Influential people are not necessarily popular with everyone. Take Dirk Mulhair of Seattle-based Calhoun Properties and Jim Potter of Bellevue-based Kauri Investments. These developers are reshaping neighborhoods such as Capitol Hill, Wallingford, West Seattle and Redmond by building “micro housing”: Lilliputian pads with a bed, bathroom and microwave shoehorned into roughly 200 square feet that rent for around $600 a month. These “dwelling units” have flown below Seattle’s design review radar because they fall under old rules for boarding houses. Mulhair has said he’s providing vital affordable housing for working people (he calls the units “aPodments” and his tenants “podners”) in the heart of the city. Neighbors say the developers have blighted their backyards by building permanent dorms for transient 30-somethings. Seattle is working on rules to regulate such micro units. But with more than 2,318 built or being built in Seattle, and Potter planning “Footprint” projects from Portland to Detroit, this cash cow has left the barn.
The Full List: Most Influential People of 2013
Their finger prints are all over Seattle. From protecting honeybees to regulating marijuana to popping and locking, these 54 men and women (and in one case, a machine) are shaping our neighborhoods, economy, attitudes and future. In the case of our person of the year—for the first time in our nine years of compiling this list, it’s a tie!—the impact is on a global scale. We may not always like the direction they are taking us in but it’s hard to deny: these folks are taking us somewhere.