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Person Behind the Place: Ryan Grams

August 17, 2021 - by Brooke Wilson

Person Behind the Place:
Ryan Grams

Principal, GIS International Group

Born and raised in Bellevue, Ryan Grams attended Phantom Lake Elementary, Tillicum Middle School, Sammamish High School and Bellevue College, and later graduated from Washington State University.

"I am about as local as can be — I owe a lot to the teachers, coaches and community leaders who helped mold me growing up here," Ryan said.

His professional background lies in sales, management and entrepreneurship, with 15 plus years in real estate development. From design to construction, his tenure at GIS International Group continues to enrich the Seattle area and Eastside region with premier authority on architecture planning, land development, custom designs and construction for multi-purpose, mixed residential homes.

What does your team aim to accomplish with your latest GIS Plaza project? What can residents expect? 
Our goal as a family and company is to design, develop and build beautiful projects. It became a clear choice to run our executive offices on the second floor of GIS Plaza in Downtown Bellevue. In a way, breaking ground on 109th Street personifies what we do every day — offering luxury without excess, and beauty without fluff. On a tidy corner lot neighboring the Bellevue Public Library, the six-story property will house a small retail space on the ground floor, an entry lobby for the office and residential floors above, along with a highly efficient, mechanical stacked parking system. Not only will these future living quarters be well-appointed, but our residents will appreciate all the thoughtful, locally sourced amenities in the building.

How does Bellevue stand apart from other metro areas?

Downtown Bellevue has always had a certain allure to it. Since traveling the world, I've come to truly appreciate Bellevue for its uniqueness with none of the drawbacks and issues that plague other cities. I am proud to celebrate Bellevue’s diversity, its excellent restaurant options, stores and, of course, walkability. Lastly, the parks here are amazing; I can’t wait until I live near Ashwood Park and Downtown Bellevue Park where I’ll enjoy playing sports with my boys. Outside of personal draws to downtown, the businesses here inspire me. The development is contagious, and even when it seemed too difficult at times, the way that the city has supported us, as well as other community leaders, rallying behind us, has been wonderful.

Where are your favorite places downtown to grab a bite to eat or spend time with friends?

Carmine’s has been our favorite place to celebrate as of late. Daniel’s Broiler has always been a special-occasion destination for us. Through the pandemic, I’ve loved stopping by Evergreen’s for a healthy lunch. Lately, we've been enjoying Splash at the Bellevue Club with our kids.

Which activities or destinations are you excited to return to?

I could hardly wait to get back to watching the Sounders play, with a mask on, and vaccination card in hand. In Bellevue, I'm excited for live concerts and performances in the Downtown Park. I am excited to see the new restaurant lounge at the Bellevue Club open, including their fine dining restaurant, Polaris, and bar, Cosmos, after its remodel during the pandemic.

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Person Behind the Place is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.