Meet The Emerald General Manager, Erin McKiernan

The Emerald has partnered with award-winning Columbia Hospitality a Seattle-based hospitality management and consulting company with a growing portfolio of award-winning hotels, residential properties, conference centers, venues, private and public golf facilities, restaurants and bars. Together, The Emerald and Columbia have created an exclusive experience for residents providing highly-personalized concierge services and premier hospitality. Founder and CEO, John Oppenheimer, launched Seattle-based Columbia Hospitality in 1995 after being selected by the Port of Seattle to manage the new Bell Harbor International Conference Center on Seattle’s waterfront. Since its inception, the company has steadily grown its portfolio, creating one of the largest hospitality management companies based in the Northwest.



We’d like to personally introduce you to Erin McKiernan, General Manager for The Emerald Condominiums, managed by Columbia Hospitality.


Seattle area born and raised; Erin has been with Columbia Hospitality for the last five years started with The Emerald in August 2020. During her time with Columbia, Erin has held several different roles in service leadership collaborating with others. Erin always held customer-centric jobs and found joy in helping others tackle tough challenges, so hospitality was a perfect fit. Guiding a community of residents as General Manager to provide the best service possible and bring warmth to their home, was a natural decision for her career.


“I am proud my team can bring the Columbia Hospitality values to The Emerald. The sense of community we are hoping to create, and the warmth of welcoming residents into their homes while creating a service-oriented team is very exciting!” – Erin McKiernan, the Emerald General Manager


Erin describes The Emerald in 3 words. . . Luxury. Views. Service.


Furthering your first-class waterfront living experience, Columbia Hospitality is providing The Emerald residents with exclusive discounts and complimentary upgrades at all participating Columbia Hospitality Hotels & Resorts, including exciting destinations like Palm Springs, Sun Valley, Bozeman and Maui. We asked Erin to share her personal favorites:


The State Hotel. It’s perfect for out of town guests that also offers an amazing dinner at Ben Paris.



Sage Lodge. An out of state getaway to the country blue skies of Montana. It’s the best way to recharge my batteries with campfires, s’mores and fresh air.


Friday Harbor House. Just a Washington State ferry ride away, this island escape is well worth the reprise for a fresh summer perspective outside of the city.


More services and specialty perks that The Emerald residents can look forward to include package delivery to units, refuse pickup, in-unit maintenance services and planned community social events (post covid). The Emerald owners are enrolled in the Columbia Hospitality Perks program, giving them discounted rates at several golf courses in addition to hotels. 3 of the most popular participating Columbia Hospitality Golf Courses among residents incude:


The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge, home to the only Jack Nicklaus Signature Course in the Pacific Northwest, is a private golf club offering remarkable golf, luxurious amenities and extraordinary service earning recognition among the finest golf and lifestyle clubs in the region.


The Gold Mountain Golf Club features the Olympic and the Cascade Courses. Dramatically sculpted into Pacific Northwest splendor, The Olympic course has garnered impressive awards and has taken its place as one of America’s finest municipally owned golf courses. Wooded enclaves, rolling terrain and wide fairways are touted by the Cascade Course, with a long history of providing Championship golf in the Northwest.


The Echo Falls Golf Club offers guests an outstanding combination of country scenery and championship Seattle area golf. The layout features the essence of golf in the Pacific Northwest including two of the most memorable finishing holes the region has to offer. Designed by Jack Frei, Echo Falls provides players of all skill levels a championship experience. It features a beautiful island green on the 18th hole, framed by a cascading waterfall and majestic Tudor-style clubhouse and not to be missed.


How would Erin spend an ideal day at The Emerald?


