the top ingredient needed for a better Portland market. Renovation of existing office properties remained tied for second place this year with new office development and transportation infrastructure. Mixed-use development and more affordable housing units came in fifth.

Of all the property types under management, office space still dominates the mix. Of the 123.6 million square feet of commercial space managed by firms on The List in the metro area, 41 percent is in offices, 32 percent is industrial, 16 percent is retail and 11 percent is other categories.

The herd of cranes erected all over Portland have not been standing idle. Looking at just the top 25 firms over the last three years, total local square feet managed has increased 11 percent since 2016.

Some firms on The List shared their thoughts on the industry's biggest challenges.

"Attracting and retaining the next generation of talented professionals," is the top priority for Keith Kaiser, executive vice president of property management at Kidder Mathews (No. 2).

And Sue Iggulden, managing director of Cushman & Wakefield U.S. (No. 4), said changes in the way offices are built and used, such as "increased density in build-out, employee work hours that run beyond a typical eight to six and demand for amenities that will enhance the tenant experience all directly impact building systems and operating costs. Managers today need to be educated like never before to meet these needs and effectively position their assets in the marketplace," using tools like energy conservation and maintenance programs.

"Timing and cost for permits and entitlements," has also been challenging wrote Nick Fritel, chief financial officer at TMT Development (No. 9).

The rising cost of land, shifting retail habits impacting brick-and-mortar stores, in-house property management by building owners and increased regulation of multi-family properties were issues noted by other firms.

Largest Commercial Property Management Firms in the Portland Metro Area


For the full story, go to the Portland Business Journal.

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