News

Industry Leader David Schmitz Joins MG2

May 21, 2020

This hire emphasizes MG2's commitment to design excellence.

MG2 has expanded its senior team to include David Schmitz, a former Vice President at CallisonRTKL, who joins the Irvine office as an Associate Principal.

An award-winning, LEED accredited project manager and team leader, David has spent over thirty years advancing the future of entertainment, shopping, and mixed-use complexes in the United States and beyond. David’s recent and notable work on the King of Prussia mall won the ICSC 2019 North America Design and Development Award for Renovations.

David will be leading complex teams across diverse areas of practice and driving solutions that transform our client’s enterprise. In particular, he will be shaping next-generation consumer experiences and community environments by meeting the rapidly evolving needs of these shifting landscapes. 

“David’s expertise in delivering complex, adaptive reuse projects, along with his ability to advance the retail world and connect communities, are a perfect match for MG2’s experiential design practice. We’re always looking to push the envelope on what’s next for consumers, and David’s passion and prowess will help us realize our mission.”

Mitch Smith, CEO, MG2

David’s enthusiasm for mentoring the next generation of designers and project leaders advances MG2’s open, empathetic culture. He is a virtuoso in cultivating connections between colleagues and clients through the art of problem-solving. Under David’s influence, high-performing teams pioneer new ways of working that result in unique solutions, inviting spaces, and unforgettable experiences.

News

People Make the Place: Leading the Way at MG2

April 1, 2020

In times like these, it’s more important than ever that we take a moment to celebrate the nimble, bold, and resilient nature of those we have the privilege to work with every day. MG2 has always championed the motto, “people make the place”, and regardless of where that place may be, we’re honored and humbled to have outstanding leaders to help guide us forward.

MG2 is thrilled to announce the promotion of over 40 employees across our studios and offices. With a culture rooted in recognition and appreciation, MG2 celebrates not just the advancements of those within leadership, but those of every single team member. There are no small roles here; without the outrageous talent and unwavering dedication of all our employees, we would not be the firm we are today.

2020 promotions grid of photos and quote

It’s with great pride that MG2 fosters creativity, acknowledge achievements, and promotes from within, and with that, we’re excited to introduce you to this year’s rising stars who are paving the way for our future across design, operations, program management, and more:

Irvine

  • Nubia Herrera | Promoted to Associate 2
  • Mackenzie Gibbens | Promoted to Associate 3
  • Meadow Pirigyi | Promoted to Associate 3
  • Jessica Labac | Promoted to Associate 4
  • Isaac Perez | Promoted to Associate 5

WASHINGTON, D.C.

  • Gabriella Santostefano | Promoted to Associate 2
  • Hazel Ventura | Promoted to Associate 2
  • Krysten Gormly | Promoted to Associate 3
  • Ishana Mistry | Promoted to Associate 3
  • Paola Moreno | Promoted to Associate 3
  • Behbood Vatani | Promoted to Senior Estimator
  • Meridyth Cutler | Promoted to Senior Associate 1

MINNEAPOLIS

  • Ryan Hartsuff | Promoted to Associate 5
  • Monica Russell | Promoted to Associate 5
  • Liz Aiello | Promoted to Senior Associate 1

SEATTLE | COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENTS

  • Jacob Southard | Promoted to Associate 2

SEATTLE | CLIENT PROGRAMS

  • Sarah Bertis | Promoted to Associate 2
  • Whitney Gomes | Promoted to Associate 2
  • Morgan Nestegard | Promoted to Associate 2
  • Marina Sosner | Promoted to Associate 2
  • Connor Dimick | Promoted to Associate 3
  • Trevor Gunderson | Promoted to Associate 3
  • Darren Mobley | Promoted to Associate 3
  • Kyle Bembenek | Promoted to Associate 4
  • Willie Mak | Promoted to Associate 4
  • Brian Dobry | Promoted to Associate 5
  • Fiona Cutner | Promoted to Senior Associate 1
  • Amy Hart | Promoted to Senior Associate 1

SEATTLE | CONSUMER EXPERIENCES

  • Bridget Arnold | Promoted to Associate 2
  • Robyn Burgos | Promoted to Associate 3
  • Elle Reinhard | Promoted to Associate 3
  • Howard Schulien | Promoted to Associate 5
  • Min Jae Kwon | Promoted to Senior Associate 1

SEATTLE | OPERATIONS

  • Abbie Drake | Promoted to Senior Graphic Designer
  • Kelli Cook | Promoted to Program Manager
  • Natasha Windle | Promoted to Program Manager
  • Chelsea Pagdilao | Promoted to HR Specialist

Amongst our leadership team, MJ Munsell has been promoted to Chief Creative Officer. And, in addition to two new Principals — Risa Yuki and Mark Taylor — and two new Associate Principals — Scott Owen and Mitch Pride — we’re also excited to welcome two additional Shareholders: Melissa Gonzalez and Nick Caputo, who recently joined the MG2 family through our merger with The Lion’eqsue Group.

