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NAIOPWA Member Profile: McKenzie Darr, Development Manager, The Wolff Company

McKenzie Darr (The Wolff Company) is one of the current co-chairs of NAIOPWA's Real Estate Challenge Committee. In her capacity as a co-chair, she helped spearhead the 2020 Challenge, even as COVID-19 altered in-person presentation and competition judging. She has been recognized by her peers for her excellent leadership and dedication to the committee's educational efforts. We asked McKenzie about her work with Wolff, the REC Committee, and her love of live music.  

How would you describe your company’s primary work and scope?
The Wolff Company is a fully integrated real estate investment firm focused on multifamily investment and development. Since 2000, Wolff has invested in, acquired, or developed more than 150 multifamily assets and more than 35,000 multifamily units.
The Northwest Division based in Seattle is responsible for the investment and development of multifamily and senior housing communities in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.

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NAIOPWA Celebrates Mother's Day with Interviews from Professional and Working Moms

In honor of Mother’s Day, we want to show our appreciation for the many working moms within our NAIOP chapter and for all the professional women that make our organization great. With 40% female representation on our board and steadily increasing female membership over the last decade, empowering the voices of women in commercial real estate committee rooms, leadership positions, and on event stages remains a top priority of NAIOPWA.

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NAIOPWA Member Profile: Ben Waiss, Development Manager, Tarragon Property Services

Ben Waiss (Tarragon) is one of the Co-Chairs for NAIOPWA's South Sound Committee. He has been recognized by his peers for his outstanding leadership and continued commitment to the committee's efforts. Ben joined NAIOP in 2014 after he began working for his current company. We spoke with Ben about his work with Tarragon, what he enjoys most about CRE, and what he does in his spare time. 

How would you describe your company’s primary work and scope?
Tarragon is a locally owned commercial real estate development company operating across multiple asset classes. The following are a few company highlights that have shaped my real estate “toolbox” and give me a unique perspective on the commercial real estate industry:
  • Hands on developer that provides services from feasibility thru lease up and stabilization
  • Portfolio developer that delivers highest quality assets designed to operate at a high level throughout the lifespan of the development
  • Long term outlook that allows us to accumulate and hold land in the portfolio until market conditions are optimal to construct a commercial asset

How long have you been with your company?
I have been with Tarragon for about 6 years. In a previous life I was a Civil Engineer.

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NAIOPWA Member Feature: Morgan Sly, Land Acquisition Associate, The Rush Companies

Morgan Sly (The Rush Companies) is a dedicated volunteer member of NAIOPWA's South Sound Committee. She's been with Rush since 2018 and has been an active NAIOPWA member since June of 2019. Her peers have recognized her for outstanding efforts in organizing unique and engaging events for the South Sound. We asked Morgan about her work in CRE, how she spends her time outside of her profession, and interesting tidbits about herself. 

NAIOPWA: What do you like best about your industry? 
Morgan Sly: My favorite part about working for Rush - a developer/builder is creating communities where people want to live and work. I enjoy identifying the next place where we believe future tenants or buyers will want to move to, through our projects we have the ability to add value to people’s day-to-day lives and that is exciting!

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NAIOPWA Flash Poll Results: As Tenants Struggle, Property Owners Reach Out in Support 

NAIOPWA flash poll banner with woman in office wearing medical mask and looking at phone

Poll Results: As Tenants Struggle, Property Owners Reach Out in Support 
"We will do what it takes for the tenants to survive. Their success is our success."

SEATTLE - On April 16 and 17, NAIOPWA circulated our first “flash poll” to the region’s commercial real estate community, including members and the community at large. Over two days, 54 professionals representing property owners and developers responded to the survey, providing 119 total responses across seven asset types: office, industrial, retail, multifamily, hospitality, mixed-use, and healthcare. 

Poll results represent a snapshot of the current state of the industry, which relies on a diverse business environment that abruptly narrowed in early March. As we might expect, rent/lease payments were down in April and are expected to drop further next month. But regional CRE owners and property managers are clearly united in creative and proactive solutions to keep tenants in their properties.


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Sustainable Buildings = Healthier Occupants = Organizational Savings

Sustainability Mindset blog header with closeup of moss at right and text New Post

Investing in people could be one of the most inexpensive ways to invest in our businesses.

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Inslee Delays State Building Code Effective Date to Nov 1 Due to COVID-19, NAIOP Advocacy Efforts

graphic with NAIOPWA logo and COVID 19 response in text on blue textured background

Due to public health concerns and strong advocacy from NAIOPWA, Governor Jay Inslee has announced an extension to the 2018 state building code effective date. The new code implementation will take effect on November 1, 2020. This follows a similar order by the City of Seattle to delay code changes that came at the start of the novel coronavirus crisis in March. The original effective date of July 1, 2020 would have placed a significant burden on many construction projects, a number of which are specifically targeted at addressing Seattle's affordable housing shortage. 

