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‘After 10 Years, It’s Finally Taking Shape’: Marshall Foster At Bisnow’s The Future Of Seattle’s Waterfront Event

Marshall Foster, Director of the City of Seattle’s Office of the Waterfront
City of Seattle’s Office of the Waterfront Director Marshall Foster

The demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct is nearing completion. Now, Seattle’s real estate community is wondering what the removal of this 65-year-old bridge will mean for development opportunities along the waterfront. Speakers will be discussing the potential immediate and long-term impacts of the viaduct’s removal at Bisnow’s The Future of Seattle’s Waterfront event July 18. Register here for the event. 

The moment Marshall Foster has spent 10 years working toward has finally arrived. 

As the director of the city of Seattle’s Office of the Waterfront, Foster has spent a major part of his career working on plans to demolish the Alaskan Way Viaduct and transform the city’s waterfront into a vibrant new community. Now, those plans are finally underway. 

“This has been a decade in the making,” Foster said. “I’ve been to a lot of Bisnow events and people are always eagerly asking me when this project will come together and now I get to be at an event where I can tell them that it’s finally happening.” 

Foster gave Bisnow a sneak peek of what he will be discussing about the new Seattle waterfront during The Future of Seattle’s Waterfront event July 18.

Name: Marshall Foster, director of the city of Seattle’s Office of the Waterfront 

City: Seattle 

Years in the industry: 20  

Bisnow: Why is Bisnow’s upcoming The Future of Seattle’s Waterfront event so important to you and what will you be talking about?

Foster: This is an important moment for the city of Seattle. With the viaduct coming down, we are reopening our waterfront and setting the stage for a major transformation of the area, including adding 20 new acres of parks. 

I’m excited to discuss this major moment at The Future of Seattle’s Waterfront event right as all of this is coming together and the new park is starting to finally take shape. 

Bisnow: How would you describe what you do for the city’s Office of the Waterfront?

Foster: I run the office, which was created with the sole purpose of bringing the community together to design and execute this new waterfront. I believe we’ve accomplished this task in a pretty unique way, through our partnership-driven approach.

We have focused on building strong partnerships with the nonprofit community, developers and the city as a whole to achieve this vision of the new waterfront. Now, all of our hard work is finally paying off. 

Bisnow: In your opinion, what is the most pressing issue affecting commercial real estate along Seattle’s waterfront? 

Foster: I believe that the waterfront that we’re building will be critical to helping Seattle stay economically competitive, which is something that deeply impacts the local commercial real estate industry. It will be a public space that supports the continued economic growth of the area and helps improve the quality of the urban experience in the core of Seattle. 

Of course, the project is not without its challenges. It’s been a struggle to get the work done on schedule and on budget. We’re at a point where we’ve got the partnerships, we’ve brought the community together and now we just need to get it over the finish line. That’s our main goal. 

Bisnow: Outside of your work, what are you most passionate about?

Foster: I love music, both listening to it and playing it. I also have an awesome family who I love spending time with, and I’m passionate about living in Seattle. I think it’s an inspired time to be a part of this city and working toward all the changes that are happening. 

Bisnow: Finally, if someone reading this wants to do business with you or your organization, what's the best way they can reach you?

Foster: Our website at waterfrontseattle.org is a great portal to learn everything about us and to connect with us.

Marshall Foster will be speaking about the major transformation of the waterfront at Bisnow’s The Future of Seattle’s Waterfront on July 18. Register here for the event.