FIX Impact Development - celebrating 10 years!

FIX Impact Development has turned 10 years old!

Here’s to the owners, clients, and partners who have helped us create a decade of impact development.

Celebrating 10 years
10 years ago, in the thick of the housing crisis, we started FIX Impact Development (formerly Form In Context) to create positive change through real estate.  In the decade since, we’ve been lucky enough to help private developers, non-profits, cities and high-net worth individuals achieve positive impact throughout the west coast.  Today, we create solutions across all cycles of development that improve communities, sustainability, and returns.  We work with clients and investors to guide strategy, launch businesses and develop projects.  Our office is a small interdisciplinary team based on design-thinking, integrating traditional development capabilities with in-house design and market research to generate breakthrough solutions with a systems approach.  If you have a place-based concern or would like to learn how we can help you have a positive impact on your community through real estate, we want to hear from you.


Byrd Barr Place addresses equitable growth nationally

Byrd Barr Place creates national model for African American land trusts.

Building on our work with Africatown, Byrd Barr (formerly Centerstone) has hired FIX to create a portable tool kit to help communities of color create long-term land ownership nationally.

Fostering long-term equitable growth strategies nationally
Byrd Barr Place (formerly Centerstone) is a non-profit organization that creates a more equitable Seattle through programs and advocacy that enable people to live healthier, prosperous lives.  In 2017, they collaborated with Africatown in the Central Area neighborhood, in creating a community land trust to acquire property and generate long-term land ownership within the African American community.  That model is proving successful in burgeoning projects at Midtown Center and Liberty Bank.  To grow the influence on equitable development nationally, Byrd Barr Place, along with community partners, is building a tool kit for replicating the model with the intention of distributing it, open source, to communities of color throughout the country.  The organization has hired FIX to guide the team in developing the project which is due to be completed by the end of 2018.


Form in Context, Inc. is now FIX Impact Development

Form In Context,
formerly known as FIX,
is now formally renamed,
FIX Impact Development.

We’ve updated our name to match our mission.  We’ve also changed our address.  Have a place-based concern, come by and visit.

A name to match the mission and a new address.
Form In Context, Inc., founded in 2008, is now officially FIX Impact Development, Inc.  You can still call us FIX for short, but do note our new email and new physical address.  FIX creates positive impact through place-based solutions.  Learn more about how we do that and how we might help you here.


Leadership Tomorrow 2018 explores equitable growth

Leadership Tomorrow 2018 explores equitable growth with Amazon & Africatown

John Schoettler, Wyking Garrett, Doris Koo and Diane Sugimura discuss our history of inequity and the consequences of growth toward creating solutions for affordability and inclusion.

Amazon holds more office space in Seattle than the next 40 employers combined, employing more than 40,000 people in the city alone.  Because of their massive economic magnifier effect with every employee supporting an estimated five service workers, Seattle’s downtown brick and mortar retail sales are up 20% annually on average over the last five years.  Even department store sales are up — 224% compared to pre-recession performance.  And Seattle’s median income is growing faster than any other city in the country with unemployment at a near record low.  We are delighting in our growth.

Yet, with our growth, we have also seen housing prices skyrocket, setting new record highs for rents and sale prices.  Seattle’s median home price has doubled in five years and rents have increased 65% in less than seven.   The impacts of this growth have been economic and cultural.  In the Central Area neighborhood alone, the African American population has dwindled from 73% to 23% in a single generation, driven out in part by redevelopment, rising prices and a self-reinforcing diaspora.  Given the history of redlining and systematic racial bias in lending practices, the negative impacts of our current booming economy feel particularly problematic.

Negative consequences of growth is a choice.  As homeowners and renters we impart influence with our decisions on where and how we each choose to live, what retail stores we support.  And as leaders, we have a choice in how hard we work to surface the challenge of guiding our growth equitably.

Leadership Tomorrow, founded in 1982, drives servant leadership in the Puget Sound region through an annual training program focused on the core seven pillars of society and issues of race, racism and equity.  The opening day for the 2018 class, held at the Northwest African American Museum, focused on the opportunities to combat the negative consequences of urban growth.  The goal was to surface individual responsibility and systemic challenges in perpetuating inequity, toward identifying sustainable solutions across public and private sectors.  Amazon’s head of Global Real Estate, John Schoettler along with the former Director of Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development, Diane Sugimura, openly discussed the role of big business in city centers and what role policy must play in managing the negative impacts of that growth.  Community builders Doris Koo and Wyking Garrett challenged both, demonstrating the importance of activism and giving voice to marginalized communities.

FIX founder, Shannon Loew, is on the Leadership Tomorrow Curriculum Committee and with the Neighborhood & Communities subcommittee teammates Bill Block, Marlene Chen, and Frank Nam, created and facilitated the day’s program.


ULI: Chophouse among 25 best projects in the world

Congratulations to Dunn & Hobbes! ULI names Chophouse among 25 best projects in the world.

Congratulations to Dunn & Hobbes and all of the consultants who created Chophouse Row, including Leslie Bain, SKL Architects, Graham Baba Architects, Mike Wright, and MRJ Constructors.  ULI has named the project one of the best on the planet with its 2016 Global Excellence Awards.

The Design Excellence Award, established in 1979, recognizes real estate projects that achieve a high standard of excellence in design, construction, economics, planning, and management.  — Urban Land Institute

FIX is proud to have helped D&H bring this project to life.  View our project page here.


Forest City wins SF Pier 70, 28-acres of redevelopment

The Port of San Francisco awards Forest City 28-acres of historic Pier 70.

Forest City will turn the defunct shipyard into a new mixed-use innovation campus, beginning with interim adaptive reuse of existing structures for artists, makers and entrepreneurs to stimulate community-driven program and inspire the long-term vision.

Congratulations Forest City!
The Port of San Francisco has announced Forest City as the winner of its selection process for Pier 70, a 28-acre redevelopment project along the waterfront, just south of downtown and AT&T Park.  Pier 70 was the site of the first steel hull ship manufacturing on the west coast and produced most of the US naval fleet for WWII.  The site has hundreds of square feet of historic warehouses and acres of open space with views of the Bay Bridge.   Forest City proposed a new innovation campus to provide jobs and housing across sectors and spectrum of affordability.  Its winning proposal also outlined a phased strategy for redevelopment, leading with a rich program of events and interim uses of existing structures for artists, makers and entrepreneurs  to organically stimulate a community-defined redevelopment vision for later phases.  See our work on the first phase Pier 70.

Pier 70 can become a new model of how public/private partnership can bring industrial waterfronts back as leading economic growth and innovation drivers. New construction will compliment the historic resources and new uses, tenants, and programs will co-exist with existing maritime infrastructure. All of this activity is expected to increase the Port’s tax base, spur job creation and deliver significant community benefit.  — Kevin Ratner, President, Forest City West

FIX’s Role
FIX helped Forest City develop the winning proposal for Pier 70, creating the community-led, phased approach for development.  FIX was Project Manager for the RFP, developing the strategy and producing the submittal.   We drew on our prior work with the national developer, including the 5M Project and underlying research on how place makes us more innovative.  See the team’s Pier 70 Look Book that was part of our winning submittal.