W[REPORT] https://getthewreport.com Blog Mon, 16 Mar 2020 21:02:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 https://i0.wp.com/getthewreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/cropped-site_icon-1.jpg?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 W[REPORT] https://getthewreport.com 32 32 156950321 COVID-19 Remains a Wildcard for the Seattle Real Estate Market https://getthewreport.com/the-state-of-real-estate/covid-19-wildcard-seattle-real-estate/ Fri, 13 Mar 2020 15:15:00 +0000 https://getthewreport.com/?p=2874 This is the time of year when our real estate market starts to heat up, but many are  questioning what impact the coronavirus outbreak may have.   For now, real estate industry experts say coronavirus remains a wild card. The lending and refinancing side of real estate has picked up tremendously, thanks in part to […]

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This is the time of year when our real estate market starts to heat up, but many are  questioning what impact the coronavirus outbreak may have.  

For now, real estate industry experts say coronavirus remains a wild card. The lending and refinancing side of real estate has picked up tremendously, thanks in part to the Federal Reserve’s emergency interest rate cut at the beginning of the month, and many lenders nationwide are working overtime to process applications. The current low interest rates are certainly attractive to buyers.

While it’s too early to tell what the long-term impacts may be, it hasn’t seemed to slow down Seattle-area buyers and sellers. Available inventory remains low, demand is high and the current seller’s market is still producing multiple offers on many listings.

“I think it’s too early to tell right now,” Windermere broker Cassie Walker Johnson tells KOMO News. “There’s certainly a lot of talk.”

First-time home buyer Kristen Vogel has been house hunting in Seattle for only three weeks and told KOMO News her search “pretty much tracks the coronavirus.” At first, she considered putting her search on hold.

“You know, we’ve been instructed to avoid putting ourselves in places where we could get sick and walking through homes of people I don’t know and being around people was really the only hesitancy,” she explained.

Her plan now is to do what she can to prevent infection and not let panic stop her search.

Amid the unknowns, real estate-related businesses are assessing sales, listings and showings to implement prudent planning over panic and fear. For sellers preparing to put their homes on the market, it’s important to make sure the space is in the absolute best condition possible and that properties are priced competitively.

For buyers, despite the historically low interest rates, it’s recommended to avoid maxing out your mortgage budget.

“Have some savings. And, don’t use the highest amount of mortgage you’ve been qualified for. It’s being smart all of the time, regardless of what external factors are going on,” said Walker Johnson.

More from Windermere on the coronavirus (COVID-19):

Matthew Gardner speaks to KIRO Radio about the potential impacts on real estate and our local economy. READ MORE AND LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW HERE

A version of this article was first published on komonews.com

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Local Market Update – March 2020 https://getthewreport.com/local-economy/local-market-update-march-2020/ Fri, 13 Mar 2020 15:12:00 +0000 https://getthewreport.com/?p=2845 COVID-19 has not yet stopped the housing market’s momentum. Buyer interest remains strong and those who waited last year for a drop in prices have now seen several months of home prices increases. While some sellers and buyers are going to put their real estate sales and searches on hold, others may find opportunity. Despite the […]

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COVID-19 has not yet stopped the housing market’s momentum. Buyer interest remains strong and those who waited last year for a drop in prices have now seen several months of home prices increases. While some sellers and buyers are going to put their real estate sales and searches on hold, others may find opportunity. Despite the headwinds of uncertainty, the market is still very much in motion, as demand outstrips supply and interest rates remain remarkably low. 

The data and analysis below looks back at February’s market performance.

Buyers that may have been in wait-and-see mode at the end of 2019 jumped off the fence in February. Pending sales (offers accepted but not yet closed) jumped 27%, snapping up already-tight inventory. 55% of homes on the market sold in 15 days or less. The median home price jumped 9% over a year ago to $985,000, an increase of $58,000 from the prior month. Development on the Eastside continues to surge and includes the recent groundbreaking for a 600-foot tower in Bellevue and a proposed 11 acre mixed-use project.      

