How do 60,000 new employees affect Seattle?

On February 14th, at Downtown Seattle Association’s (DSA) State of Downtown event, several note-worthy stats were brought to light to paint a picture of Downtown Seattle’s story, since 2010. The driving factor behind the city’s transformation is the demand for more employees; it’s clear that housing is the “traffic jam.”

Reported statistics for Downtown Seattle

2010 – present:

  • 60,000 new jobs were added
  • Population has grown 22%
  • Taxable brick-and-mortar retail sales have increased 34%


  • Downtown businesses contributed $3.2 Billion in local, state, and federal taxes


  • From construction, 3.6 million square feet of space was added above street level
  • 5,725 residential units and 637 hotel rooms were added

Present – 2020

  • 3 million square feet of space will be completed
  • More than 8,700 residential units and 2,400 hotel rooms will be developed
  • Public projects, budgeted around $330 Million are planned or underway

The short version

The takeaway is more people are moving to Downtown Seattle than there are places for them to live. For the majority of Downtown Seattle, the only way to accommodate these new residents is to build upward. Two major concerns that the DSA discussed were homelessness and affordable housing, and traffic. They have not developed a solution, however, there is a 20-year plan called One Center City to develop a solution.

The event discussion was focused on Downtown Seattle (Downtown Seattle area defined by the DSA), but the findings reflect the story of all of Metro Seattle. Without an adequate supply of housing for the thousands of new employees hired per month, it’s not difficult to see how problems can arise. Downtown Seattle has its issues of traffic and congestion that other neighborhoods may not have, but the bottleneck in the story is the amount of available housing. Below is a snapshot of statistics for all of Metro Seattle, telling a similar story. The snapshot is taken from our 2017 Annual + Quarterly (Q4) Report.

What do you think?

Click to view the Puget Sound Business Journal article.

Posted on February 16, 2018 at 17:03
Brandon Sturgis | Category: 2017, Annual Report, OWN, Quarterly Report, Report | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Changes and Milestones that You Might Have Missed in 2017

Did you know Seattle broke several records this year? Have you noticed all of the changes happening around you? Did you know if you were looking for this website a year ago, you’d be – – – – out of luck! Do you remember when the whole city turned white and shut down? What is Seattle, without rain? Dry humor.

Breaking Records and Making Changes

Here’s a breakdown of 2017’s big changes and milestones, in Seattle and at the Wall Street Group, that you might have missed while texting.


The launch of

Envisioned, by the owner of the Wall Street Group, to be a “one-stop shop” for everything that Seattle has to offer, the website has taken off and is grabbing the attention of more than 2,000 people/month. Pretty cool if you ask us. The most viewed pages are the Neighborhood Reports, the blogs, and the LOVE content (obviously, because who isn’t intrigued by LOVE?).


Seattle “shuts down

Monday, February 6th, snow swaddled Seattle overnight, closing schools and keeping many people home from work. What a drag that was, huh? Staying home with the family and enjoying a rare snow day. Should we make it a holiday in remembrance of such a rare event? We’ll talk to the Mayor.



Sun and tulips started creeping back into our lives as we all put on our summer garbs WAY too early.



Record-breaking month. Record-breaking month. Record-breaking month.

You read that right. Seattle broke 3 records in April.

From October 2016 to April 2017 (because, if we counted every month it rains we’d be cheating) Seattle took on 44.7” of rain, breaking the Rainfall Record from the previous year. That’s deep enough to paddleboard!

As the sky was naturally pouring down on us in copious amounts, didn’t it seem like it was raining every day? Well, almost. For 144 days, between October 2016 and April 2017, Seattle had more than .01 inches of rain. Thus breaking the record for the number of wet days.

In a different awards ceremony, Seattle celebrated the population officially passing 700,000 people. Keep in mind, the official-ness of the count is really more of a very educated, very calculated, and extremely researched guess. This is most likely the best guess we’ll get, as it is provided by the city of Seattle and Washington state, with collaboration with U.S. Census Bureau. (Sorry for all of that. We love data.)


The MarketFront was Completed

Pike Place MarketFront project completed in May, but the grand opening was the following month. Keep reading for the excitement


Open for business!

The previous owners traded places with our new owner, of Wall Street Group – Windermere Real Estate, in June. A friendly passing of the baton and business is as usual.

Oh right. Pike Place MarketFront opened to the public, too.



Kusama comes to Seattle at the SAM

Yayoi Kusama, a Japanese contemporary artist who likes to work in sculpture and installations, showed Seattle what an infinity experience might look and feel like.

“Our earth is only one polka dot among a million start in the cosmos. Polka dots are a way to infinity.” – Yayoi Kusama


Don’t look at it!