Open up the curtains to a breathtaking view at The Emerald. Start the day with a little latte art from Moore Coffee Shop across the street. Dine on a delicious benedict brunch at Bacco Café. Stroll the flower stands at Pike Place Market and pick up a fresh bouquet, indulge in a mid-afternoon cinnamon bun or pastry from Cinnamon Works and pick a bottle of wine from DeLaurenti. A quick afternoon workout in The Emerald state-of-the-art fitness center and bathing my dog, Bruce, in the pet wash would be on the list. Enjoy a walk down to Smith Tower to catch the sunset and grab a cocktail + dinner at Ben Paris at the State Hotel. Finishing out the evening by having friends over to enjoy the outdoor fireplace on the top floor and enjoy a nightcap overlooking the incredible views.


Columbia Hospitality has created the Columbia Cares Foundation to support team members impacted by COVID-19, routinely gives back to our communities and is a part of the fastest growing privately held family-owned businesses in Washington State.


“Columbia Hospitality truly lives their values – Accountability, Respect, Enthusiasm, Creativity, Honesty, Inclusion. The leadership leads with these six and is very transparent in how they make decisions for the company.” – Erin McKiernan, The Emerald General Manager


Schedule your in-person or virtual tour by contacting The Emerald sales team for more information today.

ULI Northwest: Virtual Tour of The Emerald, Seattle’s Newest High-Rise Condominium

The Emerald was recently the subject of an Urban Land Institute discussion about the intricacies of The Emerald – from amenities to floor plans – and about delivering a downtown for-sale building in the height of the COVID pandemic. During the ULI Northwest panel, moderated by Josh Nasvik, Managing Director at Polaris Pacific, the developer and designers answered a variety of questions with regards to the entire development process of the downtown Seattle residential tower including design issues and how obstacles were overcome to create one of Seattle’s most iconic residential towers.



Dehlan Gwo, Director of Sales and Marketing at Create World gave a brief introduction from the developer side regarding the local Seattle real estate market as well as the process of bringing The Emerald to market as residential condominiums.


“The feeling of a residential experience done well….even with 262 residential condos spread over 40 stories, each individual condo feels like home… each hallway, each corridor each amenity area truly feels like an extension of your home….what we have created at The Emerald I feel that it is a much more personalized boutique living experience but still within a vertical community.”  ~ Dehlan Gwo, Create World


Noting that design was key and highlighting the inspiration for the architectural design of The Emerald Julia Nagele, Principal and Director of Design at HEWITT said,  “The overall design strategy that we pursued with the Emerald was that there are really two great things about this site from an urban design standpoint, the shape and size of the site……. we actually saw those two complexities, an irregular shaped site and the size of the site, to be virtues and be drivers of the overall design….. we really wanted the form of the building to stand out, the slenderness of the tower to stand out.”


Susan Marinello, Principal and Design Director at Susan Marinello Interiors was tasked with the interior design elements of The Emerald. “Our responsibility is to make the experience feel enriching, special, distinguished from neighboring properties in Downtown Seattle…..with a responsibility, if you will, to ensure that things we are working on are thoughtful for Seattle, thoughtful for the market and feel unique to one another.  That is what was so special about this project; there was an alignment all the way around from Developer to Julia’s office to our team committing to really honoring the features of the site. The challenges created the opportunity….the interiors became a reflection of the architectural shapes and forms.”


A Virtual Tour showcasing the beauty and elegance of the Emerald’s Olympic Room in an immersive, visual format can be found here.


Rising 40 stories above Seattle’s most coveted location, The Emerald sits just one block from the iconic Pike Place Market, moments from the waterfront and all of the magnificent restaurants, bars and nightlife. Offering a hotel-inspired living experience via a partnership with award-winning management company, Columbia Hospitality, The Emerald offers 262 luxury condos and penthouses with unrivaled views and the best-in-class design and finishes. Luxury amenities include full-floor rooftop amenity space with indoor/outdoor lounge offering panoramic views of Elliott Bay and downtown, a resident media room with catering kitchen, state-of-the-art fitness center with open terrace, yoga room, outdoor pet run and spa, and more. Through a unique partnership, The Emerald also offers owners exclusive offerings at adjacent Thompson Seattle hotel, as well as on-demand luxury electric vehicle carshare through Envoy.

