Thursday, July 24, 2008

Seattle Hubris

Man is dey eva gonna git whacked. Click the pictures for a larger view.

Seattle is starting to exhibit the classic signs of a boom bust where special circumstances let them sail right over the edge. Look at the cranes. What are they building? When will they come on line? Who will invest? ENers know the reason. And in honor of anointed future president Obama's speech this morning; Ich ein ist ENers.
Gavshire Hathaway writes on Calculated risk:
I'm sitting here in Seattle, and I'm starting to see all kinds of signs that the CRE collapse is coming. From out my window I can count about 20 cranes building office buildings and condos.


Gav is right. The first crack was when the massive 13 acre family owned downtown redevelopment fell apart this spring. The lots were amassed over decades and were collectivized June of 2007. We all know what happened to lending the next month.
Seattle Times has it.
Those pesky bloggers picked it up.
And CNN Money runs the obituary July 22, 2008.

Being the last person to drink the kool-aid means getting to digest the sediment.

Blog Note: I took those pictures last month on vacation to the region. As the most excellent RE advisor Bawldguy repeatedly harps; there ain't no substitute for feet on the ground.

23 comments:

Property Flopper said...

Well, I'll take the first if nobody else will.


Note: Almost typed "I'll take the fist if nobody else will", but I caught the typo. That would have been bad... I'm sure Casey would have volunteered.

Casey Serin said...

And in honor of anointed future president Obama's speech this morning; Ich ein ist ENers.

"I one is EN'ers...?" Guh?

Wir sind alles EN'ers, you dummkopf. ;-)

Tigi said...

"Facing foreclosure, Taunton woman commits suicide"

Rob Dawg said...

Casey, you been takin' Teutionic Injections? Yah.

Honestly I didn't care enough to look it up. The 40 year old "jelly doughnut" myth and all that. German is a tough couple of languages. High German goes in and out of fashion. Low German gets bastardized. Dismissed for being guttural.

Thanks for the correction. Feel free to tell all.

Rob Dawg said...

tigl,
I deliberately did not mention the Taunton event as a fellow blogger may (or may not) have issues close enough that there may be harm of innocents should we get too snarky.

Casey Serin said...

Casey, you been takin' Teutionic Injections? Yah.

Well, let's just say that I've been at the receiving end of a fierce German blitzkrieg... ;-)

They like me for my pretty blond hair and blue eyes, you know. heh.

Akubi said...

Ich ein ist ENers.

Hey, McCain is an ENer too! He dined at German restaurant in Ohio today.

penny said...

Who is that dope you are quoting dawg? he claims cranes dotting the skyline is bad news? And that 13 acre site you claim a bust. Did you read the article? they say the sale will garner global attention. additionally near that 13 acre site the gates foundation just broke ground on a $500 million building.
the people drinking the kool aid are your loyal dog ball lickers that believe all the bs pessimism you spew. you must just be a sad pos. seattle area real estate will not undergo the bubble that other areas are going through. Wa RE is getting hit by a credit crunch not speculation. jack off.

Peripheral Visionary said...

The "it's different here" crowd has officially arrived. I will admit that I am much more inclined to agree with someone who says "yes, there has been speculation but . . . " rather than someone who dismisses the speculation out of hand. News flash: nearly all commercial real estate is speculative. You think they've got those buildings leased out for the next ten years before they start construction?

"they say the sale will garner global attention."

It sounds like it's already garnering global attention. Of course, the first of the massive housing auctions in Southern California and Florida attracted global attention . . .

Peripheral Visionary said...

Off Topic: I think it is hilarious that the INTJs have their own forum. Oh, and their own FAQ, excerpted from the INTJ Manual, of course--not for INTJs, we don't need a manual, but for other people so that they can deal with us.

Choice quotes:

Q: My INTJ is trying to take over the world. Should I be concerned?

A: Remember, he’s trying to take over the world for the betterment of everyone and everything. Just go ahead and let him. He’ll be happy and the world will be a more organized and efficient place.

Q: Where can I find an INTJ?

A: We INTJs are ├╝ber-introverts, so we prefer asynchronous and semi-anonymous forms of communication. We get most of our socialization through internet forums and Usenet newsgroups. Look for us there.

