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Their First Apartments

WASHINGTON DC 04.27.2017

FEDERAL MARKETS & REAL PROPERTIES

A New President & GSA: What Does That Mean For You?

Norman Dong -- U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)
Tom Finan -- Trammell Crow Company
Bruce Childs -- USAA Real Estate
Their First Apartments
Long before their first development or maybe even first car, Seattle's top CRE execs had their first apartments. This week, we asked those about town to describe their first real home away from home. Here's what we found out:
Joe Baldwin, Gary Larson and Kevin Suther at the Glendale Country Club in Bellevue.
CBRE SVP Joe Baldwin, MulvannyG2 Architure senior principal and global design leader Gary Larson and Lake Union Partners/Seattle (LUPS) asset manager Kevin Suther enjoy the continental breakfast at the Glendale Country Club during the Bisnow Future of Downtown Bellevue event. "I lived in the basement of a friend's house on Alki, next to Spud's Fish and Chips," Joe tells us. Price per square foot? Joe recalls he had the whole basement for $300 or $400 per month. Bonus: "I had my own shower."
Spud Fish and Chips on Alki.
Meanwhile, Gary tells us he paid $150 per month for his first apartment, a second-floor affair in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood. As for Kevin, "I was in the Grenada Apartments on Capitol Hill, near Seattle U," he says. "I thought I was the man because I had an apartment." He, too, paid $150 per month. Yup, those days are over.
John Hempelmann at the Glendale Country Club in Bellevue.
Cairncross & Hempelmann's John Hempelmann got his first apartment when he moved to Washington, DC to work for Sen.Scoop Jackson's 1972 presidential campaign. John's first place "was a townhouse in Georgetown that I shared with two guys, with two girls living in the basement," he tells us.
John Hempelmann and the late Sen. Scoop Jackson in Washington, D.C.
Here's an early photo of John and Scoop that hangs in John's office. Not only was his time in DC great professional experience, it had its meteorological benefits: "If you're from Seattle and you move to Washington, DC, you quickly learn the meaning of the word humidity," he says. "The Senate office building was an exciting place with fascinating people, and it was air conditioned!"
Their First Apartments
BOMA Seattle president Rod Kauffman took a studio apartment across from Jack in the Box in the University District when he enrolled at the UW in 1975. "I thought it was a pretty cool thing until I realized that every drunk college student in the world was there making noise until 3am," he tells us. Fun fact: Rod started as a security manager at the Space Needle and married one of the elevator operators he trained. His Space Needle artifacts, including a giant lightbulb that he removed from one of the Needle's elevators himself, were on display at the recent BOMA International Expo at the Convention Center.
Chris Toher and Jay Weisberger in South Lake Union.
We snapped Skanska EVP Chris Toher and communications director Jay Weisberger for coffee outside hip Espresso Vivace at Alley 24 in South Lake Union the other week. Chris, who went to WSU, tells us that as newlyweds he and his wife moved into a tiny studio apartment on the top story of an "ancient" house near the university. It wasn't exactly a renter's dream: there was no shower, only a bathtub (" You couldn't stand up without knocking yourself out," Chris remembers) and the floor sloped alarmingly—"it lost six inches in seven feet." Not that Chris would have had it any other way. "It was one of the best years of our lives."