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How Paul Allen changed the landscape of Seattle

The Seattle of today might be unrecognizable in some neighborhoods if Paul Allen had never moved back after the start of Microsoft.

If Microsoft co-founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen kept their company in New Mexico, Seattle would look quite a bit different today.

After returning to the Emerald City, Allen began leaving his fingerprints across the city.

Allen owned land in South Lake Union, with hopes of helping create the once-proposed Seattle Commons and twice-voted-down Seattle Commons, that would eventually be sold or leased to Amazon.

Allen stepped in to save the Seahawks from moving to Anaheim, California, buying the team in 1997 for $200 million. Additional funds were spent on a new stadium in SoDo.

In 1999, Cinerama was on the verge of closing until Allen purchased the business and renovated the Belltown theater.

One year later, he brought Seattle one of its more unusual buildings: the Experience Music Project, or EMP. and recently renamed MoPOP.

Invisible to the eye, Allen’s financial contributions were spread across Seattle. Last year he gave $30 million to fight homelessness in the city.

And of course, Microsoft’s main campus sits east of Seattle in Redmond, Washington.