Issue

August 2016

From this Issue

Imagine the uproar if one of the region’s biggest employers cut its ranks by nearly 7 percent in the space of two years, with prospects for even more downsizing. Task forces would be convened; stern messages about the future would be read; incentives would be considered.

While most people outside the public accounting field are not able to recite tax code sections, those who work in the real estate industry are likely familiar with Section 10310. As a refresher, Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code allows property owners to defer gain from the sale of property when they exchange it for like-kind property. Under this code, the gain is not recognized until the replacement property is sold. If the replacement property is exchanged for other like-kind property, however, the property owner can continue to defer the gain recognition.

For decades, elements of Washington’s political class have longed for — nay, lusted after — an income tax, this state being among the seven currently without one.

The rapidly growing cloud business of Amazon Web Services (AWS) could soon begin to put the same kind of pressure on the legacy IT sector that Amazon.com has already put on the retail sector.

Sometimes, bright ideas seem to fall from the sky, like Newton’s apple. More often, as in the case of HyGen, they are the product of careful analysis.

Seattle’s 84-year-old Aurora Bridge is built with steel downspouts that dump 3.2 million gallons of untreated rainwater directly into the ship canal between Lake Union and Puget Sound every year, something that bridge designers in the 1930s probably never considered to be a problem.

Ten years ago, Josh Henderson left a sweet gig cooking for photographers on location in Los Angeles to start a food truck in Seattle called Skillet. It did quite well, expanding with help from equity partners into four brick-and-mortar diners and a catering company.

Gus Simonds and his management team took the helm at MacDonald-Miller in 2006. The Great Recession hit two years later. By focusing on services and increasingly complex projects, the mechanical contractor survived, then thrived, doubling business since 2012. 

The company now has 1,000 employees and boasts $260 million in annual revenue.

Customers are responding to increasingly aggressive marketing tactics by covering their ears. One in five smartphone users utilizes ad-blocking technology. And that’s just a warmup act. If marketing is a nuisance now, imagine how customers will feel by 2020, once the Internet of Things (IoT) is populated by an estimated 50 billion connected devices.

Mukilteo is a divided community when it comes to Paine Field, the airport next door. Aviation enthusiasts who love to see the vintage aircraft buzzing about have bumper stickers that read “I ♥ airplane noise.” Anti-airport activists, by contrast, apparently play a parlor game called “Stop That Project!” in which guests are asked to come up with creative ways to block new developments.

The sharing economy has changed America. Tasks we always considered menial and maybe a little annoying — running errands, walking the dog, shopping for groceries — now have enthusiastic champions who are happy to do them for us.

A new corporate campus under construction on the south shore of Lake Washington could be a game changer for the city of Renton.

When Paine Field was built in 1936, nearly a decade before Seattle-Tacoma International Airport was completed, the 604-acre, fog-free unpopulated site 23 miles north of Seattle was envisioned as being one of 10 commercial “super airports” around the country.

As the development surge continues apace in and around Seattle, aerial booms and scissor lifts crowd every construction site — and a local company quietly thrives.