Martin Selig came to Seattle after his family fled Nazi Germany in 1939, traveling east through Poland to Russia, sneaking onto the Trans-Siberian Railroad and then sailing from Japan. First starting at his father’s children’s clothing store, Martin set up his first shopping center in 1962 and by the 1980s Martin and his real estate company owned more than third of all office space in Seattle.
Now, that figure is up to 4M SF, with an additional 1.5M SF in the pipeline. He’s also continued to erect buildings throughout the Emerald City for close to six decades, including the 76-floor Columbia Center–the city’s tallest building when completed in 1985–which he built, owned and then sold for $354M in 1989. He also has two glass high-rises—called Fifth & Jackson and Fifth & Yesler—that are complete and fully leased, in addition to seven other projects in the pipeline.