Our Legacy

  • 1889
    1889

    JW Clise, his wife, Anna, and their baby daughter, Ruth, arrive in Seattle to build their future in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and a legacy is born.

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  • 1889
    1889

    JW is instrumental in finding outside investors to rebuild Seattle.

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  • 1890
    1890

    JW establishes the Clise Investment Company.

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  • 1895
    1895

    The University of Washington relocates its downtown campus to land selected by JW.

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  • 1900
    1900

    JW serves as president of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce.

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  • 1900
    1900

    JW negotiates the establishment of the US Army's Fort Lawton on Magnolia Bluff.

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  • 1901
    1901

    JW finances the construction of Eastern Washington's first two major irrigation canals.

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  • 1903
    1903

    JW establishes the Washington Trust Company.

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  • 1904
    1904

    Marymoor Park is established.

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  • 1906
    1906

    JW establishes the Washington Securities Company.

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  • 1906
    1906

    JW proposes to build one of Seattle's first office buildings.

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  • 1908
    1908

    Anna Clise establishes Seattle Children's Hospital.

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  • 1909
    1909

    JW helps establish the Puyallup Fair.

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  • 1917
    1917

    Securities Building completed.

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  • 1917
    1917

    Ship Canal and Hiram Chittenden Locks constructed.

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  • 1938
    1938

    JW passes away.

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  • 1939
    1939

    Charlie Clise becomes president of Clise Companies.

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  • 1941
    1941

    Rosalind Clise becomes commissioner of the Seattle Girl Scout Council.

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  • 1944
    1944

    Charlie is elected president of Seattle's Chamber of Commerce.

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  • 1945
    1945

    Charlie leads Seattle's transition from a wartime economy to a peacetime economy.

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  • 1948
    1948

    Charlie develops the Shorewood Apartments on Mercer Island.

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  • 1949
    1949

    Charlie helps establish Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

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  • 1949
    1949

    Earthquake hits the Puget Sound region.

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  • 1950
    1950

    Alfred H. Clise joins the Board of Directors.

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  • 1951
    1951

    Alfred's family

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  • 1959
    1959

    Charlie is presented with an honorary life membership from the Seattle Chamber of Commerce.

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  • 1961
    1961

    Charlie Clise passes away

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  • 1961
    1961

    Alfred H. Clise assumes leadership.

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  • 1963
    1963

    Alfred expands Clise's downtown Seattle portfolio.

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  • 1963
    1963

    Sixth & Lenora Building.

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  • 1965
    1965

    Al works for Clise during his high school summers.

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  • 1968
    1968

    Denny Building.

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  • 1970
    1970

    Pacific Building.

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  • 1971
    1971

    Al Graduates from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

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  • 1979
    1979

    The return to Seattle.

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  • 1980
    1980

    Genetic Systems Building.

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  • 1980
    1980

    Clise Properties partners with the Westin Hotels to build the Westin Building.

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  • 1983
    1983

    Al assumes day to day management of Clise Properties.

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  • 1990
    1990

    President of BOMA.

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  • 1990
    1990

    Clise purchases the Best Western Executive Inn.

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  • 1993
    1993

    Alfred passes away.

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  • 1993
    1993

    Al becomes president of Clise Properties, Inc.

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  • 1995
    1995

    The Westin Office Building is transformed into the Northwest's premier telecommunications carrier hotel.

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  • 1995
    1995

    Al becomes president of the Downtown Seattle Association.

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  • 1995
    1995

    A new Chief Operating Officer.

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  • 2001
    2001

    Clise develops 1700 Seventh Avenue.

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  • 2002
    2002

    Al helps establish the Seattle Police Foundation.

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  • 2004
    2004

    The ground lease for the Loyal Inn expires and Clise takes over management of the property.

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  • 2006
    2006

    Clise facilitates the re-zone of Seattle's downtown core to permit greater density.

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  • 2007
    2007

    Sale of Block "T".

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  • 2007
    2007

    Clise diversifies its portfolio with the purchase of three Medical Office Buildings.

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  • 2011
    2011

    Clise expands its telecommunication Co-Location portfolio with the development of the 2020 Fifth Avenue Building.

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  • 2013
    2013

    Amazon purchases four Seattle city blocks from Clise for its new world headquarters.

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  • 2013
    2013

    Clise purchases the Highland Corporate Campus in Bothell, Washington.

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  • 2014
    2014

    Clise purchases the Sunrise Medical Campus.

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  • 2014
    2014

    Clise establishes the Denny Regrade Ecodistrict.

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  • 2015
    2015

    Clise purchases the Maplewood Medical/Professional office building.

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  • 2015
    2015

    Clise purchases the La Quinta Hotel in the Denny Regrade.

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  • 2015
    2015

    Clise breaks ground on elite residential property

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Four Generations of Leadership

JW Clise

JW Clise

Growing up on his family’s homestead farm in Ellenboro, Wisconsin during the Civil War, JW Clise learns the values of self-reliance, responsibility and a willingness to do hard work early on.  After establishing successful lumber, cattle, and real estate businesses in Denver, JW visits Seattle and sees boundless potential. He relocates to Seattle with his young family on June 7, 1889, the day after the Great Seattle Fire. Stepping off the train, JW doesn’t see devastation; he sees opportunity and spends the next 49 years of his life helping Seattle become the beautiful Emerald City that it is today. 

Charlie F. Clise

Charlie F. Clise

A graduate of Yale, JW’s eldest son, Charlie, returns to Seattle after serving in World War I as an engineering officer to help JW run the family business. An astute businessman with a keen mind, Charlie successfully keeps Clise in business during the Great Depression and begins to purchase land in the Denny Regrade to assemble one of the largest tracts of developable downtown land anywhere in a major US city. Charlie, working through Seattle’s Chamber of Commerce, is instrumental in establishing Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and leading Seattle’s transition from a World War II wartime economy to a peacetime economy.

Alfred Clise

Alfred Clise

Following a distinguished and highly decorated 22-year career in the Marines, which included fighting on the sands of Iwo Jima and in the frigid mountains of Korea, Charlie’s eldest son, Alfred, joins Clise in 1950. After Charlie’s passing in 1961, Alfred assumes leadership of Clise and embarks on an ambitious real estate development program to grow the Company. During Alfred’s 19-year tenure, he develops five major downtown Seattle office buildings comprising over one million square feet. 

Al Clise

Al Clise

Al begins working at Clise while in high school, tarring roofs, knocking down walls, and hauling heavy wallboard. Following a 10 year real estate development career in Las Vegas and Dallas, he rejoins the family business in 1980. By 1985, Al is running the day-to-day operations of the company and assumes leadership of Clise upon Alfred’s passing in 1993. Recognizing the vital role telecommunications will play in the economy of the future, in 1985 he redevelops the Westin Building into the Northwest’s premier telecommunications carrier hotel and sets in motion  his vision of establishing Seattle as the Pacific Rim’s rising star for business.