Meet The Emerald Sales Manager, Henry Lee

Sales Manager at The Emerald, Henry Lee has called Hong Kong, San Francisco and Seattle home. Formerly a marathon runner (which he hopes to pick back up again soon), Henry has called Seattle home for nearly 3-years describing it as lush, boundless and nuanced. With 14 years in real estate and an extensive background in new construction and development sales spanning 10 years, Henry adds The Emerald as a crown jewel on his list of properties. He’s thrilled to be a part of the team at The Emerald adding to the downtown Seattle skyline just steps from its dynamic waterfront. Go behind-the-scenes with Henry as he shares what sets this property apart, thoughtful architectural details, his favorite views at The Emerald, and even his favorite bite on-the-go in the neighborhood.



What’s been the biggest draw to The Emerald?


Our location. Being at the doorstep of the iconic Pike Place Market, The Emerald is the “Seattle address” you want to be at in the Pacific Northwest. The best part about the location of The Emerald is that it’s within a 5-10-minute walk to everything, including the waterfront, Pike Place Market, downtown light rail station, shopping hub, financial district, Amazon campus, museums and theaters, bars and restaurants, grocery stores and more. We’re located a 5 to 15-minute walk from the tech hub in South Lake Union, the Seattle Financial District, and the Art and Design District, so we have a diverse group of buyers working in tech, finance, legal, medical, arts.


What amenity are you most looking forward to being realized to enjoy?


The City View Room is one of my favorite spaces at The Emerald. With the open kitchen layout, I can easily imagine hosting dinners with my friends in the future. Everyone will enjoy a backdrop of the panoramic view from iconic Pike Place Market and waterfront to the Financial District including the Smith Tower! The Olympic Room on the top floor definitely features my favorite views from the building, especially during sunset, with a 270-degree view of the sound, financial district, Mount Rainier and the Olympic mountains.


If you were to describe The Emerald in 5 words, what words would you choose?


jewel, sparkling, elevated, sophisticated and timeless


What people are most surprised to learn about the architecture at The Emerald?


Because of the shape of our building, we offer plenty of creative floorplans with maximized views, which cater to different needs of future homeowners.  Also, we only have a maximum of eight residences per floor to enhance the privacy of neighbors.


What’s one of your favorite neighborhood lunch spots to order out?


My favorite nearby spot to grab a bite on the go is H-Mart next door for some Korean bulgogi.


What kinds of trends are you seeing in buyer’s home search currently?


Buyers are actively seeking out separate work spaces and dens at home, 9-feet-plus ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows to maximize natural light. Also, smart tech features and fixtures used in design are on the list – our three-function Latch door lock system with built-in cameras continues to be a popular feature among homebuyers.


The Emerald is open, offering on-site and virtual tours of eight new model homes and our recently unveiled 40th-floor Veranda and rooftop amenity space. Schedule your personal tour to be among the first to step onto The Emerald Veranda and experience an outdoor lounge with chef-grade barbecues, lounge seating, dining tables, outdoor firepit, fireplace, outdoor TVs and heaters, and incredible views day and night.

Meet the Derive Design Duo

The Emerald is complete and prospective homeowners have been enjoying virtual and in-person tours of eight new model homes and amenity spaces with jaw dropping Seattle views. We’d like to personally invite you inside the southwest facing one-bedroom, one-bath Model Residence 2405, but first we’re introducing you to the design duo behind its style, Christopher and Kimberly at Derive Design. We caught up with the pair to bring you their unique design perspective and tips for new homeowners as residents move-in and personalize their space.




A local, Seattle based, boutique interior design studio, Derive Design’s work ranges from restaurant and hospitality environments to multi-family housing and amenity spaces, model units, residential new construction and tenant improvement.


At Derive Design, our philosophy is to be bold and curious. We love starting with function then crafting an artistic vision to create a unique sense of place.


