Sky-high in Seat­tle

Forbes - - Richest By State New Billionaires -

real es­tate de­vel­oper martin selig has built many of the emer­ald City’s jew­els.

It’s Im­pos­si­ble to look at Seat­tle and not see Martin Selig. His epony­mous real es­tate com­pany has been erect­ing build­ings there for nearly six decades— mostly high-end high-rises. Two of his most im­pres­sive projects: the glassy aeries down­town on Fifth Av­enue called Fifth & Jackson and Fifth & Yesler. (He also built and owned the 76-foor Columbia Cen­ter—the city’s tallest build­ing when com­pleted in 1985—be­fore sell­ing it for $354 mil­lion in 1989.)

He still owns all of Martin Selig Real Es­tate and its 4 mil­lion square feet of ofce space (“When I see it, I go af­ter it,” he says). With an Ama­zon-fu­eled com­mer­cial real es­tate boom­let, Selig is de­vel­op­ing an ad­di­tional 1.5 mil­lion square feet and is now worth an es­ti­mated $1.1 bil­lion.

The 78-year-old ar­rived in the Pacifc North­west un­der less than aus­pi­cious cir­cum­stances. He and his fam­ily fed Nazi Ger­many in 1939 af­ter a late-night warn­ing to get out, trav­el­ing east through Poland, Rus­sia, Korea and then steer­age to America, get­ting of—ap­par­ently on a whim—in Seat­tle. Selig worked at his fa­ther’s chil­dren’s cloth­ing store be­fore putting up his frst shop­ping cen­ter in 1962. Right place, right time: By the 1980s Selig owned as much as a third of all ofce space in Seat­tle. FORBES es­ti­mated his for­tune at $210 mil­lion in 1987. An avid art col­lec­tor, Selig is also an artist in his own right (see p. 31): “I paint quite a bit. I don’t have enough walls.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.