VIEW FULL EASTSIDE REPORT

The tight housing market here got even tighter. There were 40% fewer homes on the market in King County in February than there were in January. The median home price rose 3% over the prior year to $675,000, up from $630,525 in January. With mortgage rates and the local unemployment rate both hitting record lows, demand isn’t likely to drop any time soon. 

VIEW FULL KING COUNTY REPORT

With just six weeks of available inventory, competition for homes in Seattle remains fierce. Multiple offers were the norm, and 34% of homes purchased in February sold for over the listing price. The median price for a single-family home in February was $730,500, unchanged from a year ago and up from $719,950 in January.

VIEW FULL SEATTLE REPORT

The numbers in Snohomish County tell the story. There were 42% fewer listings in February than a year ago, and 42% more pending sales. With inventory at under a month of supply, there just aren’t enough homes to meet demand. That scarcity translated into higher prices, with the median price of a single-family home rising 8% over a year ago to $515,000. 

VIEW FULL SNOHOMISH COUNTY REPORT

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6 Home Improvement Projects to Tackle if You’re Stuck at Home Practicing Social Distancing https://getthewreport.com/the-state-of-real-estate/6-home-improvement-projects-to-tackle-if-youre-stuck-at-home-practicing-social-distancing/ Fri, 13 Mar 2020 15:06:00 +0000 https://getthewreport.com/?p=2883 Spring has sprung in Seattle — and so has the coronavirus (the cause of the illness called COVID-19). If working from home and practicing social distancing has left you feeling stuck and uninspired, consider rolling up your sleeves and tackling a home improvement project or two. From the simplest updates to sensational additions, these projects […]

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Spring has sprung in Seattle — and so has the coronavirus (the cause of the illness called COVID-19). If working from home and practicing social distancing has left you feeling stuck and uninspired, consider rolling up your sleeves and tackling a home improvement project or two.

From the simplest updates to sensational additions, these projects can keep you busy, enhance your curb appeal, and give you more ways to enjoy your home when warmer weather arrives.

1. Install a new mailbox

The simplest and easiest update of all, installing a new (or updating an old) mailbox can add a pop of personality and amp up your curb appeal, where first impressions really count! 

Consider painting your mailbox a new color, planting flowers around the base, or installing a smart mailbox to protect your deliveries. 

2. Update your address display

Another quick and easy project, updating your address can add flair to your front door. This article from realtor.com offers plenty of crafty and creative ways to display your house numbers. 

 If you have an HOA, it’s a good idea to check with them first to know what (if any) limitations you might have.

3. Add a new railing to your porch

If your front porch is looking a little ho-hum or drab, a new railing can make a world of difference. For a natural feel, consider a classic wood-tone railing for a natural feel, or add a pop of visual interest with a colored railing. If you’re looking for more, check out the Chippendale railing (it’s currently a hot trend on HGTV).

4. Stain your deck

if your deck is looking a little shabby, one easy improvement is to stain it—to either change the color or just accentuate the wood grain. Staining is also good for your deck, and many builders recommend staining or sealing once a year. 

If you don’t yet have a deck, building one could be a great new project to tackle before summer arrives. Plus, according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report, a new wooden deck will net you a 69% return on investment when you decide to sell.

5. Build a fire pit

Backyard fire pits are perfect for adding a cozy ambiance to your yard, and are certain to be a highlight of a weekend gathering (especially when you bust out those marshmallows).

This guide from realtor.com is a great resource if you want to DIY your new fire pit. 

6. Upgrade your garden

Now’s the time to start planning your planting! Consider skipping the typical tulips or daisies, and investigate other greenery. Adding edible plants is a smart way to save money and indulge in the farm-to-table dining trend. Or you can build a butterfly garden, which is good for the environment. (Plus, what’s more beautiful than seeing butterflies flit around your yard?)

This article was first published on realtor.com by Jillian Pretzel.

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Washington has One of the Best Business Climates for Women Entrepreneurs https://getthewreport.com/local-economy/washington-one-of-the-best-business-climates-for-women-entrepreneurs/ Fri, 13 Mar 2020 15:00:59 +0000 https://getthewreport.com/?p=2894 Washington is among the top states for women entrepreneurs thanks to Seattle’s vibrant business landscape and favorable climate for female empowerment. A study by small-business platform FitSmallBusiness ranks the state No. 3 in the nation. While  there is often an inverse relationship between the cost of living in a state and other “startup friendly” economic factors, […]

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Washington is among the top states for women entrepreneurs thanks to Seattle’s vibrant business landscape and favorable climate for female empowerment.

