Downtown Vancouver space in demand

Businesses 'are very hopeful' and taking advantage of opportunities to improve their situations

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter

Published:

 

Office space in downtown Vancouver is now officially a hot commodity among engineering, commercial real estate and information technology firms.

These businesses are taking advantage of newfound opportunities to move into more visible, and often more upscale office space, according to Michael Jenkins, a Vancouver commercial real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Commercial Jenkins Associates and MAJ Development.

"You're seeing some repositioning," said Jenkins, whose company triggered a cascade of move-up leases when it recently purchased and moved into a Class A office structure on the corner of West 15th and Columbia streets.

Second move

After Jenkins and his staff of about two dozen people moved out of 1500 D St. — off East Mill Plain Boulevard, near an entrance to Interstate 5 — PBS Engineering & Environmental Inc. seized the opportunity to move into Coldwell's vacated space.

Third move

That triggered Bob Berry's decision to move his information technology business into a portion of PBS's former office at 1314 Main St., a deal brokered by Doug Bartocci of NAI Norris Beggs & Simpson. Berry said ITPro will also benefit from the site's nearby access to I-5.

"It's a more convenient location because we have some Oregon-based clients," he said.

Berry said the IT business has ramped up by at least 30 percent in general. Moreover, he expects business to grow at least 45 percent in the coming year. ITPro handles IT services for a variety of customers — including large businesses such as car rental company Hertz, and smaller tech firms such as Gravitate, a Web design, development and branding business in downtown Vancouver.

"Companies are beginning to spend money again," he said. "A lot of businesses are very hopeful right now and attempting to move beyond the recession and invest in IT services."