:) Check.

soem dood said...

Wir sind alles EN'ers, you dummkopf. ;-)

Good. No write that 100 times, or I'll cut your balls off.

Sweet Cashback said...

Ach ihr Luserz....It has to be: "Wir sind alle EN'ers, you Dummkopf."

soem dood said...

Finally! Explanation for drinking wheatgrass!


Why?

Lou Minatti said...

The "it's different here" crowd has officially arrived.

Half of the entertainment value of the HBB was destroyed when Ben started banning the doubters and called them "trolls." There are still people out there who feel there's no problem, it's different this time, and they have their "facts" to prove it. They have a lot in common with the "peak oil" people. Echo chambers wind up being boring places.

Now those cranes in Seattle. That's nothing compared to the granddaddy of all US commercial real estate manias. I saw it when I was a kid first hand in Houston from 1978-1982. You would be shocked at the before and after. Millions of square feet of vacant Class A office space until 1995 or so.

Lex said...

Goes to show that Sam Zell was pretty smart.

BTW, if you were wondering how your CalPERS investment is going:

Welcome to New York

Akubi said...

@PV,
Are you an INTJ?
Sometimes I am and other times I'm INFJ - and they don't even have a forum. Why are the INFJ's underrepresented?
What was Casey?

Akubi said...

@Dawg,
Did you help Walnuts come up with his sweet new McCain Nation strategy? It sure sounds like Exurban Nation...Inquiring minds want to know.
;)

-FutureShock- said...

Where is the blue ball!?

Casey you need to start blogging again. Talkshoe!!!! Dance monkey!!!

Casey Serin said...

@ Akubi: Why are the INFJ's underrepresented? What was Casey?

I'm a narcissistic sociopath. :-)

@ FutureShock: Where is the blue ball!?

I got two of 'em between my legs, since my wife divorced me...

Akubi said...

Hi Casey!
I bet you like the local Sausage Haus too!
Personally, I think all German food sucks - the beer is tolerable though.

Akubi said...

@Casey,
You were definitely an E-something; in fact, I wondered if you just so happened to be the guy in SacTown who was busted for his X project. Sweet new form of passive income with benefits. Woohoo!
Please wear a condom and do not share your genes with others.
Thank you.

Signed,
One pissed-off taxpayer

P.S. Extroverts annoy the f-ing hell out of me.

JohnDiddler said...

seattle has always been a boomtown. belltown/north lake union was theese close to building a trade center on par with the old wtc in manhattan in square footage. finance killed it. so that spot is building Amazon, which continues to grow in profitibility. assholes still write to me asking to buy my property. on the east side where i work, an enormous project will host the largest parking garage in the west, and move the bulk of ms to bellevue. if more of seattle's fantastic real estate opened up, it would foster another Seattle-esque industry or expansion. south lake union is the most central spot in the city, but historically industrial. i doubt it will be a bust. - boots on ground

Zintradi said...

I work in the sprinkler industry in the seattle area. I'm working as an estimator now and I can tell you things in the pipeline are drying up... the buildings with tower cranes are pretty much bought and paid for, for the most part... they could still die at any time.
I had a big project die on me earlier at 2nd and pine... Part of it was financing, the other part was the owner couldn't give the architect clear direction on the design of the building so my costs, and the other subs costs kept creeping up... couple that with the condo market 'softening' pushed the bank to pull it's money unless they presold more units.
Anyway, the high rise condo is all but a dead animal in Seattle... we're back to mixed use apartment buildings, which in all honesty I would rather do, much easier. high rises are a pain in the arse.
we've all heard about commodity prices going up... just for our sprinkler pipe, it's gone up 10% per month for the last 6 months... parts (fittings, sprinklers, valves) have all gone up about 3-4% a month, AND the fitters just went on strike and got a 13/hour raise over 3 years... it's going to get to the point where people will just not build because it's too damned expensive...
The market has definatly shifted. the last year we had contractors beating down our door to bid and do high rises and other big projects and now it's all dried up and we're really having to strap on the boot leather and go knock on doors ourselves.