Who we are

So dewy-eyed.

Bramble consists of Brian & Bo, two Seattle residents in the real estate industry who met as dewy-eyed grad students at the University of Washington.

We support growth and change, while remaining conflicted about the negative impacts that can come with it.

Friends we love have moved into formerly low-income communities while existing residents are socioeconomically replaced. Where boring new buildings indifferently puncture existing neighborhood fabric, we want to believe that translates to affordable rents, and yet the market compels a dimmer view.

Fundamentally, we’re opposed to presenting urban development as a binary choice between supporters and obstructionists.

Density can be done well or poorly. Through stories of developers who put extra effort into getting density right, we hope to make it clear that change is not, in fact, a binary decision.

Can we go back to giving a damn?

We think it’s critical to understand “good” density beyond the rules of how neighborhoods are permitted to develop. Who develops them is also key. At first we called this X factor “socially responsible development”, although “developers who give a damn” is probably more accurate.

We’re now interviewing developers around the United States who are trying to be conscientious. Their journeys are rich in gray areas. We hope that understanding how they work will be useful for concerned neighborhoods and for aspiring “good” developers alike.

Back in 2012, we’d written here:

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.

Since then, we’ve deepened our awareness of urban development’s complexity, while continuing to see shades of gray.

Story by story, we’re joining efforts to nudge urban development culture toward the light. We hope you find this journey as interesting as we do.