WELL Building Standards Presentation

Click here for a copy of the WELL Buildings Healthy Occupants presentation made by Nicole Isle, LEED AP BD+C, Chief Sustainability Strategist at Glumac.

National CREW Convention Inspires Members Personally and Professionally

The 2016 National CREW Convention was true to its theme: Impact.
That was the exact observation of convention scholarship recipient Jenny Volbeda and similar to what other convention attendees experienced. Phrases like “amazing opportunity,” “invigorating experience” and “truly inspiring” are sprinkled among their reviews of the October convention in New York City.

Kristin Hammond of CBRE found the convention had a little something for everyone, between the casual networking, marketplace reception and highly knowledgeable keynote speakers.

“It is an excellent platform from which to springboard one’s career to the next level,” Kristin said.

Rachael Diharce, director of leasing for CE John Company, pointed out the convention location played a role in how inspiring it was. She was able to attend a five-hour presentation and tour of the massive Hudson Yards District development, giving her insight into how such a large development was conceived and carried out. She took an architectural boat tour of Manhattan and Brooklyn, which offered a glimpse into the changes in materials, styles and function of retail, office and residential buildings over the past 20 years. She also learned from various developers about the advantages of public-private partnerships.

With that background, the keynote speakers’ messages really resonated with her. She said they “provided some real inspiration to me for working smarter, understanding that all success requires taking risks, knowing that you can do anything but you can’t do everything, the importance of knowing you must create your own opportunities, and to always seek to create value in your workplace.”

She said that inspiration gave her fresh ideas for her role in her own company and how she can make an impact through purpose.

Fran Doherty, Community Lending Relationship Manager for U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, not only gained thought-provoking ideas from the convention, but unexpectedly reconnected with an old friend and mentor. She found it gratifying to see her again and hear about her professional and personal transitions.

“I always feel inspired when I hear about where she’s been and the ambitious goals she still has for herself,” Fran said. “It’s a welcome reminder to keep seeking out new opportunities to stretch and grow; now matter how seasoned or experienced you are, there is always something new to learn.”

Fran also found the topic of authenticity emerge strongly from the convention, particularly after hearing Amy Cuddy’s talk on how nonverbal communication can impact trust and power. Fran now finds herself thinking more about how she’s communicating through her posture, facial expressions and the amount of space she’s taking up. Ideally, she wants that communication to be authentic and true to her character.

Jenny Volbeda, a project engineer with R&H Construction, was surprised to find herself in the role of mentor to another young woman after attending the “First Timer” event at the conference. When they compared stories and found they were both in the construction field, Jenny was able to offer advice on how she had transitioned into project management. The knowledge gave her new friend confidence. They exchanged business cards and plan to continue their new friendship and support one another. The interaction allowed Jenny to act on advice from keynote speaker Mary Ann Tighe, who said,  “As women, we’re called to be mentors to other women to help encourage one another.”

While Kristin, Rachael, Fran and Jenny attended the convention as scholarship recipients, Julie Gibson attended as a board member and next year’s president-elect. She appreciated the opportunity to invest in leadership development as well as to get to know CREW members better from Portland and across the nation.

She left New York with a renewed focus on the value of the programs at the Center for Real Estate at Portland State University, where she is executive director. She was also inspired by the brilliant speaker Mary Ann Tighe.

“She observed that to take risks involves abandoning perfection, and that mistakes can be a precursor to success,” Julie said. “I loved that she encouraged us to build a support system outside of our firms through involvement in charities, real estate organizations and cities, to create an environment where we as women can flourish.”

The valuable takeaways from convention speakers and interactions with CREW members are among the reasons the Portland chapter awards scholarships to the convention each year. The chapter benefits because the members become more attached and committed to the organization. Employers benefit by the ideas and energy members bring back to the workplace. The 2017 CREW National Convention will take place Oct. 25-28 in Houston, Texas. Members are encouraged to make plans to attend what promises to be another remarkable event.

July Recap - Third and Taylor Development

At the July CREW Luncheon, Members and guests of CREW Portland were privileged to get an inside look at the upcoming development of the city block at SW Third and Taylor. Michael Great of Ankrom Moisan, and Jack Onder of Onder Development Company, shared their process for the project, from conceptualization and design development, to finding building tenants.