A study by small-business platform FitSmallBusiness ranks the state No. 3 in the nation. While  there is often an inverse relationship between the cost of living in a state and other “startup friendly” economic factors, Seattle, however, strikes a good balance, with attitudes and support for women-owned businesses.

“As in the similar case of San Francisco, Washington state boasts a start-up powerhouse city in Seattle — all within the larger context of a vibrant and thriving Pacific Northwest business landscape,” the study says. “While the cost of living there is high, it’s not California or New York-level high.”

Other factors in Washington’s favor include “no corporate income tax” and “a plethora of major female-empowerment and funding organizations,” including, for example, the Women’s Funding Alliance, 100% Talent, Women’s Funding Network and the Female Founders Alliance (FFA).

FFA is a Seattle organization that works to educate and connect women-founded companies with venture capital opportunities. The alliance recently acquired New York-based Monarq Incubator, making FFA the largest network of its kind nationally.

The top 10 states for women-owned businesses are:

  1. Colorado
  2. California
  3. Washington
  4. New York
  5. Texas
  6. Florida
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Georgia
  9. Iowa
  10. Vermont

As of 2019, Washington had an estimated 215,185 women-owned businesses. This is a 10% increase since 2014, a 3.9% bump from 2018, according to American Express’ ninth annual “State of Women-Owned Business Report.” 

The pace of growth of women-owned firms in the Seattle area and Washington state over the past five years eclipses measures of total new-business growth nationally (9%), the American Express study reveals.

Washington’s women-owned businesses recorded estimated sales of nearly $34 billion in 2019, up 14.5% from five years earlier, the study also notes.

This article was originally published in Seattle Business Magazine by Bill Conroy.

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Has Seattle Traffic Improved? Based on National Rankings, Yes https://getthewreport.com/local-economy/seattle-traffic-improved-new-rankings/ Fri, 13 Mar 2020 15:00:00 +0000 https://getthewreport.com/?p=2918 Even before COVID-19 cleared the roadways, Seattle’s traffic was already improving relative to other major metros. Just a year ago, Seattle was ranked the 6th most congested major U.S. city. The latest traffic congestion rankings released by INRIX, a traffic data company in Kirkland, show improvement, positioning Seattle in 14th place. The 2019 Global Traffic […]

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Even before COVID-19 cleared the roadways, Seattle’s traffic was already improving relative to other major metros. Just a year ago, Seattle was ranked the 6th most congested major U.S. city. The latest traffic congestion rankings released by INRIX, a traffic data company in Kirkland, show improvement, positioning Seattle in 14th place.

The 2019 Global Traffic Scorecard ranks cities’ car mobility based on the number of hours the average commuter lost sitting in traffic. Overall, Seattle-area car commuters lost 74 hours to congestion delays in 2019. That’s a significant decrease from the 138 hours lost in 2018.

Our geographically diversified economy – with multiple job centers spread across the region –  is a key factor influencing commute times. The most popular commuter destinations are downtown Seattle, the University District, downtown Bellevue and the Overlake area of Redmond. Thousands more head to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, warehouses in the Green River Valley, or to Boeing at Payne Field in Everett.

The INRIX scorecard considered average travel times to these destinations in 2019, revealing Seattle’s overall congestion patterns and hours lost sitting in traffic. (A big reason for the sizeable year-over-year decline in hours lost to traffic is that the 2018 Scorecard analyzed mostly longer commutes, like Everett to downtown Seattle.)

A new metric presented in the 2019 Scorecard is “last mile” congestion. Downtown Seattle endures world-class slowdowns at 11 mph, reflecting stop-and-go trips in freeway funnels such as Howell Street or Fifth Avenue.

INRIX also added ratings for transit and bicycling. Though Seattle ranks sixth in big-city transit ridership per capita, the region ranks poorly for transit commute times, meaning most drivers would spend twice as much time commuting if they traveled by bus or train.

