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From the desk of Patrick Callahan

AS THE SAYING GOES, IT'S GREAT TO END the YEAR ON A HIGH NOTE.

For us at Urban Renaissance Group, we couldn’t have planned a better end to 2014.

A few days ago, we acquired Seattle-based development firm Touchstone, one of the most active developers in the city with an enviable 30-year legacy of successful urban projects.

In addition to expanding our operating platform, we’ve made strategic investments in 1.6 million square feet of existing Touchstone office developments in great locations throughout Seattle, further expanding our product mix beyond office and retail into the hotel product. 

A deal like this is rare – and it’s especially exciting for us because it gives us a complete operating platform and aligns us with a very strong brand that has the same mission as we do – to make a difference in the renaissance of urban environments.

You can read more about the announcement here.

And here’s to a great 2015.


A Glimpse Back & A Look Ahead

Last year was monumental for the Urban Renaissance Group. Our work on the 7th and Madison deal in Seattle earned us the 2012 “deal of the year” award from the National Association of Office and Industrial Properties (NAIOP) Washington Chapter. This is a great honor – one that we’ve been bestowed for two years running.

Last fall, our firm also entered a dynamic new chapter with the investment of $200M in URG from the Joshua Green Corporation. This investment allows us to leverage nearly $1B in capital and a robust platform that will help us expand our work into new markets and deepen our presence in Seattle, Bellevue and Portland. We closed on our first acquisition in this new venture with the purchase of the 5 Centerpoint building in Lake Oswego, OR for $19.5M. 

This year, the office market outlook in Seattle/Bellevue continues to improve as we enter a more normalized market with rising rents, declining vacancies and the potential for office development.

Nationally, the ‘urban renaissance’ continues, as cities continue evolving as more walkable, vital, amenity rich environments. At URG, our vision continues capitalizing on this evolution, with the understanding that the City is the Future.


PUBLIC RECOGNITION OF ORGANIZATIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS 
IS ALWAYS A WONDERFUL SURPRISE

Our firm has been fortunate in that regard and appreciative of this recognition in recent years. Less than a month ago, we were recognized by the Puget Sound Business Journal as one of Washington State’s Fasting Growing Private Companies. We enjoy being in such fast company–and being the only commercial real estate company on that list.

In addition, we have received three distinguished awards from our state’s National Association of Office and Industrial Properties (NAIOP) chapter since the founding of the company just six short years ago. We were awarded Renovation of the Year (2009) for the Joshua Green Building’s historic redevelopment. In 2011, we won Real Estate Deal of the Year for the purchase of Seventh and Madison with HAL Real Estate, and for the immediate lease of the entire building to the Polyclinic. And in November, we were honored to win  Deal of the Year again – this time for the simultaneous aquisition and lease of the 1600 Seventh Avenue building. 

The affect of such recognition is a public compliment to our team members, and the increased motivation to raise the bar on future performance.