Seattle Developer Makes Search for Tenants a Popularity Contest

First rolled out last year to help crowdsource ideas for tenants for the renovation of a 4,250 sf building in Washington, D.C., the website Popularise is getting its first tryout outside the district at a new 13-story office building in Seattle.

Swedish developer Skanska is turning to the website Popularise, and their new neighbors in the "Amazonia" district of Seattle, to provide ideas for the tenants of the vaulted, open-air "Market Hall" envisioned for the ground floor of their new 13-story office building.  

"Skanska hopes Popularise will solve a common developer conundrum," says Allecia Vermillion. "Public input is a critical part of securing city zoning approval, but the citizens who write letters or take the time to turn up at a Tuesday night public meeting overwhelmingly skew towards opposition, be it to the project specifically or change in general. As for the opinions of the young, tech-savvy types who will eventually work in this building, says Picard, "How do you tap into the voice of other people who care with their dollars but don't necessarily care with their evenings, or by writing a letter to city council?"

Accordng to Vermillion, "This is the first time Popularise has been used outside DC, according to Skanska. Since then, projects in Baltimore and Oklahoma City, and the rebuild of the old Magnuson Park firehouse have signed on as well."

Thanks to Lauren Kuester

Full Story: If You Vote for It, They Will Come

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