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The 3rd Annual Real Estate Symposium

Peter Orser shares his thoughts on the 3rd Annual Real Estate Symposium…

The Runstad Center just completed its 3rd annual joint Real Estate conference with the Foster School on December 8th.  The program featured Robert Feldstein the Director for policy and innovation for Mayor Ed Murray.  He spoke eloquently on the progress the City is making on tough policy issues like Affordable Housing having just published the long awaited HALA report and transportation improvement opportunities just funded through the almost Billion Dollar transportation levy which passed with a huge 64% majority.

From there we spent the morning with two extraordinary panels, one on affordable housing opportunities and the other on Transportation issues.  The panels were designed to bring some disruptive thinking to the advancement of these issues- or as one panelist put it, “throw some dynamite into the log jam”—and they certainly did that and more.

Over the next 25 years we expect 400,000 new jobs and 500,000 new residents within a City area of 84 square miles.  A daunting challenge, but it appears we have the willingness and the brain power to meet this challenge while at the same time respecting the character and natural environment that has made Seattle a top economic driver in the first place.  It was a honor to host such a provocative event, but that’s what a University should do and the Runstad Center clearly is taking that mission to heart.