2020 promotions grid of photos and quote

News

MG2 Addresses Coronavirus Concerns

March 12, 2020

In response to the current worldwide escalation of the COVID-19 virus, we would like to inform you of our ongoing efforts to protect the health of our staff, our teams, and our workflow. The physical and emotional well-being of our MG2 community and surroundings are our highest priority.

Dear MG2 Community,

In alignment with our mission to enhance lives, at MG2, we consider how every decision we make as an organization and individuals has the potential to elevate the health of our communities.

In response to the current worldwide escalation of the COVID-19 virus, we would like to inform you of our ongoing efforts to protect the health of our staff, our teams, and our workflow. The physical and emotional well-being of our MG2 community and surroundings are our highest priority.

Throughout this journey, we are committed to providing a welcoming, safe, and inclusive atmosphere for our staff and the work that we do. With that in mind, we are proactively planning on how best to maintain the continuity of teaming and workflow while making adaptive decisions as we navigate this global health situation.

Planning Ahead

In February, MG2 formed an Adaptive Response Team who meet daily to fine-tune our roadmap, policies, and staff guidance in response to the impacts that COVID-19 has on our staff, partners, and clients, ensuring business continuity now and in the future.

This team continues to navigate rapidly changing conditions and effects resulting from the Coronavirus with the sole purpose of fostering our collective well-being and supporting our mission, vision, and values.

Operational Adaptation and Flexible Work Programs

Our national office locations will remain open unless otherwise advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local jurisdictions, or other subject matter experts. Working remotely is an option afforded to all staff, with the appropriate coordination with their managers and team members. This option also supports staff through unforeseen municipal closures.

MG2 has embraced and excelled at providing remote work options for employees for years. The recent events elevate the importance of this flexible approach. While offering the choice for those that need to, or are more comfortable working remotely, we have implemented robust tools and methods that ensure our project teams remain productive and successful under these circumstances. We have been training all managers and staff in ‘remote work management’ techniques with real-time policy updates, best practices, and technical support for all.

Travel

We have halted all non-essential travel and postponed all office events and group activities. Project travel decisions will be based on the need and immediacy of servicing our projects and clients. Virtual meetings and engagements are encouraged and preferred for all circumstances.

Safety Protocols

We are taking proactive steps to safeguard the well-being of our staff and visitors across all office locations, including:

  • Reducing the number of in-person meeting participants to 10 or less.
  • Only MG2 staff and necessary delivery personnel are allowed in our offices at this time. We are not hosting visitors.
  • Extra precautionary measures are in place to disinfect our spaces throughout the day, especially high-traffic areas.
  • Offering additional hand sanitizers throughout all office locations.
  • Sharing resources and encouraging adherence to the hygiene guidelines set by the CDC.

Links + Resources

Here are our top six, fact-based sites that have helped us make informed decisions.

World Health Organization Coronavirus Information
World Health Organization Q+A
CDC Coronavirus Information
CDC Travel Information
KCPubHealth – Coronavirus and Stigma

We will continue to monitor this situation and evolve our policies as necessary to ensure a healthy, productive environment for all. Should you have any questions or comments, please reach out to me, and I will personally address them.

 

Thank you,
Mitchell C. Smith

News

Jooyeol Oh of Arquitectonica Joins MG2

March 2, 2020

This hire underscores the firm’s emphasis on cultivating creative voices

Global architectural design practice MG2 has expanded its senior team with Jooyeol Oh, former Vice President at Arquitectonica, who joined the firm’s Seattle office as a Design Principal. A visionary designer with 20+ years of experience, Jooyeol is internationally recognized for his award-winning buildings and master plans, and recently served as the lead designer for the office building that will reside in the western part of Manhattan’s Hudson Yards.

Jooyeol will be leading the high-rise market sector and guiding design excellence efforts for the Community Environments Market.