We asked Kimberly and Christopher to describe their inspiration behind the model design at The Emerald:

Living in the heart of the Emerald City is a distinct experience. You can see everything from these condos – the layers of mountains, the rippling Sound and its ever-changing weather and sunsets. You also experience the urban hustle of downtown and all it has to offer. This unique vantage point inspired us to create an interior that is tranquil and soothing as a counterpoint to the energy all around at street level, yet has enough of an edge to feel rooted in the urban environment.



Describe your favorite design features in The Emerald’s Panoramic-Level Model Residence 2405The large windows, amazing views, and the abundant natural light!


Are there certain signature items that all of your designs include?  Layers of texture, something of scale and a mix of contemporary and vintage finds. 


What’s your personal favorite Seattle-based retailer to find items for the home? RD Interiors Showroom is our go-to for one of a kind found objects, unique art and vintage industrial pieces.  


Are you seeing any décor trends as we move into uncharted territory? As people are increasing their time at home, more than ever it is important to make your home work for you, whatever that may look like regardless of trends. 


Do you have any suggestions for new homeowners looking to add their own personal touch? Always start with the art, it gives the design a direction and informs the color palette. Don’t hesitate on a piece when it’s right for the space and you love it. 


What current color palette in terms of soft furnishings or accents do you feel would highlight The Emerald interiors in a way to maximize merging indoors and out? Outside those windows exists every color – yellow/orange/red from docks, blue/greens from the water and mountains and neutrals from the buildings. We recommend finding what parts of that palette resonate with you, then pulling any few of those colors inside. 


You can find and follow Kimberly and Christopher’s personal design journey on Instagram!


The residences at The Emerald are a reflection of the sky, elements and natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, interpreted for contemporary living. Join us to view Seattle’s new collection of modern high-rise condominium homes rising above an iconic downtown address at Second and Stewart.

How Far is Mt. Rainier from Seattle?

How far is Mt. Rainier from Seattle and what should you take with you? Mt. Rainier is 61.4 miles away from Seattle, which takes roughly 2 hours, with no traffic. Though it may take a little bit of time to get all the way over to this famous national park, it’s well worth the time. With gorgeous mountain views and miles of trails, rivers and climbing terrain, there’s no shortage of things to do or vistas to see.


We want to help you get the most out of your trip to Mt. Rainier, so we’re going to cover some details about what you should be sure to bring when you head out to camp at this gorgeous national park.



The Best Tents for Camping
Bringing a tent on your camping trip is pretty much a given, but there are so many options it can be difficult to find what will be the most comfortable. Because sleep is so very important after long hiking days, you want to be sure that you have the space, air flow and coverage that you need for a restful evening. These needs, however, can change according to the people you bring with you and the season you’re visiting.


Determining Size
There’s no general standard for determining how many people can fit in a tent, so when you’re accommodating adults or want a little more elbow room, it’s often best to aim for a tent built for an extra person. This is especially true if you’ll be camping with children or a pet in the same tent.


What Seasonal Tents Mean
It can be easy to get distracted by the massive variety of tents available, whether they’re backpacking tents, dome tents, A-frame tents, tunnel tents or any other shape. What’s most important in terms of temperature and season, however, is the distinction between season use. Season 1 and 2 tents are made to be thin, lightweight, and are best used during the summer months. They won’t hold up especially well to rain, which may make them less than ideal for camping near the mountain.


Season 3 tents are the most versatile and are equipped to accommodate campers during the spring, summer and fall. Many of them feature rain flies and coverable vents so you can adjust the warmth of the tent according to the weather.


Although they’re called season 4 tents, these types of tents are best used during the winter months and feature more heavy duty materials to keep campers warm. Outside of these, season 5 tents are designed for professional mountaineers and explorers who deal with high altitudes and very cold weather.


There’s no single best kind of tent for everyone, but once you have a sense of size and weather conditions you’ll be camping in, you can make a solid investment to keep you comfortable staying the night in the natural landscape around Mt. Rainier.


