Category Archives: Growth & Expansion

Boomtown. Seattle skyline still dotted with cranes.

Seattle building boomThe growth spurt appears to be a strong and steady trend projecting out at least through 2019. The current building boom is primarily apartments for the growing workforce in Seattle. Major corporations are moving into downtown and the city is developing into a live/work and play hot spot. With mountain hiking, skiing and biking less than an hour away, and the ocean an easy drive in the other direction the Puget Sound region has an exceptional quality of life.  Amazon, Google, Facebook,  Weyerhaeuser and other major employers are expanding or moving downtown. Ethnic and fine dining establishments on nearly every corner, art studios and galleries, and live music and dance performance venues create a dynamic live/work environment. Read more in The Seattle Times.

From life sciences and clean energy to technology and advanced manufacturing, from aerospace to outer space the diverse economic drivers in Washington State have spurred a robust recession recovery with no hint of slowdown on the horizon.

U.S. News touts Washington’s business advantages.

Amazon's new spheres take shape in downtown Seattle, part of the state's big building boomSuperlatives can only do so much. Sometimes it takes a national news magazine to capture the very essence of Washington’s competitive strengths, from our diversified industries and cross-collaboration between businesses to our investments in STEM and higher education, building new infrastructure and encouraging entrepreneurship in cities large and small.

While the Puget Sound area continues to be a hotspot for information and communication technology, other parts of the state are also enjoying new economic growth, often in unexpected ways, such as big data or aircraft maintenance and testing where agriculture once dominated the landscape.

Check out U.S. News & World Report’s story on what is driving Washington’s economy and why businesses worldwide should be considering the state as a place to grow, invest or do business with.




Cranes? Washington has the market cornered.

A construction crane next to a highrise under construction in downtown Seattle.According to the folks who track such things, The Puget Sound region continued to hold the lead when it comes to the number of construction cranes in use.

This, of course, is indicative of the Seattle area’s continued building boom, which is unparalleled in the city’s history.  Housing units are finally catching up to office space, offering new workers plenty of options in the future to live near their work.

According to Rider Levett Bucknall, there were 62 cranes in use at the end of 2016, three times more than in New York, even though Seattle is much smaller in size. Chicago was second with 56, followed by Los Angeles with 29. The count didn’t include the 20 or so cranes that are currently dotting the skyline of the Eastside.

Read more in The Seattle Times

The rise of urban centers.

blog-urban-centers1Cities around the Puget Sound, from Seattle to Bellevue and Kirkland, are experiencing a rebirth of sorts as millennials, boomers and Gen Xers continue to be drawn to urban cores and their many conveniences.

It’s cool to be a city dweller again, as workers flock to new apartment buildings and condos springing up around such places as Amazon’s new headquarters in downtown Seattle or the planned Spring District in Bellevue.

But it’s not just workers who are moving back to town. Corporate headquarters are also moving back to the city. Between 2010 and 2015, more than 500 businesses either relocated their headquarters or opened offices in major cities. In Seattle, this includes Weyerhaeuser, Zillow, Google, Oracle, Saltchuk Resources, and most recently Expedia, which will be redeveloping a former biotech office complex with sweeping views of the Olympic Mountains.

To learn more about this trend, check out this article in The Seattle Times.



Filson’s makes camp in Seattle’s SODO.

filson-flagship1For 118 years now, Filson has been a manufacturer of legendary gear for those who love the great outdoors. From loggers and miners to urban dwellers who yearn for rugged yet stylish fashion and accessories, Filson has definitely stood the test of time in a very fickle retail category.

And, in an age where everything is made overseas, the company has bucked the trend and has continued to manufacture its products in Seattle’s rapidly growing SODO district. Now that its new flagship store has opened, customers can not only shop until they drop, but also watch Filson products being made right there, thanks to the expansive glass that opens up into the factory.

Filson is definitely one of Washington’s Business Legends and we are proud that they have chosen to not only remain here, but to expand with their new store, corporate headquarters and factory at 1741 1st Avenue South in Seattle’s SODO district.