Remember when the earth was going to stop rotating? Or how about when we were all going to turn into zombies? What about the time when we all looked at the Total Solar Eclipse without proper SolarGlasses (made of cardboard)?

Yes, we actually heard those claims. And don’t say you didn’t look at the Eclipse with your bare eyes. We’ve never seen what 9% of the Sun looked like either. (p.s. if you find any typos it’s because our eyes are still recovering)

Dry Humor

Would you believe that Seattle broke 2 rainfall records and in the same year we also claim the driest stretch too? We sure did! For a record-breaking 56 days, Seattle was without its most talked about characteristic, rain.



So, let’s get this out of the way. The Seahawks. First-year missing the postseason since 2011. But we started off strong with 4 wins during the preseason and ending the season over .500. Let’s keep our heads high and let’s hear it in 2018, 12s!

The Mariners. Oh, Mariners. They didn’t make it to the postseason…again…but did you get a chance to check out the homerun food offerings at Safeco Field? Ballard Pizza Co., Great State Burger, and Poquitos! Tempted to buy season tickets for the food. Yumm!

The Sounders had a great season with a 14-11 record, and making it to the MLS Cup finals. Not to mention our 9-year streak of having the best record in the MLS. We’re really looking forward to next season.

Space Needle gets a Spacelift

If you’ve been able to pull your eyes off of your phone for a moment and look up. You’ll notice the Space Needle looks a bit different. That’s because it’s getting a facelift. To be more specific, the safety cage that hinders the view will be replaced with floor to “sky” glass barrier; from the renderings, it looks like the restaurants may be getting fitted with a glass floor.


Oktober Fests, scare-athons, and “hello” cold weather again (we had a good run, sun).


Giving back and get-togethers

We couldn’t say enough about how much the Wall Street Group Brokers do for the community. All year long, they attend in charity events, roll their sleeves up for community service, and gladly pull their checkbooks out. November is a special time during the year when the staff, owners, and dozens of Brokers come together to help a few organizations.

Every year for last 15 years, our Brokers have offered a hand to help out families in need of a Thanksgiving dinner, with Child Haven, Northwest Harvest Food Drive, and #tacklehomelessness. It’s truly a beautiful time of year.


Wrap it up

As we wrapped up a monumental year of changes, experiences, and a dynamic real estate market, we had a few more things to squeeze in. A couple more community events to provide winter clothing and toys to Seattle youth, and one amazing holiday party. Chihuly Garden and Glass hosted the Brokers of Wall Street Group for our Annual Holiday Party, and all we can say is, wow and #blessed. Blessed to have a community of relationships like you to look after one another and grow this wonderful city together.

And there ya have it, the most phenomenal changes and milestones in 2017. Maybe we stretched the meaning of phenomenal and milestones a bit, but they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Either way, 2017 was a great year for us at the Wall Street Group and it was pretty cool to watch all of the changes happen in Seattle.

We are predicting 2018 to be even more phenomenal.

How was your 2017? Any big changes?

Posted on January 26, 2018 at 16:19
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STEM: Inspiring Students to Create a Brighter Future

Washington State is a National Leader in STEM!

In 2013, the state of Washington passed a bill to significantly improve its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) learning opportunities and educational outcomes for K-12 students. Simply put, Washington schools, government, and non-profit organizations have teamed together to create more ways to give our children opportunities to learn and apply STEM skills. Each year, more opportunities arise, more grant money is budgeted, our children get excited, and a brighter future is painted.

Why is STEM important?

So, you may think STEM education has been around since you were in school. Unless you participated in Science Fairs and went out of your way to expose yourself to STEM activities, you probably only scratched the surface of what is available to children today. Traditional education teaches about cool technology, math equations, and engineering marvels. STEM education goes a step further and puts the student in the driver’s seat and creates opportunities to put their education to work. Wouldn’t it be fun to learn how to build a robot? Code a program to control the robot? Or use the robot to gather samples of ecosystems in the Puget Sound? With real-world application, students are given the opportunity to get excited about possible career paths at an early age.

There are limitless benefits of STEM education, but here are a few to get you thinking: for years to come,

  • education standards and curriculum quality education will increase
  • high school graduation rates will increase
  • job satisfaction will increase
  • the global economy will increase, beginning in Seattle
  • there will be a greater number and quality inventions
  • the poverty level will decrease
  • the price of education will decrease

Washington STEM put together an amazing video outlining what STEM means and how students can thrive from STEM education.