What to Take for Outdoor Cooking
Much like a tent, it’s not a question of whether or not you’ll bring food and equipment during your stay, but a question of what you should bring. It’s easy to overcrowd your car with unimportant items, only to realize you’re missing something important the moment you need it. Every park has its own limitations regarding how to manage cooking fires, how to store your food and how to dispose of trash, so keep these common tips in mind when making your campsite cooking checklist.


Proper Food Storage and Disposal
The easiest way to avoid an overflowing campground receptacle is to prepare for trash disposal ahead of time. Food scraps can easily attract animals, so be prepared to stash away food and critter-attracting garbage in odor-proof bags, bear bags and bear canisters. You should also always store your toothpaste in a bear box or canister. Lastly, take care with how water is disposed and use a separate container to clean cookware and dishware before disposing of the water away from a campsite.


Tools and Fuel for Food
You can skip cooking over a campfire completely with portable stovetops, but if you want an authentic campfire experience, the requirements for wood fires are important to follow. You can purchase firewood on your way to the campsite, but don’t bring anything that was cut 50 miles or more from the campground. This is because insects and dangerous plant diseases from distant locations can threaten the health of the surrounding foliage. It’s also prohibited to forage for potential firewood around the campsites, so keep this in mind when camping.


You’ll also need enough accommodating tools for your wilderness menu. While every camper’s needs will vary, these basics should cover most outdoor visits:
– Matches/Firestarters
– (Collapsible) Pots, pans and lids
– Cooking utensils (skewers, tongs, can openers)
– Bottle opener
– Cooking knives and cutting board
– (Collapsible) Mixing Bowls
– Eating utensils/Messkit
– Cups, plates and bowls
– Napkins/paper towels
– Insulated or reusable water bottles
– Flashlight/Lantern
– Coolers
– Bear canisters/odor-proof bags
– Camp sink/bucket
– Paper towels
– Cooking spices


Hiking Clothing
Last but not least, you’ll want to make sure you have proper clothing for the season you’ll be camping in. This is even more important for campers who stay longer than one day, as weather can change quickly and dramatically around the mountain. To stay comfortable, prepare for both warm and cold temperatures during the day and the evening. Having a jacket will be handy in case of rain, and a down jacket may become necessary for a cold spell during the evening.


The most important and easily underestimated pieces of clothing to consider are your shoes. During a full day of hiking, your feet and legs will experience a lot of stress that your everyday shoes don’t always handle well. To avoid blisters, uncomfortable sweating and sore feet, be sure to take along shoes that can handle the rougher trails and give you support for a full day on your feet.


Being close to nature is just one of many perks residents in Seattle enjoy. Hundreds of hiking opportunities are available to downtown Seattle residents, including a longer jaunt to the awe-inspiring Mt. Rainier. If you want to experience a luxury lifestyle with all the benefits of a nearby campground to rough it out, you can check out the outdoor-inspired design of The Emerald’s beautiful condos.

What’s Next? The Future of the Seattle Waterfront


Seattle’s new waterfront is taking shape and dramatically changing the city’s landscape. Get ready for an easy-to-navigate urban shoreline with recreational, entertainment and dining options galore – mere minutes from The Emerald‘s front door in the center of downtown Seattle and steps from the waterfront at Second and Stewart. Future residents at The Emerald will love easy walking access to all that Seattle’s waterfront offers.


Waterfront Park is Seattle’s future 20‑acre shoreline cultural destination. Eat, play, and relax at this vibrant public park, starting with Pier 62, minutes from The Emerald. This new park, part of the ongoing waterfront redevelopment, offers breathtaking views of the Olympic mountains, Seattle’s skyline and Mount Rainier – with plenty of space to social distance.


The Emerald’s future residents can enjoy a leisurely stroll to the end of Pier 62 and appreciate the new solar-powered LED lighting along the pier’s edge. “Pier 62 features a new floating dock, integrated lighting, and other design elements that open up this one‑acre site on Seattle’s central waterfront as a canvas for a range of year‑round public uses.”


