Jordan Selig facilitated her first apartment complex renovation at 22, and bought her first building at 25. At 26, she was at the helm of multiple Martin Selig Real Estate development projects, which she took through the design review process. Now, at 30, she’s in the process of developing Seattle‘s largest energy net-zero building.
And she’s just getting started.
Growing Up In The Business
Jordan has been in the world of commercial real estate for as long as she can remember. As Martin Selig’s youngest daughter, she says the MSRE office was her second home as a child. After graduating from Columbia University, where she studied environmental policy, Selig started to see how her passion for sustainability could play an important role in the future of commercial real estate.
Buying Buildings Halfway Around The World
Selig honed her background in real estate finance working for JPMorgan while attending Columbia University, but upon graduating, opportunities overseas drew her beyond American borders. She landed her first job 5,000 miles away, in another city where her family has deep roots: Berlin, Germany.
“There’s a law in Germany that says if your parents or grandparents left the country because of persecution, you’re automatically eligible for citizenship,” Selig said. “My father, along with my aunt and grandparents, escaped Nazi Germany in 1940, which made me eligible for a German passport.”
After obtaining her German citizenship and studying abroad in Berlin, Selig returned to the place her family had fled seven decades earlier. Her first job out of college was at a think tank where she studied green building and architecture. After spending nearly a year doing research with the think tank, Selig left the company to put her research into action.
“I wanted to implement what I had learned,” she said. “So for six months, I did nothing but attend apartment viewings. Then, I started meeting with banks to see what the financing would be like. In 2010, I started buying and renovating apartments built before the WWI. I kept going with that until I could leverage up to buy a building. It all grew from there.”
Decades of Expertise, Sustainable Future
Selig returned to Seattle for the first time since leaving the states in 2013, to oversee and facilitate the 3031 Western project. In 2015, she returned to Seattle full time (though she still owns all of her developments in Berlin), as the company’s Managing Director.
Jordan’s goals for MSRE moving forward include bringing all of the projects they have in the pipeline now into reality. She is also a board member of the Seattle 2030 District, an organization that aims to dramatically reduce environmental impacts of building construction and operations through education and collaboration across every sector of the built environment.
One of Jordan’s current projects is a piece of legislation that will allow developers to build additional square footage in exchange for meeting more stringent sustainability standards.
Learning the Business From One Of The Best
Moving forward, Selig hopes to uphold the values upon which MSRE was built, including impeccable customer service and strong tenant relationships. What she’s learned about commercial real estate from her father, she says, could fill a thousand-page novel.
“Do not miss the forest for the trees,” she said, on lessons her father has taught her. “Never burn bridges. Always view the glass as half full. Listen more than you speak. Think outside the box. Never sell, and above all, follow your passion.”
Martin Selig Real Estate