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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: City invests in Bullitt Center - green investments part of Seattle Jobs Plan

8/29/2011  5:10:00 PM
Joe Mirabella  (206)733-9810

City invests in Bullitt Center - green investments part of Seattle Jobs Plan
$10 million in New Markets Tax Credits help leverage financing for project

SEATTLE – Mayor Mike McGinn today helped break ground for the Bullitt Center, a project of the Bullitt Foundation. The Bullitt Center is projected to be the greenest commercial building in the world, at 1501 East Madison Street.
"The Bullitt Center project will create green jobs on every level - the construction workers who will receive green building training onsite, the future employees in the building and the people in the green building industry who will attend classes and receive green building certificates at the project's Center for Energy and Urban Ecology," said Mayor Mike McGinn. "I am proud of the work my office and city staff did to help make today's groundbreaking possible. I thank Representative McDermott and Senator Cantwell for their support of the New Markets Tax Credits program, a strong federal incentive to help support Seattle's fragile economic recovery."

The project is estimated to create 94 direct construction jobs and support 141 direct permanent jobs.

The City has assisted with the Bullitt Center project in two major ways; first as a collaborative partner with multiple departments across the city.

  • The Department of Planning and Development (DPD) helped develop the Living Building Pilot Program, which created the flexibility in city codes to allow a project like this one to move forward;
  • Seattle City Light is partnering with the Bullitt Foundation to monitor and evaluate the deployment of solar energy within the city;
  • The Parks Department is leading the effort to re-imagine McGilvra Place as a new community gathering space; and
  • Seattle Public Utilities is supporting the project's innovative ways to manage greywater and sustainably manage stormwater. 

Secondly, the Office of Economic Development has invested $10 million in New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs) through Seattle Investment Fund LLC that helped leverage private financing, including Recovery Zone Bonds, which lessened the cost of borrowed funds, and helped develop a green jobs program.

"The cutting-edge Bullitt Center is a step forward on job creation, and another example on how our region is leading the way in clean energy technology," said Senator Maria Cantwell. "The New Markets Tax Credit is helping bring more than 140 permanent jobs to Seattle at the Bullitt Center. That's why I am fighting to extend this program, which is creating new employment opportunities and strengthening communities across America."
The project will result in multiple public benefits, including:

  • the construction of the first office building in the nation to achieve Living Building standards, exceeding LEED Platinum efficiency standards;
  • creation of 141 direct permanent jobs;
  • creation of 94 direct construction jobs that will provide opportunities to women and minority businesses, pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeships; and
  • serving as an anchor for future economic development through onsite green building training programs.

"We appreciate the partnership with the city that is helping us build the greenest office building in the world," said Denis Hayes, president and CEO of Seattle's environment-oriented Bullitt Foundation. "Innovative and flexible thinking in areas from the building codes, to managing greywater to developing green job training opportunities are helping us provide a model for the nation with the construction of the Bullitt Center."
"As part of the Seattle Jobs Plan we are focused on investments that help us create a sustainable economy with shared prosperity," said Steve Johnson, director of the Office of Economic Development. "This project, with its green ethic, job creation and green job training is a great example of the type of project in which we are looking to invest."

NMTCs are federal tax credits that can be distributed to private investors who provide low-cost financing for business and real estate projects located in eligible census tracts.  For more information about the city's Office of Economic Development's NMTCs program, visit

Seattle Jobs Plan
Mayor Mike McGinn's vision for next generation economic development that creates a sustainable economy with shared prosperity in Seattle was launched in August 2010. It consists of new and existing policies, programs and investments designed to help create quality jobs, protect the environment, and ensure that taxpayers get true value from the city of Seattle's public investments. For more information, visit

City's Office of Economic Development (OED)
OED supports a healthy business environment and empowers companies to succeed and grow. We provide services directly to businesses through advocacy, retention and expansion assistance, and workforce development. OED has several financing options for businesses, including options for small to medium to large businesses. Visit to access city services for businesses, and for more information about our office, visit

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