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SBA Loan Program Intended to Help Businesses Cover Rent Costs During COVID-19 Crisis Begins April 3

graphic with NAIOPWA logo and COVID 19 response in text on blue textured background

Beginning April 3, small businesses (fewer than 500 employees) are eligible for forgivable SBA loans under a provision in the CARES Act passed by Congress and signed into law to address the growing COVID-19 crisis. Primarily intended for businesses to retain employees during the crisis, certain provisions in the program would allow for borrowers to use some of the funds to cover monthly expenses like mortgage interest, rent, and utilities to help stay afloat. NAIOP has compiled a list of resources to help small businesses and other stakeholders navigate the program. 

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NAIOP Washington Seeks Expanded Construction Guidance Under COVID-19 EO; Memo from Inslee Regarding Mortgages

graphic with NAIOPWA logo and COVID 19 response in text on blue textured background

 

In response to Governor Jay Inslee's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" Order, NAIOP Washington has called for expansions to construction guidance to include private-sector residential and commercial construction. Among the organization's concerns are the growing housing crisis in Seattle and the impacts of slowing development of housing in the area. The recommendation includes advocacy for strict personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements for job sites as well as preparedness plans for battling the COVID-19 risks.  

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Executive Order: Construction Guidance Released on Washington State's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" Order

NAIOP, along with AGC, requested clarification on Governor Inslee's recent “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order as it relates to construction activities. The newly released Construction Guidance Memo is online.

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Moved Online: April Sustainable Development Education Event

Closeup of mosses in a forest at left and text Energy Code Updates | Sustainable Development Breakfast April 2 7:30am at right

With target dates for code implementation changing quickly, this webinar is a must for NAIOPWA members. Our experts will cover the three new pieces of legislation upping the ante for energy efficiency throughout Washington state for both new construction and retrofits: the Seattle Energy Code, the Washington State Energy Code commercial section, and the state's new Energy Performance Standard for [Existing] Commercial Buildings.

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NAIOPWA Requests Extension on Implementation of State Construction Code | MFTE Task Force

graphic with NAIOPWA logo and COVID 19 response in text on blue textured background

In support of our 1,000+ association members, the commercial real estate business industry and the community at large, NAIOP Washington State has submitted an official request to Governor Jay Inslee and to the State Building Code Council requesting a 6-month delay in implementation of new building codes, to January 1, 2021.

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Seattle Construction Code Adoption Delayed to Nov 1

The Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections (SDCI) has provided an important update to NAIOPWA to share with our commercial real estate community. Please distribute widely. 


SDCI is in the process of updating Seattle's construction codes to the 2018 versions of the building, residential, existing buildings, mechanical, energy, fuel gas, and plumbing codes. We have been aiming for an effective date of July 1, 2020, to align with the effective date of the Washington State building codes. However, due to many factors, including the impacts of COVID-19, the effective date of Seattle's codes will be delayed until November 1, 2020. If the 2018 Washington State construction codes effective date is delayed past November 1, we will align the effective date of our codes with the State.

Please visit our code update website for continued information and to review proposed code change documents.

If you have questions, please contact Micah Chappell, Technical Code Development Manager, at [email protected].

17th Annual Real Estate Challenge

PSU Edges Out UW and UBC for NAIOP Real Estate Challenge Victory

Portland State University won NAIOP Washington’s Real Estate Challenge for the second year in a row, besting both University of British Columbia and University of Washington with a mixed-use multifamily and retail project that featured, among other things, cross laminated timber (CLT). The innovative PSU proposal named The Lighthouse, “pays homage to the history of the Pacific Northwest’s timber industry,” and seeks to cater to the tech innovation playing out in Bellevue.

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NAIOP Washington State Honored as 2020 Chapter of the Year – Repeat Achievement Signals Continued Strength of Organization

NAIOP Washington State Honored as 2020 Chapter of the Year

Repeat Achievement Signals Continued Strength of Organization

SEATTLE – NAIOP Corporate has honored NAIOP Washington State as Chapter of the Year for its 2019 performance, recognizing the chapter’s advocacy efforts, exceptional diversity and inclusion efforts, member engagement, and organizational growth. NAIOP’s annual merit awards program evaluates chapters on a national basis by chapter size for their education, government affairs involvement, member recruitment and retention, communications, and chapter management. 

“NAIOP Washington State is consistently among our best-performing chapters,” said Thomas J. Bisacquino, NAIOP president and CEO. “This year, it was our honor to recognize them as Chapter of the Year for their significant lobbying efforts, their strong membership recruitment and retention strategies, and their successful education and networking events that raise the profile of NAIOP and commercial real estate in the greater Seattle market. Congratulations to the chapter and its leaders for their commitment to and enthusiasm for our industry and association.”

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Disaster Resiliency in the PNW

One critical aspect of sustainability is resiliency, or how we bounce back from natural disasters. A little preparation can go a long way—but a lack of forethought can quickly lead to very difficult situations throughout a city or region. Remember the 2015 New Yorker article about the next big Cascadia earthquake? When the article was published, it prompted seemingly endless, yet interesting, discussions about the inevitability of a very large earthquake in the region, as well as dozens of follow-up stories giving advice on how to prepare. 

