Martin Selig

About Martin Selig

Birth Year: 1936
Birth Place: Seattle, Washington, United States
Residence: Seattle, US
Known for: founder and owner of Martin Selig Real Estate
Spouse(s): Andrea Selig (divorced) Catherine Mayer
Children: David Selig Lauren Selig Jordan Selig
Parent(s): Manfred and Laura Selig

Martin Selig

Martin Selig was born on 1936 in Seattle, Washington, United States. Martin Selig escaped Nazi Germany with his family when he was three years old, starting them on a long trek of hiding and passing through Germany and Poland before Moscow, where they snuck onto the Trans Siberian Railroad. It let them off in Korea, where they found a place in steerage on a trans-pacific steamer going to San Francisco. It stopped in Seattle one day, unplanned, and his father told them they were getting off. Martin has been in Seattle ever since, and he's now one of the biggest property developers there. He jokes about why he got into real estate: "I didn't trust the stock market." He started off building shopping malls, and now has 4 million square of properties across the city, and another 1.5 million under development, including a big historic project turning the city's former federal reserve building into a glassy office high rise. The developer is also a painter and enjoys bicycling, riding his Harley motorcycle and skiing ("I skied 42 days last year. This year, I'm going for 50," he says). Married with three children, one daughter is in the family business, while another daughter is a producer with two films that debuted in 2015 at the Venice Film Festival, where Martin accompanied her.
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Martin Selig was born to a Jewish family in Germany, the son of Manfred Selig (1902-1992), who was born in Buchen, Germany, the son of a horse-trader. In 1939 Manfred was warned by a neighbour "that the Nazis had labeled him an undesirable". He, his wife, and two children left quickly. The next day the Nazis confiscated his home and Business. The family hid in warehouses in Frankfurt, before heading eastwards via Poland, Russia, Korea and Japan. They boarded a steamer to San Francisco, but chose Seattle "on a whim" because the boat stopped there and the sun was shining.


Selig worked for his Father in his children's clothing store before building his first shopping centre in 1962.


Since then, he has built mostly tall buildings in Seattle, including two blocks on Fifth Avenue known as Fifth & Jackson and Fifth & Yesler, and by the 1980s owned nearly one-third of Seattle's office space, with Forbes estimating his 1987 net worth at US$ 270 million. He built the Columbia Center in 1985, still the city's tallest building, and sold it in 1989 for $354 million.


He was married to Andrea Selig; they divorced in 1995. They have three children: David, Lauren and Jordan. Selig has since remarried to Artist Catherine Mayer.


His daughter, Lauren Selig, now a Hollywood executive Producer, was married to the Russian-born American Kyril Faenov, head of Microsoft's High Performance Computing Lab, until his suicide in 2012.


In October 2015, he owned 4 million square feet of office space in Seattle, and his estimated net worth was $1.1 billion.

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