The Amazon Spheres in downtown Seattle, with construction cranes in the distance. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)
Bryan Copley remembers “the day that the last single-family residence in South Lake Union was bulldozed.”
The CityBldr CEO has lived in the same Seattle neighborhood Amazon calls home for about four years. He has watched South Lake Union transform to keep pace with Amazon’s rapid growth, a metamorphosis that is far from complete. “I can see 13 cranes from my deck,” says Copley.
Two or three years ago, Copley was walking down Republican Street when he witnessed the razing of a house. He hasn’t seen a single-family home in the neighborhood since.
“We’ve seen Seattle change and we’ve seen a lot of people not prepared for what happens when Amazon moves into their city,” Copley said.
But the next city Amazon moves into has the incredible advantage of knowing the company is coming. CityBldr wants to show property owners in the neighborhood Amazon chooses for its second headquarters just what they can expect when the e-commerce giant comes to town.
CityBldr CEO Bryan Copley. (GeekWire Photo / Monica Nickelsburg)
Sometime in the next six months, Amazon is scheduled to announce the winning city in its second headquarters competition. When that happens, CityBldr plans to immediately start speculating on real estate in that city and building a permanent, 12-person team there.
CityBldr is a Seattle startup, with offices just a few blocks from Amazon’s current headquarters. The company uses software to identify under-utilized properties. For example, CityBldr finds clusters of single-family homes in neighborhoods zoned for multi-family use that could be converted into apartments. In June, CityBldr announced it would start purchasing some of the properties it identifies directly and assembling them to sell for a larger return than if they were sold individually.
CityBldr is currently raising a $100 …read more