June 18, 2024


Savvy business masters

Nordstrom to move out of one downtown Seattle office tower

After a year that saw the Seattle-born retailer lay off workers and close stores, Nordstrom said Tuesday it will leave its offices on Seventh Avenue near Olive Way downtown, where it occupies a large part of a 24-story tower.

In a statement, the company framed the move as a chance to rethink office work post-pandemic.

“As we think about returning to our corporate offices later this year, we find ourselves with the rare opportunity to reimagine how these teams will work and collaborate in the future,” the company said.

The 1700 Seventh Ave. office tower has nearly 500,000 square feet of space. Nordstrom said it occupied 360,000 square feet on 15 floors of the building.

Nordstrom said it will still have 700,000 square feet of other office space in two downtown Seattle buildings.

The Puget Sound Business Journal first reported the move Tuesday.

“While we will not be a fully remote headquarters,” the statement said, “it’s clear remote work can and should continue to play a part in how we operate. We need to evolve our physical workspaces to allow for this new dynamic, and that includes ensuring we have the right mix of office space to meet our needs.”

The company will “continue to serve customers through our two downtown Seattle stores, including our Flagship store,” the statement said.

Last year, Nordstrom said it would close 16 stores, laid off thousands of workers and had a 22% drop in holiday sales. As the pandemic slashed sales more dramatically than analysts expected, the company insisted it was flexible and planned to expand discounted offerings like Nordstrom Rack.

Meanwhile, office space throughout downtown Seattle sat empty last year and the amount of office space for sublease rose more than 20% in the first half of the year.

Nordstrom codeveloped and co-owns the building at 1700 Seventh Ave. with Clise Properties. Nordstrom currently holds a 49% interest in the property and Clise Properties owns 51%, Nordstrom said. Nordstrom began occupying space in the building in 2001.