February 10, 2005 in Business

Spokane real estate gets wider exposure

By The Spokesman-Review
 

A Seattle-based Web site that advertises commercial real estate for sale and lease has launched a Spokane branch.

Following its Feb. 1 kickoff, OfficeSpace.com is already advertising Spokane properties including Rock Pointe, the Legion Building and the Paulsen Center, listing the amount of space for lease, the price per square foot and floor plans.

“I think it opens the door to outside the Spokane area for more corporate business,” said Holly Pagel, property manager and leasing agent for Walt Worthy, who owns Rock Pointe and other properties. “It’s a simple thing to use.”

Pagel said since the service began last week, she has received up to seven notifications per day that an OfficeSpace user had printed a flier advertising one of Worthy’s properties.

OfficeSpace.com was founded in 1995 by former real estate brokers John Suryan and Kip Spencer and now has offices in Seattle, Portland, Denver, Cincinnati, Columbus, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Sao Paulo, Brazil. The company maintains a database of more than 1 billion square feet of commercial property, according to a news release.

Kristine Stanton, regional director for Spokane, said the company came to the city upon the invitation of several commercial Realtors. One of them was David Dowers, who was in the same University of Washington fraternity with Suryan. Dowers said a number of Realtors got together to talk about how local commercial properties could be marketed outside the region. Dowers suggested his former fraternity brother’s company.

“It’s not just listing properties, it’s having access to all kinds of research, once it gets completely built up,” Dowers said.

Stanton said listing on the site is free, but there are charges for photographs, floor plans and other additional information. The company also offers tracking of market statistics and leads, when users request information about a property. In the next few weeks, Stanton said, OfficeSpace.com also will offer tenant rosters for buildings, which appeals to companies looking to locate near specific businesses. She said the company anticipates expanding into North Idaho within months.

Dan Cantu, a commercial real estate agent who also runs spokanespace.com, welcomed OfficeSpace.com to the market. Cantu said he began his commercial real estate Web site to better advertise Spokane properties. However, with his full-time job, he hasn’t had enough time to devote to it, he said. In addition, he said it was hard to get companies to list their properties on his Web site when they also had their own Web sites.

Still, he said, “I think Spokane needs something like that.”

Shelley McDowell, who owns the AmericanWest Bank Building with her husband, Mick, said she listed properties on OfficeSpace.com for the additional exposure.

“We thought we’d try it for a year to see what it yields,” McDowell said. “I was hoping it would bring some out-of-town people looking to locate in Spokane. It’s an easy way to electronically have the information available.”

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