This article was originally published in The Seattle Times by Mike Lindblom.

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In the Last Decade, Seattle’s Senior Population Boomed https://getthewreport.com/local-economy/seattle-fastest-growing-city-in-us/ Fri, 13 Mar 2020 14:59:00 +0000 https://getthewreport.com/?p=2887 Seattle was one of the fastest growing cities this past decade. From 2013 to 2018, it it was also the fastest growing large city in the U.S. (defined as 350,000 people or more), according to a recent study. The study conducted by Car Insurance Companies analyzed data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau, which showed […]

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Seattle was one of the fastest growing cities this past decade. From 2013 to 2018, it it was also the fastest growing large city in the U.S. (defined as 350,000 people or more), according to a recent study.

The study conducted by Car Insurance Companies analyzed data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau, which showed recent gains in population across certain cities but an overall decline in the country’s population growth. It looked at population data from 2013 to 2018 to find growth rates, total population growth and the percentage of college-educated residents.

From 2013-2018, Seattle had stretched by 90,731 people. The data, however, tells a population growth story that combats our collective assumptions. 

Despite the booming tech industry and a reputation for drawing millennials, the fastest growing age group in Seattle was ages 65 to 74. Surprisingly, the only city in the top 10 with a fastest growing age group lower than 50 was Tampa, FL. 

The top 10 fastest growing cities are:

  1. Seattle, WA
  2. Forth Worth, TX
  3. Miami, FL
  4. Tampa, FL
  5. Denver, CO
  6. Austin, TX
  7. Charlotte, NC
  8. Atlanta, GA
  9. Mesa, AZ
  10. Raleigh, NC

Overall, Washington was also one of the only states to have a positive growth from 2018 to 2019. It ranked seventh with a 1.2% increase. 

A version of this article was first published on Seattle PI by Alex Halverson.

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Georgetown Steam Plant to Become an Innovative Arts and Science Hub https://getthewreport.com/architecture/georgetown-steam-plant-innovative-arts-science-hub/ Fri, 13 Mar 2020 14:24:00 +0000 https://getthewreport.com/?p=2898 An industrial Seattle landmark is getting a dramatic new lease on life. The 114-year old Georgetown Steam Plant — constructed in 1906 to power the city’s electric streetcar and Tacoma-bound railway lines — will become a state-of-the-art education, science and arts center, to open in three to five years. Seattle City Light, which owns the […]

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An industrial Seattle landmark is getting a dramatic new lease on life. The 114-year old Georgetown Steam Plant — constructed in 1906 to power the city’s electric streetcar and Tacoma-bound railway lines — will become a state-of-the-art education, science and arts center, to open in three to five years.

Seattle City Light, which owns the local and national historic landmark, is working with a newly created nonprofit partner to revamp, manage and oversee programming at the Steam Plant. Called The Georgetown Steam Plant Community Development Authority, the organization is slated to sign a master lease (25 years with two 15-year extensions) with Seattle City Light this spring or summer, which will require approval by the City Council.

The cost of rehabbing the new arts center and museum is estimated at $10 million, which the nonprofit will cover. The upgrades will improve accessibility and seismic safety. Other major renovations, spearheaded and financed by Seattle City Light, are already underway. 

“It’s going to be a bona fide museum in the Georgetown neighborhood,” says Julianna Ross, Seattle City Light’s community program developer for Georgetown Steam Plant. 

Sam Farrazaino, creator and developer of the sprawling art studio complexes Inscape Arts (in the former INS building) and Equinox (in Georgetown), has grand visions for the space. 

“I want to do as much stuff as possible to get more people in here,” says Farrazaino, who describes the new Steam Plant as an “industrial cathedral” where people will be able to “set their imaginations on fire.”

The planned mixed-use space will include a museum for tourists, history buffs and students who want to examine the turbines and engineering feats up close; a hub for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education; and a community arts center with regular events, performances and artist residencies. The plant’s 20,000-square-foot interior will stay mostly the same — raw — with no stages or permanent seating to be added. The revamped plant’s audience capacity will be roughly 700 people.