The project will include a 20-story, 245-room boutique hotel, with a striking street presence that both blends well with neighboring buildings, as well as makes a visual statement that will attract visitors and serve as a memory point for city-goers. Through diagrams and never before seen digital renderings, Mr. Great showcased the design process and current state of the design for the hotel, as well as the neighboring 10-story office building that will exhibit a large, sloped green roof, visible to hotel guests. The office building will feature large office floorplates, an auditorium, ground-level retail space, a roof-top deck, and stunning views of the city. Before even breaking ground, the tenant spaces are already highly sought-after in Portland’s rapidly growing real estate market.

CREW June Recap: An Affordable Oregon: The Future of Affordable Housing

Written By Emi LaFountain

June’s lunch program featured a panel of experts on the topic of affordable housing and its anticipated presence in the Portland market for the next decades. Speakers included Michelle DePass and Dory VanBockel of the Portland Housing Bureau, Lisa Abauf of the Portland Development Commission, Sarah Zahn from Gerding Edlen, and Sarah Stevenson from Innovative Housing, Inc. Together, these women spoke on a range of topics from the perspectives of the governmental, private, and non-profit housing worlds.

DePass started off the luncheon by painting a picture of the current housing market, emphasizing the need to serve low-income minority communities in conjunction with the 125,000 new residents expected to move to Portland between now and 2035. Combining these two factors, DePass conveyed the need for a projected minimum of 10,000 affordable units over the next twenty years to meet community demands.


Also speaking on behalf of the Portland Housing Bureau, VanBockel elaborated on funding schemes to help incentivize affordable housing development. Explaining that federal funding is limited for local affordable housing projects, she explained that change would primarily come from a partnership of TIF funds and developer incentives, such as multi-unit limited tax exemption, system development charge exemptions, and construction-exise taxes. With the rejuvenated institution of inclusionary zoning within Portland, the Portland Housing Bureau hopes to create continued developer interest in driving the affordable housing market.


Lisa Abauf followed up on the theme of inclusionary zoning by focusing on the question of how Portland plans to integrate people of diverse backgrounds and incomes. As the Central City Manager from the PDC, she was able to draw from two city case studies as an example of the potential for an integrated housing model. Using the Chinatown rejuvenation project and the Broadway Corridor as examples, she painted a picture of the future of the historically lower-income and commercial neighborhoods and the potential to meet the needs of both ends of the income spectrum through redevelopment.


Sarah Zahn and Sarah Stevenson were able to share perspectives from the private and the non-profit sectors, respectively. Zahn used Gerding Edlen’s commitment to developing high-end mixed-use properties that meet the triple-bottom line as an example of how inclusive housing projects can be used successfully and profitably, including the Beech Street Apartments and the ongoing Block 8L project. Zahn emphasized the need for more city bond measures that provide incentives for affordable housing. Stevenson, of Innovative Housing, Inc., which performs new construction and historic renovations for low-income families, also supported this idea by explaining that non-profit affordable housing projects are made possible by governmental housing incentives.