[arve url=”” title=”Washington STEM – Inspire, Engage and Unleash Potential” description=”Washington STEM advances excellence, innovation, and equity in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education for all Washington students. Our vision is to see all students succeed in thriving communities all within a vibrant Washington state.” upload_date=”Nov 29, 2016″ /]

STEM is Important for Seattle

Let’s be frank for a minute. Consider the industry that has moved into Seattle. No, we’re not talking about all of the construction. We’re talking about the tech industry that is creating all of the construction. Companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Expedia (and the list goes on) are continuing to grow and change the landscape of Metro Seattle – not to mention the other giant corporations like Boeing, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Nintendo, Weyerhauser, and Windermere. The employees that these global companies are looking for are (for all intense and purposes) STEM employees. That said, 30% of their tech-savvy and STEM employees are transplants (not from Seattle).

The more foreign employees these companies recruit, the more real estate construction and buildings will be built to accommodate them. Following all of these employees will be more consumer businesses, restaurants, traffic and more advancements in the city infrastructure, and ultimately a bigger Metropolitan area.

The changes in Seattle are happening and will continue for years to come. The key to growing with the city is to acclimate our children to the new and future economy. Resources are widely available and access is becoming easier.

How can my child get involved in STEM education?

There’s a good chance your student is already involved in STEM education at school. Beginning in preschool and Kindergarten, students in Seattle public and private schools are provided with workshops, classroom learning and out of classroom exposure to STEM education. Middle and high schools offer clubs and organizations to further their interests.

Check the Seattle Public Schools’ website to find out if your young student has access to STEM learning. See how your children’s school ranks for STEM, in the Seattle Area.

Extra-Curricular STEM Opportunities

Great resources put together by Washington STEM
20-plus STEM Summer Camps for Seattle-Area Kids by ParentMap
Marine-based STEM learning by Salish Sea Expeditions

Help us expand our list! Let us know which STEM Ed opportunity opened your student’s eyes.

STEM Success Stories

STEM grads step right into the future by The Seattle Times
A life-changing summer in Seattle for six STEM students by PATH – Stories of innovation and impact
Inside the pioneering Seattle area school that’s shaking up how STEM education is taught by GeekWire

Posted on September 18, 2017 at 15:05
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Bye-Bye to Boring Bertha

Bertha has left the tunnel, finally. What’s next?

[arve url=”” title=”Bye-Bye to Bertha, the world’s largest tunneling machine” description=”This time-lapse video captures the difficult and challenging work to disassemble the world’s largest-diameter tunneling machine. For four months, crews cut, hoisted and trucked away 8,000 tons of the machine’s equipment and steel, removing it from inside the tunnel it had built. Up next – finishing the double-deck highway inside and installing all the operating systems to open Seattle’s new SR 99 tunnel by early 2019.” upload_date=”Aug 23, 2017″ /]

As of August 24, 2017, Bertha has been completely disassembled. Bertha was working for nearly 4 years under the objective of a much larger project, The Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project. If you weren’t keeping up with Bertha and what the largest tunnel boring machine has been up to, less than 215’ below downtown Seattle [view the simulation below], here’s the highlight reel.

  • 2008 – The Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement project officially began (primarily legislation, planning, mitigation, and demolition)
  • 2009 – WOSCA building demolition
  • 2010 – Pier 48 demolition
  • 2011 – SR 99 Tunnel project kicked off (mitigation and structural work)
  • 2011 – Demolition and repair of the South end of the Viaduct
  • 2012 – Cedarstrand building demolition
  • 2013 – Bertha began digging, boring, tunneling, and doing what “she” does. (Bertha was named after Bertha Knight Landes, elected mayor of Seattle in 1926)
  • 2014 – North Tunnel Access construction began
  • 2016 – South Tunnel Access construction began
  • 2017 – Bertha completed her boring and tunneling

…so, what’s next?

  • 2016 – South Tunnel Access construction began
  • 2017 – Bertha completed her boring and tunneling
  • 2018 – Connections between Tunnel, Access, and surface streets
  • 2019 – SR 99 Tunnel completion and open to the public
  • 2019 – Demolition and decommissioning of Alaskan Way Viaduct
  • 2019 – Begin Alaskan Way Surface Street Project
  • 2023 – Complete Waterfront and Alaskan Way Street

A Glimpse into 2023

When the entire Alaskan Viaduct Replacement project is completed (2023), Seattle will have a brand new 1.7-mile-long tunnel, an additional mile-long stretch of highway at the south end of the tunnel, new Alaskan Way street, new Alaskan Way Waterfront, Elliot Bay Seawall, and a seismic-safe way to travel. The current budget stretching into 2019 (when the tunnel will be open to the public) is set at $3.2 Billion. Another $149 Million may be needed to complete the program, estimated 2023. We can’t wait to see the entire project completed in all of its glory (and to have some major construction wrapped up around here). What are your tunneling thoughts?

Extras for your entertainment

[one_half padding=”0 10px 0 10px”]

Did you know? Bertha actually built the tunnel behind her as she bored through the earth.

