Not Widgets, a nonfiction book proposal that follows several developers who, at different stages of their careers, have held on to community-driven values while navigating the realities of project financing. The book will detail some common threads among the success stories, seeking to bring the conversation on urban change from how (regulatory motivation) to who (social motivation).

In Our Neighborhood, a film proposal on changes in Seattle’s Little Saigon, spotlighting the struggles that both developers and community experience in honoring neighborhood character.

Brian is focused on his independent consulting work. Current and past clients include Lake Union Partners, Barrientos LLC, and Evolution Projects.

Past Projects

In 2014, Bo wrote two articles on the semantics of density and the relationships between neighborhoods and small-scale developers.

In 2012, we hosted a community conversation with candidates for public office in Seattle on how to better advance the cause of socially responsible development. [URL]

Brian’s 2012 master’s thesis analyzes re-development incentives and their suitability in the International District’s historic core, in light of social structures and owner objectives. [PDF]

Bo’s 2011 master’s thesis is a history of community dialogue in the re-design of Pioneer Square’s Occidental Park, interpreted through the lens of local power structure. [PDF]

About Us

Bo Zhang (resume) and Brian Kalthoff (resume) are two Seattle residents in the real estate industry. We began this page as students at the University of Washington, on our desire to better understand the efforts of thoughtful developers who wish to better serve the neighborhoods they care about.

We’re most interested in the corners of the real estate industry that intersect with community development and neighborhood-level social structure. We believe that real estate developers are accountable for the block-by-block demographics that contribute to public life, and that this power can be better utilized in collaboration with the communities that developers serve.