Forum: The Question of Development: Jobs & Housing in the South Sound

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Thursday, February 19, 2015
UW Tacoma, William Philip Hall

Last year, we focused on the topic of Urban Branding: what it means and how it may be deployed in an urban region. We concluded that moving from vision to action requires coordinated efforts among various stakeholders, including residents. We also emphasized the role of leadership and anchor institutions in realizing the adopted vision. For the South Sound region, the urgency for economic development and meeting the associated housing needs fit within this larger visioning process. As such, we will follow the 2014 Urban Forum with a conversation surrounding the challenges and opportunities for development in the South Sound region.
As the region expands its search for new investors who can shape our collective vision for development, the interests of current residents and employers must also be considered. We plan to assemble a number of experts, developers, and public sector decision makers to discuss what the future might hold for the South Sound region and how our visioning process may be realized.

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Forum Speakers

John Barline is of counsel with Williams Kastner in the Tacoma office and a member of the firm’s Business and Real Estate Transactions Practice Group. He is a frequent lecturer at CLEs and for community groups. His practice involves a wide variety of business, tax, real estate, corporate, trust and estate matters.
  • Real Estate: Sales, acquisitions, management and development of major real estate ventures.
  • Business: Domestic and International Corporations, partnerships, joint ventures, formation, management, sales, mergers, valuations, acquisitions, disputes and liquidations.
  • Tax: Personal, corporate, business, trust, and estate and gift.
  • Estate Planning: Drafting and administration of wills, probate, trusts, private foundations and guardianships.
David Boe is the lead designer for the BOE architects and also oversees all aspects of project development from Initial Programming through Completion. David has a wide variety of design and construction experience - from his upbringing in his father's Midwest engineering firm through his post­ graduate studies and training abroad. He has the proven ability to provide creative, beautiful and pragmatic solutions to projects for his client (from small scale interventions to large complex master planning developments). David is exceptional at leading the project team and he has received numerous recognitions for his abilities including an AIA 'Merit Award' in 2009 for his urban design blog 'Imagine Tacoma.' As one client affirms "He designs creative and functional solutions within limited means." David is also a member of the Tacoma City Council.
Cary Bozeman has proven time and time again, that if you have a well-developed vision, it can be achieved. He will help to make your vision become a reality. As the former mayor of Bellevue and Bremerton, Cary has 30 years of experience in navigating political, economic and social mine fields to help public and private sector organizations implement vital public projects.  In today's political and cynical environment, economic uncertainty and the ever present 'analysis paralysis', government and private businesses struggle to propose and successfully implement vital public projects. Cary and his team will help you overcome these daunting obstacles.
Loren CohenManager of Legal Affairs, MC Construction Consultants, Inc
In house counsel for privately owned real estate development and general construction firm with 2 offices in the Puget Sound area, responsible for all aspects of government relations and public affairs, as well as litigation management and oversight of outside counsel.
Bruce Kendall is former chair of the WEDC.  Bruce is president and chief executive officer of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County and a member of the board of the University of Washington-Tacoma Institute of Technology.  He is on the board of the Central Puget Sound Economic Development District, the Tacoma Art Museum, the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce, the Tacoma-Pierce County Workforce Development Council and the World Trade Center Tacoma.
Joel Kotkin An internationally-recognized authority on global, economic, political and social trends, Joel Kotkin is the author of the widely praised new book, THE NEW CLASS CONFLICT (Telos Press), which describes the changing dynamics of class in America.
Mr. Kotkin is the Roger Hobbs Distinguished Fellow in Urban Studies at Chapman University in Orange, California and Executive Director of the Houston-based Center for Opportunity Urbanism (  He is Executive Editor of the widely read website and writes the weekly “New Geographer” column for  He serves on the editorial board of the Orange County Register and writes a weekly column for that paper, and is a regular contributor to the Daily Beast.  
His previous books include THE NEXT HUNDRED MILLION: America in 2050, published by The Penguin Press. The book explores how the nation will evolve in the next four decades. His previous, also critically acclaimed book, was THE CITY: A GLOBAL HISTORY.
Mr. Kotkin has published reports on topics ranging from the future of class in global cities to the rise of growth corridors in the US economy. His recent report, “Post-familialism: Humanity’s Future,” an examination of the world’s future demography, was published by the Civil Service College of Singapore and Chapman University and has been widely commented not only in the United States, but in Israel, Brazil, Canada and other countries.
Over the past decade, Mr. Kotkin has completed studies focusing on several major cities, including a worldwide Legatum study focusing on the future of London, Mumbai and Mexico City; as well as other studies of New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Houston and St. Louis, among others. In 2010 he completed an international study on “the new world order” for the Legatum Institute in London, UK that traced transnational ethnic networks, particularly in East Asia. He also has worked in smaller communities, including a report - working with Praxis Strategy Group - on the rise of the Great Plains for Texas Tech University.
Dr. Cynthia Kroll is the senior regional economist and executive director for staff research for the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics, a research center on the U.C. Berkeley Campus.  She holds masters and doctoral degrees from U.C. Berkeley's Department of City and Regional Planning.  She is well known for her research on California economic trends and their implications for real estate development opportunities and land development issues.