“Jooyeol’s fundamental approach to design, sustainability, and the community were a natural fit for MG2. We’re a firm that embodies each of these values in every project, and I’m excited for him to lead our design teams and clients in creating meaningful experiences that will positively impact the environments and neighborhoods around them.”

—Mitch Smith, CEO, MG2

Jooyeol’s diverse range of complex projects and vast experience spans mixed-use, mid-rise residential, high-rise, and urban design disciplines, allowing him to seamlessly partner with clients to understand their visions and bring beautiful, high-performance environments to life.

News

MG2 Wins Corporate Strides Award From Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center

September 18, 2019

MG2 is proud to announce that we recently won the 2018 Corporate Strides Award from Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center, an organization that we've supported for many years.

At MG2, our approach to philanthropy, led and shaped by our employees, is a fundamental source of cultural pride. It allows our teams to have a positive impact on our communities while building close connections with each other.

One of the organizations we have supported for many years is the Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center. Since 1976, Little Bit has transformed the bodies, minds, and spirits of people with disabilities through adaptive horseback riding and hippotherapy. MG2 is proud to announce that we recently won its 2018 Corporate Strides Award.

MG2 team at Little Bit MG2 staff with animals

News

Principal Justin A. Hill Named 2019 Retail Design Influencer

September 10, 2019

Deemed one of the retail industry’s top innovative minds, our own Principal, Justin Hill, has been named one of design:retail Magazine’s 2019 Retail Design Influencers.

The magazine honors people who lead a path that is acknowledged, watched, and admired by their industry peers, clients, and beyond. At MG2, Justin is a thoughtful, go-to sounding board and revered mentor. His team describes him as a leader who instinctively builds trusts and helps elevate their highest potential. When working with clients, he can distill issues to the base problem and help teams craft the right design solutions, fast.

Congratulations, Justin!

Link to read the full article: https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/designretail/20190910/index.php#/62

Justin Hill quote

News

MG2 Partner Costco Wholesale Opens First Warehouse In China

September 9, 2019

We recently celebrated the success of our long-time client, Costco Wholesale, on the significant achievement of opening a new warehouse in Shanghai, China.

They hit a new record of 130,000 membership sign-ups before the warehouse opening. New Shanghai members now have a unique, warehouse shopping experience like none other in China.

Another significant achievement for this project is achieving a 2-star rating from the China Green Building Design. This rating is equivalent to LEED Silver and Gold certification. The notable features include solar panels that provide building power, a heat reclamation system, on-site rainwater collection, energy-efficient fixtures, and much more.

We are so proud to stand by our colleagues and our enduring partner during this momentous achievement. Congratulations!

Costco Wholesale

 

News

MG2 Partner PCC Becomes First Grocery Store to Commit to Developing Stores to Living Building Challenge Standard

May 15, 2019

Nation's Largest Food Market Co-op Also Achieves First LEED v4 Certification in Grocery

PCC Community Markets (PCC), the nation’s largest community-owned food market, announced it will be the first grocery store in the world to pursue Living Building Challenge (LBC) Petal Certification. The Living Building Challenge, run by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), is the world’s most rigorous green building standard. To date, no other grocer has successfully pursued LBC certification.

Read the rest of the press release from PCC →

PCC Community Market Burien

News

Principal Myra Vaughn Honored as Finalist for 2018 Women of Distinction

January 28, 2019

Principal Myra Vaughn was recognized as a finalist for Shop! Environments Association's Women of Distinction Award.

View the article from the January – February 2019 issue of Retail Environments magazine.

News

Crossroads to add a six-story building with 224 housing units, retail, parking

January 28, 2019

All the other malls are doing it, and now the owner of Crossroads is planning to add a six-story mixed-use apartment building with 224 units, retail and parking.

It will follow two other recent residential projects on or near the 40-acre property.

Architect MG2 has submitted the early redevelopment plan for 15600 N.E. Eighth St. in East Bellevue. The 7.5-acre site is on the southeast corner of the mall, east of Bed Bath & Beyond.

The new L-shaped building will replace 377 surface parking stalls north of an existing building leased to Michaels (an art and hobby supply store), which will not be removed.

The new building will have 14,500 square feet of retail/commercial space facing west toward the main mall. Three levels of parking will be mostly structured, with 476 stalls for residents and shoppers. The parking entrance will be on the new building’s north side. There will also be 60 new surface stalls.

A large landscaped roof deck is planned, plus a central plaza atop the parking levels, which will total about 34,733 square feet. Pedestrian pass-throughs will serve both residents and shoppers.

