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Seattle is going to the dogs: Citydog! Club expands to Ballard as pet-friendly development takes off

July 21, 2015
Puget Sound Business Journal

A pedestrian walks past Citydog! Club at 809 Olive Way in Seattle. The California-based dog daycare chain is growing in Seattle thanks to the city's pet-friendly development boom.

Citydog! Club, based in Culver City, California, opened that Olive Way location in 2013. Business has gone so well there that the company is opening a 5,000-square-foot Ballard location at 1400 N.W. Market St. on July 29.

The city's residential development boom has brought dozens of buildings that cater specifically to animals. For example, the Chloe Apartments complex on Union Street and 14th Avenue is named after a dog, and is also dog-friendly.

When I was apartment hunting in Seattle just five months ago, I found that pretty much every new development I looked into — and I looked into many — allowed dogs and cats.

"These new apartments, their primary goal is to build a community that is pet-friendly," said Phillip Kasdorf, a founding partner of Citydog!. "You’ll even see that in some of their marketing materials. Seattle has consistently been a top-10 dog-friendly city in the U.S., and all of these things combined have just made it a perfect market for what we do."

For Citydog!, the model of fitting in with those new apartment or condo buildings works well because the daycare can be close to those residential units. In downtown Seattle, the location is beneath the Olivian luxury apartments and in Ballard it will open beneath Ava Ballard luxury apartments.

Seattle ranked the No. 3 best city to own a dog in a 2013 blog from Estately, which noted that the city's dogs outnumber its children.

"The younger demographic, they're getting married later, having children later, settling down later, but they still want those benefits of having a dog and having the companionship," Kasdorf said. "Our customer demographic has come from everywhere, but Seattle is tech-driven and it seems to be going more and more that direction."

Citydog! provides dog daycare and grooming for the many dogs Seattle's new residents are bringing with them, and it's not the only place cashing in.

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