Pier 62 Seattle floating dock. Image by Robert Wade.


The rebuilt Pier 62 was designed to be a flexible park space with views of Elliott Bay, the Olympics and the Seattle skyline. A floating dock provides direct access to the water and will include art by artist Stephen Vitiello. New grating along the seawall increases light to the nearshore salmon habitat below. The rebuilt pier also includes new handrails and embedded LED lighting.


The new Seattle waterfront will feature a two-way protected bike lane from S King Street to Pier 62. The bike path will have raised buffers on both sides to separate people biking from people walking and driving. People riding bikes on the existing Elliott Bay Trail near the Olympic Sculpture Park can join the waterfront bike path at Bell St, continuing down to join the existing Elliott Bay trail at S King St. Have you seen the new sidewalk in front of Pier 62? You can now walk the wider, flat trail from Ballard to West Seattle via the waterfront. View a waterfront map here and take a Virtual Waterfront Tour.


“For the first time, we will really connect Pioneer Square, the historic piers, Pike Place Market and the aquarium—they will all be basically part of one parks system,” says Marshall Foster, director of the city’s Office of the Waterfront. “That is something that doesn’t exist today, and it will thread those neighborhoods together,” making the waterfront a single, unified downtown district, rather than a series of disconnected destinations.


The park promenade will be the core of the new waterfront — providing a new linear park from Pioneer Square to the Seattle Aquarium and improving access to Colman Dock and all the activities on the waterfront. The promenade will join the Overlook Walk on the north end and the rebuilt Railroad Way on the south end, providing access to the historic Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square neighborhoods.


Bay Steps at Overlook Walk which will connect the waterfront and Pike Place Market.

Image: James Corner Field Operations, courtesy of the City of Seattle


The Overlook Walk will create an elevated public park and connection between the waterfront to Seattle’s urban core. People can walk on the elevated pathway from Pike Place Market to the waterfront without ever crossing the new Alaskan Way. Overlook Walk will have expansive views of Elliott Bay, informal play areas, new public plazas and landscaping.


Pier 58, currently known as Waterfront Park, will be redesigned to create a public park and improve access, safety and flexibility to the pier, while offering expansive views of Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains.


The aquarium is an epic new amenity. Along the central Seattle waterfront and just below the new Overlook Walkway, the Seattle Aquarium will be expanding, complete with a 350,000-gallon shark tank that will be visible to people walking through the plaza below.


“The Seattle Aquarium’s new Ocean Pavilion will be that place to inspire a new generation of ocean conservationists through science, yes, but also through empathy, urgency and agency. The expanded aquarium campus will serve as a new education platform that aspires to engage the entire community — including the expected 20 million additional waterfront visitors per year — in conversation about what we value.” – Seattle Times


Waterfront Seattle will rebuild Alaskan Way from S King to Pike streets, and build a new street, known as Elliott Way, from Pike to Bell streets. The new surface street will span a total of 17 blocks from Pioneer Square to Belltown, with two lanes of traffic in either direction for the majority of the street.


The new seawall includes habitat enhancements to restore the salmon migration corridor and improve ecosystem productivity. All seawall features were designed to be integrated with other key Waterfront Seattle improvements, including the future park promenade, the rebuilt Pier 62 and Pier 58.


Between Colman Dock and Pier 48, a new habitat beach supports the waterfront ecosystem, including enhancing the salmon corridor by adding rocks and nearshore vegetation.


Envision Saturday strolls along the Seattle waterfront, taking in the views from the landscaped pedestrian promenade and enjoying Bluff Walk Slides, part of the Overlook Walk. Just one of the many reasons so many future residents will enjoy calling The Emerald and its premiere location, home.


Information gathered from Waterfront Seattle, Seattle Aquarium, Waterfront Park, Seattle Waterfront, and Seattle Magazine.