Fast-forward four years to Seattle Snowmaggedon 2019. Did you have a week’s supply of food and water in your home when the snow fell last February? Conditions weren’t anywhere near as bad as the name suggests, but empty grocery store shelves made a deep impression, whether you saw them in person like I did or on social media or the news. Those empty-shelf encounters were a fairly common experience. The takeaway is that there is only a few days’ food supply in our grocery stores, which is quickly exacerbated by disaster-inspired hoarding behavior and the breakdown of efficient but lean supply chains.

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NAIOPWA Member Profile: Shaun C. Leiser, Owner, SCL Enterprises LLC

A white male in a baseball cap smiles at the cameraNAIOPWA is proud to welcome Shaun C. Leiser, owner of SCL Enterprises LLC, as a new member! Shaun is our lucky 1,000th member, receiving a free breakfast meeting ticket and an introduction to the community here in our blog and newsletter.

Did you know? The Washington State Chapter of NAIOP is the fourth-largest in North America, providing new members like Shaun immediate access to a wide, influential network of professional leaders. We also strive to offer networking opportunities—both online via our app and in real life via carefully curated events—that create deeper and longer-lasting relationships within the industry.

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The ESG Framework and its Impact on Real Estate Development and Investment

It pays to go green!
Sustainability is becoming ever more important in the development of and investment in commercial real estate (CRE) due to several factors:

  • Increased attention to Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) issues at the corporate level.
  • Increased interest from the real estate investment community in ESG aspects of development.
  • Demographic impact of millennials placing a greater importance on environmental and social issues.

Corporate Interest in Sustainability via the ESG framework

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Winners of 2019 Night of the Stars Include MainStreet Property Group, Eastside Community Center and Georgetown Crossroads

John Torrance inducted to the NAIOP Washington State Hall of Fame in recognition of his visionary work and its impact on the industry and the Seattle community | Double honors laud Microsoft’s Building 121 + 122, which won Redevelopment/Renovation Project of the Year & People’s Choice 2019
 
SEATTLE – Announced on Friday, November 8, at the annual gala event, NAIOP Washington State’s 2019 Night of the Stars Awards highlight how the development community continues to find creative solutions to support the Puget Sound market. For 2019, new categories this year in particular acknowledge growth in multi-family and affordable housing development to serve the fast-growing population and to address housing needs for families at all income levels.
 
Each year, Night of the Stars also honors an individual whose outstanding contributions in the CRE industry have changed the field and the region we call home. Best known for conceiving and promoting the “StarDome” retractable roof stadium concept for the Mariners’ home field, John Torrance, Principal of J.R. Torrance Properties, is this year’s honoree and the newest member of the Hall of Fame. In addition to the development of T-Mobile Park (then Safeco Field), Torrance has been involved in dozens of significant projects over the years, including Microsoft Headquarters, Washington Park Tower, and Insignia Towers, and helped create and build the company now known as CBRE. Click here to watch a video interview with John Torrance
 
Finally, each year, our judges recognize projects that make a special impact with the Judges’ Innovation Awards. These honors go to projects that stand out for criteria not strictly required for their category. They are projects make a strong impression on the judges, often transcending categorization. This year, the Judges’ Innovation Award for Regional Impact honors Propeller Airports Paine Field Passenger Terminal, which is enhancing traveler experiences at Paine Field as well as alleviating congestion at Sea-Tac Airport. And the Judges’ Impact Award for Innovation went to 621 Woodland Square Loop SE. The judges appreciated the risks undertaken to revitalize and redevelop a former utility office building into a Class A campus in Lacey, especially in consideration of the potential long-term positive impact on the city.
 
NAIOP Washington State congratulations all nominees, finalists and winners of the 2019 Night of the Stars for achieving tremendous success this year. The association also offers appreciation for the dozens of commercial real estate professionals and firms that participate as sponsors, judges, volunteers, and committee members to make NAIOPWA’s Night of the Stars awards and gala possible each year. Thank you.
 
Visit the Night of the Stars 2019 Project Gallery for project information and photos.
 
Night of the Stars 2019 Winners

Special Honors















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CREW Seattle & The Registry Recognize NAIOPWA Volunteer Leaders for Diversity & Inclusion Work

Photo of a glass award or trophy in a black and beige fabric box throwing off lightThank you, CREW Seattle and The Registry! On Wednesday night, NAIOP Washington State was honored as the 2019 Association Ally at the second annual Elevate Awards. This honor reflects the work of NAIOPWA’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee to support the objective of providing opportunity and furthering D&I in the CRE industry.

Our Diversity & Inclusion Committee is concluding its second year and has been behind efforts to bring more young and diverse individuals into CRE and NAIOPWA through efforts such as a new D&I internship program, the Hip Hop Architecture program at the UW, and student memberships. The team also hosted chapter events open to anyone involved in CRE interested in learning about increasing opportunities and representation for diverse individuals in our field.

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