Her recent and ongoing research span a broad range of topics and disciplines, including industrial structure, innovation, and financing building in the green economy; the global position of California’s economy in general and of high tech sectors; effects of global trade on services sectors; globalization and the real estate industry; the transforming housing market and California's future; affordable housing policy in California; the effects of the credit crisis on California's economy and public sector revenues; state and national responses to the housing and credit crisis; international tourism and real estate; human capital in the San Francisco Bay Area; and Bay Area firm births, deaths and relocations through the dot-com boom and bust. Earlier topics include: The role of the World Wide Web and other new technologies in the real estate industry, California’s economic outlook after the dot-com bubble, the effects of construction defect litigation on multifamily and condominium construction, an evaluation of the CEDAR (economic recovery) web site, the Bay Area housing market, the role of tourism in California’s economy, the effects of defense cuts on California employment and economic structure, the future of the Southern California economy, the effects of high housing prices on job growth, the effects of the Loma Prieta earthquake on the Bay Area economy, trends in California's Central Valley, housing cap proposals in San Diego, and the role of high tech industries in the Silicon Valley industrial market. Dr. Kroll conducts ongoing evaluations of California's residential, office and industrial markets. In addition to her twenty-six years at the Center, Dr. Kroll has also worked for the State of California's Office of Economic Research, for the Association of Bay Area Governments, for SRI International, as an adjunct lecturer in the UC Berkeley Department of City and Regional Planning, and as an independent consultant.  She has acted as an economic advisor to the California State Controller's Office, the Bay Area Economic Institute, and the California Economic Strategy Panel, and has served on the Editorial Board of the Bay Area Economic Pulse.
Michael Mirra is the executive director of the Tacoma Housing Authority (THA) in Tacoma, Wash. He has served in that position since 2004. Previously, he served as THA’s general counsel beginning in 2002. Before joining THA, Michael practiced law for about 22 years with Columbia Legal Services in Washington state and for 2 years before that for legal services in Tennessee. His area of practice included fair housing, the Washington State growth management act, landlord-tenant law, the homelessness of children, the intersection of child welfare and homelessness, and nonprofit governance. Michael graduated from Vanderbilt Law School and the University of Chicago. He grew up in Queens.
Steve O’Connor is a thirty-year veteran of the real estate industry. Prior to his appointment at UW in September 2012, Steve served as the Chief Executive Officer to a number of private and non-profit organizations, where his efforts to facilitate true public/private partnerships resulted in the creation of thousands of housing units, together with a variety of innovative programs designed to improve the social, health and economic well-being of low and moderate-income families.
Michael Pyatok has been an architect and professor of architectural design for over 45 years. Since opening his own office in 1984, it has designed over 35,000 units of affordable housing for lower-income households in the US and abroad, and developed participatory design methods to facilitate community involvement throughout the design process. He has helped many communities plan and develop new housing, neighborhood plans and community facilities.
In 1995, he was elected to the AIA College of Fellows in recognition of his contribution to the design of affordable housing. In 2001, Harvard appointed him its Buchsbaum Visiting Professor of Affordable Housing and Residential Architect featured him on its cover as the “Architect-of-the-Year” in recognition of the quality he has brought to affordable housing. In 2002, he was featured in Professional Builder Magazine as one of twelve “Thought Leaders” of the development industry and in 2007 he was named by Builder Magazine and the NAHB as one of the 50 most influential people in the US housing industry.
In 2011 he was inducted into the Marvin Design Hall of Fame and in 2013, the AIA awarded him its Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture in recognition of the design quality he has brought to affordable housing.  He has taught housing design as a visiting professor at MIT, Harvard, UC Berkeley, Washington University and Penn State, and after teaching 22 years at the University of Washington he is now Professor Emeritus there but continues to teach as a visiting professor at the University of Oregon. 
Ethan Seltzer is a Professor in the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. He currently serves as the Interim Director for the School of Art+Design at Portland State. Previously, he served as Director of the Toulan School, and as the founding director of Portland State’s Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies.  Prior to joining Portland State University, he was the Land Use Supervisor for Metro, the regional government in the Portland area, and served as an Assistant to Portland City Commissioner Mike Lindberg. He received his doctorate in City and Regional Planning in 1983 from the University of Pennsylvania. A resident of the Portland area since 1980, he has served as President of the City of Portland Planning Commission, the 40-Mile Loop Land Trust, the Oregon Environmental Council, and the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art. Research interests include regional planning, regionalism, and planning practice.  Recent projects include “Citizen Participation, Open Innovation, and Crowdsourcing”, “Making EcoDistricts: Concepts and Methods for Advancing Sustainability in Neighborhoods”, Regional Planning in America: Practice and Prospect (Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Cambridge, MA, USA, 2011), Toward One Oregon: Rural-Urban Interdependence and the Evolution of a State (Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, Oregon, 2011), and research on urban growth boundaries, environmental migrants, and land use regulation in Oregon’s wine country.


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