Michael Christ

Michael Christ
Chief Executive Officer
SECO Development

Michael Christ, founder and CEO of SECO Development, is a visionary and developer from the Seattle area, with successful projects spanning across more than three decades. Since the founding of SECO, he has gone on to successfully develop some of the finest and most iconic mixed-use real estate developments in the greater Seattle area. With projects ranging in scale from 143,000 square feet to more than 2,400,000 square feet, Michael Christ has dedicated his career to creating developments that improve the living and working environments of the communities in which he builds. Committed to sustainability, quality, and durability, Michael Christ’s core value has been to create timeless and beautiful spaces that are built to last for generations. From the start, he has been committed to environmentally responsible practices and innovation, with all of his developments built green, even before it was a designation. This emphasis on being conscientious of environmental impact led to SECO achieving many Built Green awards and LEED designations.

Michael Christ was one of the first developers that contributed to the transformation of downtown Bellevue in the early 90s; ultimately going on to develop 11 acres within the CBD. These developments included the first multifamily development in the urban core since the 70s, introducing a new model of urban housing above street-level retail space in the office-dominant city core. The success of the developments in Bellevue led Michael Christ and SECO to expand into Kirkland, Mercer Island, Downtown Seattle, and Renton. In Kirkland, SECO’s 13-acre development of multi-award-winning Juanita Village and Tera, both went on to achieve the highest price per unit in the metropolitan Seattle market in their respective year of sale. In the urban core of Mercer Island, SECO partnered with a prominent local landowning family to develop six acres of luxury mixed-use developments. These developments included 77 Central and Island Market Square, both of which went on to earn multiple awards and again achieved the highest price per unit in the market in their respective year of sale. Notably, though the sale of Island Market Square was during the peak of the 2007-2008 global financial crisis, it represented the highest sale price for any real estate in King County in 2008. Later, SECO partnered with another prominent landowning family in the successful creation of The Shelby in Downtown Seattle.

Michael Christ’s more recent developments include the creation of Southport located on the southern shores of Lake Washington. With 2.4 million square feet completed, comprised of residential, retail, the Hyatt Regency on Lake Washington, and a 730,000 square foot Class A office campus, Southport has transformed the City of Renton and the south end of Lake Washington. A central focus of Michael Christ’s vision has been to create infrastructure to facilitate the exponentially expanding tech world in the Puget Sound area. An acute awareness of the traffic and growth patterns of the tech industry were fundamental factors in the potential-analysis, selection of sites, and decision-making process of the creation of that infrastructure. From anticipating the growing housing needs of the Microsoft work force in Bellevue in the 90s, to working with the City of Renton on a Smart City initiative to transform the template of what is possible for a more innovative and sustainable future, the creation of Southport has been the thesis project for the continuation and furtherment of this goal.

Throughout the many decades of development, Michael Christ and SECO have created and fostered healthy relationships and trust with their partners, lenders, and cities through a perfect track record of accuracy, accountability, acceded returns for investors, and greater sale prices than the appraisals used for construction lending. Michael attributes much of this successful execution to the careful selection and creation of a top management team for development and construction. This seasoned team includes top planners, accountants, asset managers, and a construction team who worked in collaboration with outsourced top legal, environmental, design, architectural, and engineer experts.