News & Events

Celebrating 30 years of Rush!

by Rush Residential

September 21, 2017

This year, we’re celebrating 30 years of Rush! As Founder Gordon Rush will happily tell you, it’s the customers and the employees who have made this company what it is today. As we look back, we feel so lucky that over the last 30 years we’ve been able to play such an intimate role in people’s lives—from building a family’s custom home, to constructing a medical clinic that will save lives, we’re honored to have a hand in the growth of our community.

Rush hired its first employee in 1986, and together, they built Rush’s first for-sale speculative home in 1987 across the street from Titlow Park. The original owner still loves her home 30 years later. It’s been incredible to be a part of her home’s story!

From there, we grew. Rush doubled production with two homes in 1988 and four in 1989. Rush hired its first superintendent, Ray Wolanzyk that year. Ray was an integral part of the team then, and still is today, 28 years later.  Rush built its first office building in 1991, at The Wollochet Business Park in Gig Harbor. The Business Park was their first commercial development. This building served as the first professional office for Rush Construction as the company was previously run out of Gordon and his wife, Traci’s basement in Tacoma. This shift helped us more fully immerse in the area in which we work and play—we’re privileged to this day to have the opportunity to build within our community.

Starting in 1992, Rush built two more office buildings in Wollochet Business Park. That same year, Rush bought Artondale Woods, a 28-lot subdivision. This property was Rush’s first significant residential housing development.

In 1994, Rush built its first big commercial office building, 5801 Soundview. Rush made its first major entrance into the luxury custom housing market with the purchase of a 30-lot subdivision in Grande Bank. In 1995, Rush built a model home, “The Shattuck,” which won a national Custom Home Award from Builder Magazine. The Shattuck’s success put Rush on the map as the premier custom home developer in the South Sound region. With the momentum gained from Grande Bank, Rush was seriously launched into the luxury custom housing market and earned the opportunity to work with more families and help them design and construct their dream homes.

In the early 2000s, Rush supplied a successful bid to build the new Kinetics building in Tacoma, Rush’s largest commercial building at the time. This prosperous investment provided Rush with the capital for unprecedented opportunity and growth within the company, which allowed us to further expand our amazing team. Around this time, Rush also purchased Division 10 in Gig Harbor’s Canterwood golf course development.

In 2003, Rush built Gig Harbor’s Park Plaza as a speculative office building. In April 2004, due to company expansion, The Rush Companies and its 55 employees relocated to its second home office after over 10 years at The Wollochet Business Park. It was around this time that Larry Melsness, a trusted partner in numerous development deals and future part owner in Rush Properties and Edison 47 (Rush’s sister multifamily property management company) became involved in Rush.

In 2007, Matt Smith rejoined the company. Matt’s first exposure to The Rush Companies was in 1992. While still in high school, Matt worked as a field technician for Rush and also spent several summers as a deckhand on Gordon’s fishing boat in Bristol Bay. When he returned 15 years later, he was amazed by the company’s growth. From around 20 employees, and no commercial division in 1992, Rush had expanded to over 85 employees and around 90% of its business was now commercial. Matt brought a lot of focus and energy to Rush and took on key leadership roles and eventually the presidency in 2010. Matt and Gordon are now both partners and owners in The Rush Companies.

In 2011, The Rush Companies moved to its current home office location on Wollochet drive. To suit the changing market, in 2012 Rush Residential made the transition from custom homes to speculative and production houses. Rush also began moving towards the multi-family market in 2009 with the acquisition of the 270-unit Treetops homes in Silverdale. In 2010, we built our first large-scale multi-family unit, The Pacifica. We’ve been expanding ever since up and down the I-5 Corridor, all the way from North Seattle to Lacey.

Today, Rush has grown from just two individuals to a company of 187 between Rush and Edison 47. As we look back on the last 30 years, we feel nothing but gratitude for the employees who made us who we are and for the continued opportunity to serve the greater South Sound area.

As we look to the future, it’s our goal to keep getting better at what we do and continue to be strategic in how we grow. We’re honored to be a part of building an exceptional future together in the Puget Sound Region! 


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