New business in Seattle could improve the city's housing market

It’s an improving economy out there, and residents of Seattle may be able to capitalize on the uptick in job opportunities in the metro area and purchase one of the houses for sale in Seattle for an affordable price.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Seattle's unemployment rate decreased to 7.6 percent in March 2012. In addition, the city's unemployment rate is drastically lower than the Washington state average of 8.3 percent for the same month, which is slightly higher than the national average of 8.2 percent.

The unemployment rate in Seattle peaked in September 2009 at 9.6 percent with 182,218 jobless people. There are now 38,562 fewer people unemployed in the greater metro area. The Seattle unemployment rate may further decrease in the near future when current buildings and future properties go under development and onto the market.

Everette mill property is up for grabs
Kimberly-Clark Corp. put the Everette paper mill site on the market in the last week of April 2012, after closing the 81-year old mill earlier the very same month. The mill was the last of the large pulp or paper mills in the Seattle metro-area, reports the Puget Sound Business Journal.

The 66-acre lot is on prime real estate on the waterfront. While it could go to residential housing, the news source reports a consensus to redevelop the area to support some sort of business activity to add to the growing downtown area.

Smith Tower signs new business tenants
CBRE Capital Markets was the sole bidder at the March 2012 foreclosure auction of the historic Smith Tower at the Pioneer Square landmark at 506 2nd Avenue. The company won the property for an affordable $36.79 million, reports the Puget Sound Business Journal. Now the Smith Tower leasing team, made up of CBRE first vice president Christian Shevchenko, vice president Cavan O’Keefe, senior associate Nick Carkonen and associate Nate Fliflet, plan to turn the building into a hub for local industries.

This is a drastic change from the strategy the previous owner - Chicago-based Walton Street Capital - which entailed turning the 42-story building into condominiums during the housing boom.

However, it seems to be working, already five small companies have signed leases at the Smith Tower, taking up more than 25,000 square feet. The businesses range in specialties, yet all of them hint at a rebounding economic market with potential job opportunities on the horizon.