Find out more about Filson’s new store.

A building boom of epic proportions.

seattle-building-map2In a recent report, the Downtown Seattle Association identified 106 projects underway in the downtown core. The booming economy is historic and a new City of Seattle online map shows just how far reaching the building boom is.

Users can view each project individually, pulling up an illustration of the building, the stage it is in permitting and other information. Every project within the city’s limits are show on the map, which shows an mind-boggling number of projects underway, from new housing to skyscrapers.

To see the app, visit this link.

A local legend reinvents retail.

filsonlabelwebYou don’t become a Business Legend in Washington State without thinking big. Such is the case with Filson, which is blending retail and manufacturing into an innovative flagship store that will connect customers with the product in new and exciting ways.

The new store, which will open this fall at 1741 First Ave. S. in the heart of Seattle’s Sodo District, will feature a 6,000 square-foot shop above the manufacturing space so customers can shop and learn more about how Filson products are made the traditional way where quality and workmanship are king.

Manufacturing stateside is alive and at Filson,too. The company is expanding its production line from eight to 14, shooting for 16 by year’s end.

Read more about the new store in the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Dreams of paradise from Tommy Bahama.

tropical lifeSeattle-based casual wear retailer Tommy Bahama has weathered the recession by changing strategies from primarily a wholesale model to opening stores of their own and expanding their online presence. While many retailers have struggled to maintain same store sales levels during these past years, the new strategy for this retailer of tropical-themed vacation wear has grown to more than $600 million in sales.

Washington State has a robust apparel industry with over 1,540 apparel companies, more than 3,100 self-employed fashion designers and over 34,500 industry jobs reported in 2010. From business legend clothing retailer Nordstrom and outdoor wear pioneer Filson to fashion forward new designers and internationally acclaimed wedding gown designer Luly Yang, Washington State has been leading the fashion trend for decades. Read more about Washington’s apparel industry in Puget Sound Business Journal.

Today, Tommy Bahama keeps the dream of living the good life on a tropical island alive and well, no matter what the weather is outside. Read more about Tommy Bahama in the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Foreign companies find Washington a good investment.

foreignMoneyGovernor Jay Inslee  is committed to promoting the benefits of doing business in Washington State. The state’s Department of Commerce team is engaged in drawing new business to Washington including foreign and US investment to aid expansion of our existing companies.

Companies are drawn to the state by our sustainable, renewable and low-cost energy, skilled workforce and opportunities to collaborate and partner with some of the most innovative companies in the world. Washington is home to a substantial number of multi-national firms, including SGL, Fuji Film, Philips, Nintendo, Novo Nordisk, REC Silicon, Safran, Saint Gobain, SEH, Taiwan Semiconductor, and Zodiac – to name just a few.

The Business Services team is available to help overseas investors navigate the state’s resources and potential locations to site a facility or to help an investor identify investment opportunities with existing Washington businesses. Additionally, Commerce’s business experts connect companies with EB-5 regional centers that offer foreign investors a pathway to citizenship. The Department of Commerce also has representatives in several overseas markets that can assist with investment opportunities in Washington State.

Washington is a great place to invest in and the state makes it easy for foreign entities to do business here. For more information contact our business experts.

Read more in the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Increased air travel reflects robust economy.

airtravelWashington State continues to be a magnet for business. With major players opening offices here and the international expansion of Washington companies,Sea-Tac International Airport has seen a significant uptick in passenger travel over 2013 increasing 7.7%. Twenty-seven new destinations have been added with more non-stop domestic flights.

Washington State is centrally located equidistant between major European and Asian destinations. As a west coast hub, Seattle is one hour closer to Singapore than flying through LA or San Francisco and closer to Abu Dhabi than shuttling through Atlanta. Sea-Tac Airport has 7 non-stop flights daily to Europe and 12 non-stop flights daily to Asia and the Mideast.

Washington State’s global connectivity makes it the perfect spot for businesses focused on expanding internationally.

Read more at King5