Reinventing Retail: Creating Community Destinations

Featured in the June 2017 issue of Gig Harbor Living Local by Brett Marlo DeSantis Recent national articles have posed the question: Are Malls Over? Think about it. According to the New York Times, approximately one in ten Americans work in the retail industry. Here in Gig Harbor, our population explodes (practically doubling) every day […]

Your Welcome Plaza at Skansie Brothers Park

Posted on May 21, 2017 in before-n-after, community, Gig Harbor, local materials

Featured in the May 2017 Issue of Gig Harbor Living Local By Brett Marlo DeSantis If you are wondering about what is going on at Skansie Park, here is your chance for an intimate perspective before the plaza makes its debut at the end of this month. Skansie Brothers Park, the hub of downtown to […]

Spurring Solar Power in the South Sound

Featured in the September 2016 Issue of Gig Harbor Living Local By Brett Marlo DeSantis Photographs courtesy of Synergy Electric & Technology How strong is solar in the Puget Sound region? You may be surprised to hear that we receive more sunlight here, in western Washington, than the world leader in installed solar capacity. That’s […]

Shelter and it’s Significance

June 2016 By Brett Marlo DeSantis All living things on this planet need shelter. In fact, most would consider shelter one of the few basic needs to survive. A fairly simple concept—shelter— something that forms a place of protection. Yet the subject is far from simple. From single houses to multi-unit dwellings, we have options. […]

Hemp as Building Material, Part 2

Posted on Nov 27, 2015 in inspiring INvironmentalism

Hemp as Building Material Part 2 From doubting to touting By Brett Marlo DeSantis It is environmentally friendly, easy to use and long lasting. How does hemp become a real building material? In 1938, Popular Mechanics Magazine reported: From the farmer’s point of view, hemp is an easy crop to grow and will yield from […]

Cultivate culture by salvaging structures. Part two.

Posted on Aug 29, 2015 in inspiring INvironmentalism

“Protect the past. Shape the future.”-DAH&P By Brett Marlo DeSantis If every building has its own story to tell….what would yours say? Would you save the structure if you could? Would it have historic integrity? What are the qualities of a certified historic structure? What are the benefits of historic preservation?  There are the seven qualities to assess when considering […]

Transport yourself…

Posted on Jun 15, 2015 in inspiring INvironmentalism

Gain time, relax and enjoy your trip. By Brett Marlo DeSantis Will you peddle a bike? Or go for a hike? Would you forgo your car if the trip was not far? Would you get on a bus if it wasn’t a fuss? Take a trip on a trolley, and bring your friend Wallie? Every […]

Designing Walkable Communities (Part 2)

Posted on May 30, 2015 in inspiring INvironmentalism

Gig Harbor, you walked + reconsidered Designing walkable communities Part 2 Check out what your fellow citizens think of our downtown! By Brett Marlo DeSantis In February, you were invited to join the City of Gig Harbor & the Downtown Waterfront Alliance in conducting a walking audit of our downtown. We thank you for your […]

Are you certifiable?

Posted on Apr 25, 2015 in inspiring INvironmentalism

By Brett Marlo DeSantis It’s in our history and nature to award a decorative object as a sign of our success. Today, we give every child a ribbon because they gave it try. They practiced and participated. It’s showing up that takes the most effort, right? I’m currently a soccer mom, and I want a […]

Think BIG, design small.

Posted on Jan 2, 2015 in inspiring INvironmentalism

By Brett Marlo DeSantis Hopefully, by now you have read my columns on tiny houses and ADUs, and feel well-informed on some viable small building BIG living options. So let’s talk about the importance of design. It is critical in small spaces. Whether designing tiny, small or compact, time expended in the initial planning and […]