All the apartments will be market-rate. Units will range from studios to two-bedrooms.

The new building will have about 388,380 square feet, including the parking.

The overall phased expansion project at Crossroads also includes a 15,000-square-foot public plaza south of the existing Stone Gardens climbing gym, which will have a 10,500-square-foot addition, and a separate new 1,000-square-foot commercial building.

MG2 says there will be a new pedestrian connector to Crossroads Community Center and Park to the east. Total project size is about 1.3 million square feet.

The mixed-use housing project has its first public meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13 at City Hall, 450 110th Ave/ N.E. The public comment period ends Feb. 7.

The project requires design review board approval. The city of Bellevue says that a SEPA determination of non-significance is expected.

MG2 says the mall owner hopes to break ground this year. No general contractor has been announced.

The mall was originally developed in 1962. It sold in the 1980s to companies related to developer Ron Sher, who was widely credited with its successful turnaround. Nine years ago, he sold a 49 percent interest for $12 million to ROIC of San Diego, aka Retail Opportunity Investment Corp., a REIT.

In 2013, ROIC paid $37.5 million for the rest, according to SEC filings. At some point in recent years, the property became simply Crossroads, not Crossroads Mall.

Crossroads’ other tenants include QFC, Sports Authority, Half Price Books and a King County branch library.

MG2 says the mall now has about 465,413 square feet of retail/commercial space. There are now about 2,274 surface parking stalls. After construction, there will be about 2,433 stalls.

If the plan proceeds, it wouldn’t be the first housing on or near the mall property. Polygon Northwest recently built 176 townhouse condominiums, plus some retail, immediately northeast of the mall. Upton at Crossroads Village covers almost 8 acres where the old Haggen grocery store (aka Top Foods) was demolished. That property was owned by a local family group, not ROIC.

And near the same corner, on mall property, SHAG is now building a six-story, 185-unit affordable housing community for seniors. (That’s north of the Regal Cinemas and south of Polygon’s development.)

Elsewhere in the region, housing is also replacing old, underutilized retail and parking lots at Northgate, the Village at Totem Lake and the Marketplace at Factoria.

*Published in the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce; written by Brian Miller.

News

Kirkland’s Rose Hill Shopping Center may get 870 housing units, new retail

December 12, 2018

Madison Development Group and MG2 are planning a major mixed-use project with about 870 housing units over new retail on a nearly 7-acre shopping center in Kirkland.

The 41-year-old mall at 12040 N.E. 85th St. is generally known as Rose Hill Shopping Center. It’s in the Rose Hill neighborhood, just east of Costco and Interstate 405. Tenants include Petco, Eastside Auto Licensing, Dollar Tree, Outback Steakhouse and Kirkland Autoworks.

The 41-year-old mall is on a 7-acre site. MG2 is designing four mixed-use buildings for Madison Development Group.

The L-shaped property hasn’t traded in decades. It doesn’t include the separately owned U-Haul site on the corner of 120th Avenue Northeast.

The unnamed new project would comprise four five-story buildings, separated by landscaped pedestrian connectors and courtyards. Roof decks are indicated.

Ground-floor retail would total about 84,200 square feet.

The city says that 10 percent of the apartments will be affordable.

Parking for 1,049 vehicles would be on two levels below grade, plus 64 short-term surface stalls.

Total project size, including the parking, is about 1.3 million square feet.

The 6.9-acre property apparently went on the market two years ago, unpriced, offered by Nicholas Gill of Westlake Associates.

Zoning allows construction up to 67 feet. The seller is a California family.

Kirkland’s design review board began considering the project in June, with the most recent meeting this month. The project will also need SEPA review.

Kirkland-based Madison (aka MDG) has ample experience with mixed-use projects, though perhaps not on such a large scale. It’s currently developing 108 units over a new PCC at 2749 California Ave. S.W.

Past projects, also in West Seattle, include the 72-unit Element 42 and 184-unit Spruce. MDG also developed the 211-unit Excelsior on Capitol Hill.

Firm co-founder Tom Lee also had a role in the 237-unit Summit at Madison Park apartments, which has a Safeway and other retail. MDG also does retail and industrial development.

The Rose Hill team also includes Barghausen Consulting Engineers, civil; WSP USA, MEP engineer; and Brumbaugh & Assoc., landscape architects. No general contractor has been named, and no start date has been announced.

*Published in the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce; written by Brian Miller.