Farrazaino says he hopes to work with a long list of local partners, like Reel Grrrls, the feminist filmmaking nonprofit; the Duwamish Nation; Georgetown galleries such as Studio E and Oxbow; as well as the Technology Access Foundation.

Already confirmed partners include arts education nonprofit Arts Corps and the Environmental Coalition of South Seattle (ECOSS), a South Seattle nonprofit specializing in multicultural environmental education and technical assistance.

Arts Corps will establish a space for arts education on the site, which will be the key location of its Learning Immersive Tech program, offering classes in game design as well as augmented and virtual reality. Arts Corps students will also create a virtual-reality experience for Steam Plant visitors.

ECOSS aims to make the building and its surroundings greener by installing cisterns, rain gardens and vegetated walls, which could catch and manage rainwater coming from the building’s roof. ECOSS also plans to add native plants to the surroundings.

For such a historically important landmark to become an interactive art and community space (rather than a stuffy museum where everything is roped off or behind glass) is rare, says Kji Kelly of Historic Seattle. His nonprofit is helping with the preservation side of the museum’s revamp.

“This isn’t your grandmother’s house museum,” Kelly says. “It’s going to feel like a living, active, breathing machine. That’s what’s so special about it.”

 

This article was originally published on Crosscut by Margo Vansynghel. 

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Local Happenings: Social Distancing Edition (March & April 2020) https://getthewreport.com/happenings/local-happenings-march-april-2020/ Thu, 12 Mar 2020 17:22:15 +0000 https://getthewreport.com/?p=2902 With the cancellation of major local events and a ban on gatherings of more than 250 people, now is a great time to find alternative ways to get out of the house and support the community while still keeping a safe distance.  Intentionalist recently shared a helpful roundup of 10 ways to support local small […]

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With the cancellation of major local events and a ban on gatherings of more than 250 people, now is a great time to find alternative ways to get out of the house and support the community while still keeping a safe distance. 

Intentionalist recently shared a helpful roundup of 10 ways to support local small business owners and employees.Here are a few ways to get out while hunkering down. 

Support Comic Con Creators

The postponement of Emerald City Comic Con left many artists, writers, cartoonists and creators who depend on income generated by convention sales in the lurch. To help mitigate the unexpected expense of covering travel costs, unsold merchandise, and lost sales, creators are holding flash sales and fundraisers. Local businesses have also put together pop-up shopping events and virtual shopping networks to help out. Check out this Geekwire roundup and pay a visit to some of the shops to support these independent artists, and considering supporting the Seattle arts community at large through donations or online shopping. This GoFundMe is a good place to start.

Order Takeout from Local Restaurants

Support the local food scene by ordering in. Delivery services like Postmates and Grubhub are elevating the experience with no-contact delivery options. While these apps are convenient, they can be an added expense for restaurants so, if you can, consider ordering takeout directly from the restaurant and picking it up yourself. (In light of the recent closure mandate, many restaurants are offering drive-thru or curbside pickup options, so you don’t even need to enter the restaurant.) 

Donate to a Food Bank

Seattle-area food banks have been hit hard recently, particularly since many items commonly donated by local grocers have been consistently sold out. Food banks serve our most vulnerable populations, which is more important now with kids out of school and parents potentially out of work. You can donate food and bags as well as your time — volunteers are needed to help pack food bags and make home deliveries to those who can’t leave their homes. The South Seattle Emerald has published a list of ways to get involved HERE and you can use this MAP to find local food banks.

Donate Blood

Did you know it takes 1,000 donations per day to keep our blood supply stable? Bloodworks Northwest has declared a local blood supply emergency. Mobile blood drives make up almost 60% of our region’s supply, but many have been canceled due to the coronavirus. If you are healthy and able, you can donate blood directly at any of Bloodworks Northwest’s donor centers.

Join a Virtual Book Club

Connect with others and converse over a good book, all from the comfort of your home. The Stranger is hosting a coronavirus book club called The Quarantine Club. You can get all the details and read about the first book selection HERE. If this club isn’t the right fit, consider starting a book club of your own! Share your favorite selections with friends and foster conversation over social platforms. 

