Windermere Stellar has completed a big move from stately buildings on Fort Vancouver’s Officers Row to the modern Block 56 building in downtown Vancouver, bringing the real estate firm under a single roof with room to grow.
While the historic ambience and lush surroundings of Officers Row were great, the modern office offers “a different atmosphere that’s totally, really designed to help the brokers thrive,” said Gerry Dowdy Latshaw, managing principal broker of Windermere Stellar’s Vancouver Metro office.
Windermere Stellar’s downtown Vancouver staff will show off their new digs at 210 E. 13th St., a building that was formerly Vancouver’s city hall, with an open house for clients, colleagues and prospective brokers from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The real estate office, with 47 brokers and several support staff, occupies the entire first floor of the building that Latshaw describes as “industrial-chic modern.”
Latshaw says the new building’s amenities include a dining area with its own 70-inch television that employees have taken to calling the Windermere Cafe. Even with an open floor plan, the office is designed with private office spaces that agents can use for transactions. The building also has a training room and exercise room for its tenants, which include Stewart Title and the Berger ABAM consulting firm. And it has abundant parking, a rarity for downtown.
“It’s really set up for agents to enjoy and to thrive,” she said.
Windermere was the first commercial tenant on Officers Row when it moved there in 1988. It later expanded into a second building on the historic row.
Regarding real estate issues in the new year, Latshaw noted that the number of active real estate listings in Clark County is the lowest in two decades, creating a tough market for buyers. The shortage has a ripple effect: some homeowners who are considering selling their homes are holding on because they’re afraid a quick sale would force them to move before they could buy a new home.
Despite those constraints, “we’re doing great,” Latshaw said. “I see another year of good, steady growth.”
Block 56 is owned by the real estate investment firm NW Equity Holdings, which purchased the building in 2013 for $2 million and invested approximately $4 million into rebuilding its infrastructure and reinventing its work spaces.