Rafn's Roundup of Interesting News in Commercial Real Estate as well as a Little Shameless Self-Promotion

Seattle Construction Costs Outpace the Rest of the U.S.

01/24/2024 : Source ConnectCRE

Construction costs in Seattle rose 7.76% between October 2022 and October 2023, according to a fourth-quarter construction cost report from Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB). National construction costs jumped 5.9% over that period. In addition to higher borrowing costs and inflation, developers in Seattle also struggle with some of the highest wages in the country, reported the Puget Sound Business Journal.

The average construction industry worker in Seattle earns $37.58 per hour, compared to the national average of $28.08, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Despite the mounting costs, many major developments in the Seattle area are in the works, including the $700 million Harvest mixed-use community under development and the recently financed mixed-use housing development Trace 4001.

Similarly, Seattle also leads in office development even while the city has one of the lowest occupancy rates with 6.59 million square feet of office space under construction — the third most in the country.

Seattle Energy Code Rollback

05/02/2024 : Source City of Seattle SDCI

Per mayoral direction, the draft 2021 Seattle Energy Code (SEC) has been revised to remove the energy efficiency advances included in the original draft. The stringency level of the revised Seattle code for new construction projects will largely match that of the 2021 Washington State Energy Code already in effect. A number of corrections and clarifications from the original draft will remain in the 2021 SEC, in addition to rules governing replacement of existing fossil fuel equipment.

The draft 2021 Seattle Energy Code (SEC) has been revised as follows:

  • The 2021 SEC will largely match the 2021 WA State Energy Code including adoption of the fossil fuel compliance path.
  • Previously proposed 2021 SEC amendments that are more stringent than the 2021 WA State Energy Code are stricken.
  • Existing 2018 SEC provisions are maintained.
  • Previously proposed 2021 SEC amendments that provide additional flexibility for existing buildings are maintained.
  • Previously proposed 2021 SEC amendments that are simple corrections or clarifications are maintained.

In effect, this policy direction will not increase 2021 Seattle Energy Code commercial requirements beyond the levels of the new 2021 WA State Energy Code or the existing 2018 Seattle Energy Code.

The full draft summary document from the City of Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections can be found by clicking the link below.

Click Here for the Full Document

Rafn Unveils Rebrand

Welcome to the new era of Rafn

// The Real Value of Experience

// Collaborative to the Core

// Our Name is Our Word

// Driven by Quality

Check out what makes us unique at RAFN.COM

Rafn’s Annual Chili Cook-Off 2024


Thanks to all the chefs, judges, and taste-testers who joined us on the Friday before the Super Bowl to share some good chili and great company!

Congratulations to the winners:

  • Spiciest: Mexican Meat Medley  Christopher Smith  Star Rentals
  • Most Creative: Madras Curry Chili  Rian Norris  Star Rentals
  • Judge’s Choice: Old 97  Jason Bangert  ISI Superfloors
  • Taster’s Choice: Brisket Chili  Nick Gervais  KG Investments

Honorable mentions:

  • Cheers! Beer and Chocolate  Kim Stearns  Conco
  • Southwest Steak Chili  Nikole Ortiz  Star Rentals
  • Damn Good Chicken Chili  Brianna Lee  Rafn
  • Screaming Wild  Jered Cottell  Rafn
  • Good Shanken Chili  Brandt Bullock  Rafn


Current Rafn Projects


  • AMLI Redmond Apartments
  • Bellevue South Parking Repairs
  • Green Lake North Apartments*
  • Northaven Workforce Housing
  • Pacific Apartments Renovation
  • SU Athletic Performance Center Upgrades
  • SU Arupe Fence




Recent Rafn Anniversaries

  • Phil  36 yrs
  • Randy  34 yrs
  • John  31 yrs
  • Todd  26 yrs
  • Ryan  26 yrs
  • Steve  24 yrs
  • Todd  23 yrs
  • Carlos  21 yrs
  • Ben  10 yrs
  • Keith  8 yrs
  • Jamie  8 yrs
  • Dustin  5 yrs
  • Rodney  2 yrs
  • Darcy  2 yrs
  • Tomas  1 yr