Take a Hike

There’s no shortage of scenic hikes surrounding Seattle. From stunning parks with sweeping views right here in the city to breathtaking mountain peaks, there are plenty of places to enjoy the outdoors, get some exercise and enjoy the fresh air. Check out this roundup from Curbed Seattle for some of the top hiking destinations. 

Catch a Concert Online

As the coronavirus outbreak takes its toll on the arts community, many venues are getting creative and streaming their services online. The Seattle Symphony is now streaming previous performances as well as new soloist performances on Facebook and YouTube. While many are turning to YouTube, there are other streaming services where you can catch a variety of live performances. Checkout The Verve for a handful of options. You can also take this opportunity to explore museums around the world from the comfort of your couch, thanks to these virtual tours

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Amazon Ramping Up Employment in Bellevue with Plans to Add Thousands of New Jobs https://getthewreport.com/local-economy/amazon-to-add-thousands-of-new-jobs/ Thu, 13 Feb 2020 16:29:00 +0000 https://getthewreport.com/?p=2705 Amazon already has a major footprint in the Bellevue, with some 2,000 employees, but the e-commerce giant is continuing to expand its workforce in the city, with plans to create 15,000 new jobs over the next few years. Amazon has been on a hiring binge nationwide. Founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos said the company […]

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Amazon already has a major footprint in the Bellevue, with some 2,000 employees, but the e-commerce giant is continuing to expand its workforce in the city, with plans to create 15,000 new jobs over the next few years.

Amazon has been on a hiring binge nationwide. Founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos said the company has created more than 300,000 new jobs over the past decade ― and now employs more than 650,000 people worldwide, including more than 50,000 in Seattle.

Its first office building in Bellevue opened in 2017 and Amazon says it is designing its expanding office presence with an eye toward ensuring easy access to public transportation and minimizing the company’s carbon footprint ― seeking LEED Gold certification or better for its own real estate developments in the city.

“After more than a year of partnership with Bellevue’s urbanists, city planners, and real estate professionals, we are on track to create more than 15,000 new jobs in Bellevue over the next few years,” Amazon says in a blog post on its website.

The company says the buildings housing its fast-growing Bellevue workforce will be located within 0.5 miles of new Sound Transit Link Light Rail station in downtown Bellevue and within 10 minutes walking distance of each other. In addition, employees will be provided with free ORCA passes and also be eligible for company-subsidized ride-share carpool options.

“In Seattle, more than 50% of our employees either walk, bike, or take public transit to work — and over 70% of them use a mode of transportation other than a single occupant vehicle for their commute,” the blog post says. “In Bellevue, we want to build on our green mobility record.”

A version of this article was first published on Seattle Business Magazine by Bill Conroy. 

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Atari Brings Gaming Hotel to Seattle Complete with “Gaming Playgrounds” https://getthewreport.com/local-economy/atari-brings-gaming-hotel-to-seattle/ Thu, 13 Feb 2020 16:28:00 +0000 https://getthewreport.com/?p=2726 Video game pioneer Atari is coming to Seattle in a big, new way.  Working with GSD Group — a brand strategy company with ties to Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak’s Woz Innovation Foundation — and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie producer Napoleon Smith III, Atari is bringing eight new hotels to locations across the U.S.  More […]

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Video game pioneer Atari is coming to Seattle in a big, new way. 

Working with GSD Group — a brand strategy company with ties to Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak’s Woz Innovation Foundation — and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie producer Napoleon Smith III, Atari is bringing eight new hotels to locations across the U.S. 

More than just a place to stay, the Atari hotels will offer immersive entertainment experiences with the latest tech and state-of-the-art gaming venues including pro-level esports studios for competitions, plus “gaming playgrounds” that will cater to more casual and curious gamers. 

The first location will break ground in Phoenix, AZ this spring. Locations in Seattle, WA, San Francisco, CA, San Jose, CA, Austin, TX, Chicago, IL, Denver, CO and Las Vegas, NV will follow. 

Home to Microsoft and Xbox, Nintendo’s North American headquarters and major gaming studios like Bungie (creator of Halo), Seattle’s high profile in the industry makes it an ideal fit for this new hotel concept. 

A version of this article was originally published on Geekwire by Nat Levy. 

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