[arve url=”” title=”Building a highway inside a tunnel” description=”This video shows how Seattle Tunnel Partners crews build the highway inside the SR 99 tunnel in Seattle. For more information, visit SHOW MORE” upload_date=”Jul 13, 2016″ maxwidth=”300″ /]

[/one_half][one_half_last padding=”0 10px 0 10px”]WSDOT simulation, taking you underground along the crown of the tunnel.

[arve url=”” title=”Proposed SR 99 Bored Tunnel Underground Simulation March 2010″ description=”The Washington State Department of Transportation, in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration, King County, the City of Seattle and the Port of Seattle, is leading a program to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct section of State Route 99, which runs along Seattle’s downtown waterfront.” upload_date=”Mar 16, 2010″ maxwidth=”300″ /]


Visit Milepost 31 for a museum-like tour of projects that shaped Pioneer Square and the SR 99 Tunnel project.


Posted on August 28, 2017 at 16:55
Brandon Sturgis | Category: LIVE | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Seattle’s 7 Biggest ($) Developments

It’s no secret. Look at the skyline. Cranes are everywhere you look – even when you’re not looking! Big and small; on buildings and on the ground; some operating on weekends and through the night. Today, roughly 60 cranes are operating in Metro Seattle.

But this conversation isn’t limited to cranes. For instance, Bertha certainly doesn’t need a crane. It’s a “boring” project.😜

There is massive overhaul happening in Seattle. Residential, commercial, government, transportation, and private developments are creating an entirely different future for this wonderful city. So, we’ve compiled the top 7 projects with the biggest price tags and with direct impact to Seattle; noted the objective of each project, our biggest takeaway. Although the projects’ stake holders are ultimately seeking to gain a substantial return, each project has huge economic promise to our city. And we couldn’t be more excited!

Click the project title to view the project site (if applicable).

7. Elliot Bay Seawall Project

Objective: To protect critical infrastructure and utilities while enhancing the habitat through this area
Scope: 3,700 feet
Total Cost (estimated): $410.2 Million
Funded by: The City of Seattle
Duration (estimated): January 2016 – mid-2017

6. Stadium Place 

Objective: To provide commercial and residential space in the following capacities: Residential Housing (740 units), Retail (60,000 sq. ft.), Hotel (297 rooms and conference space), Office (180,000 sq. ft.), Parking (720 stalls)
Scope: 1.5 Million sq. ft.; 3.85-acre site
Total Cost (estimated): $517 Million
Funded by: Stadium Place Investors LLC
Duration (estimated): 2010 – 2025

5. Amazon Tower II  

Objective: To serve as Amazon Headquarters (accommodating approximately 23,000 employees), and permanent home for Mary’s Place Homeless Shelter
Scope: 1.1 Million sq. ft.
Total Cost (estimated): $550 Million
Funded by: Amazon
Duration (estimated): 2012 – 2018

4. Washington State Convention Center Addition 

Objective: To provide space for retail, events, parking, and approximately 3,900 direct and indirect jobs.
Scope: 30-story residential tower; 16-story office building; 250,000 sq. ft. of underground parking; 1.5 Million sq. ft.
Total Cost (estimated): $1.6 Billion
Funded by: Washington State Convention Center
Duration (estimated): September 2017 – 2020

3. Sound Transit Northgate Link light rail extension 

Objective: To extend the Link Light Rail from UW Husky Stadium to Northgate Seattle
Scope: 4.3-miles long; link rail and connecting stations
Total Cost (estimated): $2.1 Billion
Funded by: Federal grants, motor vehicle excise tax (MVET) and local sales tax
Duration (estimated): 2012 – 2021

2. State Route 99 Tunnel Project (Bertha) 

Objective: To replace The Alaskan Way Viaduct with a tunnel that bypasses Downtown Seattle. Along with the tunnel, the project includes several mitigations and miscellaneous projects to reshape the SR-99 corridor.
Scope: Tunnel: 1.7-mile long (less than 215′ below Seattle); New Highway: 1-mile long stretch; demolition of The Alaskan Viaduct
Total Cost (estimated): $3.2 Billion
Funded by: State, Federal and Local sources, as well as the Port of Seattle and tolls
Duration (estimated): 2008 – 2023
Check out the Viaduct Demolition Open House on Thursday, August 10, 2017.

1. East Link Extension

Objective: To extend the Link Light Rail from Redmond and Bellevue to International District Station
Scope: 14-miles long; link rail and connecting stations
Total Cost (estimated): $3.7 billion
Funded by: Sound Transit
Duration (estimated): April 22, 2017 – 2023

What do you think about all of the construction? Good? Bad? Share this article directly to your Facebook with the link below.

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Posted on August 7, 2017 at 17:11
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