TimberRise and its 33-year-old founder, Carson Bowlin, are the sort of new addition to the Everett business community that should make any economic development office quite happy. Over the next month, Bowlin plans to move his growing real estate development business from Seattle to Everett.
It’s a good business move and indicative of the urban exodus going on around the country, but in Bowlin’s case it has an added unique twist. “In addition to the opportunity to be a part of the Everett business community, there is a special lady in Skagit County that I would like to be closer to,” the Kings High School and Gonzaga University grad says with a wink.
At TimberRise, Bowlin works with a unique and growing application of wood called mass timber that has structural properties like steel, which he incorporates into the commercial and apartment properties he’s developing. Mass timber has structural qualities that in the past most wood applications couldn’t meet.
“Steel and concrete, unlike mass timber, are not produced from renewable resources and can’t compare to the natural beauty of Northwest woods, such as Douglas fir, exposed within a building” says Bowlin. Mass timber, he says, “offers remarkable upside that also benefits the planet by sequestering the carbon embodied in the renewably harvested wood. Mass timber buildings are also faster to construct and offer a healthier built environment for occupants.”
TimberRise is currently engaged in projects in the Puget Sound region, Eastern Washington and the Bay Area of California. Bowlin will be looking to add additional members to the TimberRise team once in Everett, bringing new jobs to the region.
Culture is a factor in his move, as well, “The business community has been great in Everett. People are creative, hardworking and have a strong measure of pride in their area.” Bowlin says he is looking forward to investing in the community in a meaningful way.
Everett’s economic development director, Dan Eernissee, is seeing a spike in businesses like TimberRise inquiring about moving to Everett.
“Their reasons vary, from looking to escape the challenges the urban areas in Seattle are facing right now to reacting to new remote work options, as well as the cost of doing business.” He adds, “Having a commercial airport in Everett is huge, too. Most of these businesses looking our way have regional ties to customers and need access to that important mode of travel.”
Another appeal is talent. “It’s much easier to attract talent outside of the urban core today. The talent pool is moving our way,” says Eernissee.
In the end, the U.S. musical chairs game triggered by the pandemic and urban political decisions might benefit the entire region when the post-pandemic music finally stops. Eernissee sees it that way, but with an emphasis now on a regional approach. “We all need Seattle to heal up and return to health. In the meantime, we’re delighted to see jobs and opportunity come our way and build on those wins to sustain momentum long after the pandemic.”
Occasional contributor Tom Hoban is chairman and co-founder of Hoban Family Office, a real estate investment and services enterprise in Everett.