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Business park property 'ventures' into new territory

Often small-business owners find themselves sharing a lobby with other small-business owners and renting a suite or room number.

While it's common for people to eventually own their own homes, renting often seems the only option for small-business owners. And in the world of business, finances are key.

Venture Corporation is about to introduce Snoqualmie to a whole new concept via its Venture Commerce Center: property for sale specifically for the small-business owner who wants to own the space in which his or her business resides.

The Venture Commerce Center is set to open early next year.

"It'll be a professional center," said Todd Berryhill, vice president of development for Venture. "We aim for the small-business owner to be able to realize the advantages of ownership, both economic and business."

In January, Venture Corporation, which has sites nationally, bought property in the Snoqualmie Ridge Business Park.

Company president Robert Eves said that he wanted a center in the greater Seattle area because, "There are thousands of places to rent, but almost none to own."

Using its Venture Commerce Center model - a group of businesses spaces similar to one another in architectural styling - the Venture Corporation developed 35 small properties nestled inside five buildings that are designed for use by private business or medical ownership.

In comparison, the conventional business-owner model is a multitenant building that has space leased out to individual businesses, Berryhill said.

Most of the Venture Commerce Center properties are designed with two-story offices.

They include private restroom facilities, private parking lots and range in size from about 1,200 to about 2,900 square feet. The properties cost anywhere from about $365,000 to about $765,000.

Though all spaces are still available, Venture's local office sales and leasing specialist Lance Wieland said there is strong interest from a number of people.

Eves noted that his company has found that a business owner who moves from leasing to ownership of a property saves 30-35 percent in expenses.

"You compare the cost of renting and the cost of owning at the end of the year and you're way out ahead as an owner," Eves said.

However, the cost of moving into a new building and taking ownership of it is still expensive, he said.

Many companies sign up for a deferred-payment option to balance the costs.

"I think every town needs it because it's a terrific opportunity for business owners to realize the economic advantages," Berryhill said.

The idea of business owners owning their property is a relatively new one, Berryhill said.

Venture built it's first property to sell to business owners in 2002. Since then, it has already completed 1,200 similar properties.

"For one reason or another, this is just a new paradigm for real estate," Berryhill said.

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