Spring Leadership Summit - Detroit

Written by Trish Nixon, CREW Portland President-Elect

This Spring's Leadership Summit was in Detroit.  Not the first place you think of when you think of host Cities for an international organization focused on commercial real estate to have leadership training.  But Detroit is making a comeback.  Great strides have been made in bringing the previously bankrupted city back from the brink.  The Ilitch Holdings, the owner of Little Ceasers, the Detroit Red Wings, and the Detroit Tigers, among other things, has purchased 80 blocks in the downtown area with plans of developing them into an entertainment zone.  A light rail line is in the works, a fairly new river walk allows for strolling or running along the Detroit River, with nice views of Windsor, Canada.  The downtown had a nice mix of old and new high-rise buildings, public parks and interactive water features, and food vendors.  Detroit's Deputy Mayor was our lunch speaker and provided a history of where they started, where they've been, and where they are going.  That along w ith a few of our fellow CREW members that spoke up and gave heartwarming thanks to the Deputy for all that the City is doing and how it's making a difference really gave us a great understanding of their efforts.
We started the summit with our delegate group and liaison.  This is always a great way to get to know CREW delegates from our region and find out from our liaison, Barbi Ruder, what's going on with CREW Network.  The group meeting became a dinner out.  Great atmosphere, not so great food, a less than qualified taxi driver, and a wonderful Uber driver that turned out to be a pretty good tour guide.
Friday was full of Network updates including highlights from the upcoming National Convention in New York City and Scholarship Award winners.  The biggest announcement, however, was that our CREW CEO, Gail Ayres, of 11 years will be retiring at the end of this year.  Laurie Baker, our 2016 Network president assured us that there is a strong transition plan in place and a team is working to find a replacement.
A board member panel spent a good bit of time answering questions from the room followed by Chapter members relaying information on the successes their chapters are having.  This is always a wonderful discussion and provides some great ideas that we can draw from for CREW Portland.
Our afternoon was filled with Development Training by Beth Bratkovic, Owner of Keepin it Simple Consulting.  She spoke about increasing your Conversational Capacity primarily as is it pertains to preparing for a successfully completing difficult conversations.  The presentation was full of interactive exercises that allowed us to work in small groups of 6-8 at our tables.  This provided another networking opportunity with our fellow CREW members from other Chapters.
The day ended with a networking reception and another round of Dine-Ar ounds.  The Dine Arounds have become one of my favorite things about these summits.  It's a great opportunity to do more networking, have some great local food, and connect with a host City CREW member.  A great evening was capped off with an enjoyable walk back to our hotel that allowed us to take in the downtown.

CREW Connection | Cocktail Making Class

National CREW Convention Inspires Members

The 2016 National CREW Convention was true to its theme: Impact.
That was the exact observation of convention scholarship recipient Jenny Volbeda and similar to what other convention attendees experienced. Phrases like “amazing opportunity,” “invigorating experience” and “truly inspiring” are sprinkled among their reviews of the October convention in New York City. Click here to read more.

May Member Only Off-Site | Park Avenue West

October Lunch Recap

The New MAX Orange Line and Its Impact on Future Development

by Brenda Mejdell - Unico

This Month’s Panelists:
Dave Unsworth -  Director of Project Development and Permitting
Jillian Detweiler – Policy Director in the Office of Mayor Charlie Hales
Alex Michel – Creative Director at Zidell Yards
Nancy Stueber – President & CEO OMSI

The MAX Orange Line’s opened to the public on September 12th connecting 7.3 miles from PSU down south to the waterfront and over the Tilikum Crossing Bridge.  Tilikum Crossing is the only bridge of its kind in the U.S.  The bridge also carries TriMet buses, the Portland Streetcar Loop Service and emergency vehicles, and is open for public use by bicyclists and pedestrians. Use by private motor vehicles (except emergency vehicles) is not permitted. Rerouting of TriMet bus routes onto the new bridge from more-congested crossings will shorten the travel time for riders on those routes. There are bike and pedestrian paths on both sides of the bridge and are 14 feet wide.

The new MAX route is the first major extension of the light-rail system since the Green Line started rolling to Clackamas Town Center in 2009. The new $1.4 billion, 7.3-mile Orange Line connects downtown Portland with downtown Milwaukie through Southeast Portland. It adds 10 new stations to the MAX network, and a trip takes about 26 minutes.

Dave Unsworth discussed the reasoning for the MAX Orange Line/Tilikum Bridge to be constructed initially was to help ease congestion.  When investigating the possibilities of widening McGloughlin, they soon found that the neighborhoods surrounding the area were opposed.  Also, widening the bridge enough for cars to travel would have increased the costs by double.  The project created 14,000 jobs which 7,065 were direct jobs.

Jillian Detweiler (Tri-Met) is the director of Real Estate at the City of Portland.  We learned that 216 acquisitions, many temporary, took place during the project.  Over 5 million square feet were acquired through the transactions.  There were 105 businesses and 17 residential sites relocated during the project.  Part of the reason that the project came in under budget by 40 million dollars was that most of the relocations and acquirements happened during the economic downturn in 2008-2009.
Alex Michel expanded on the creation of an “Innovation District” by connecting OHSU/ South Waterfront to the OMSI area.  There are now bike paths connecting all of the South Waterfront to the Eastside of Portland.  The first organic grocery store will be going into the South Waterfront area, along with an additional new 9 buildings over the next 10 years.

Nancy Stueber commented what a great engineering learning process it was to watch while the bridge was being built. The 20 year vision map for OMSI is to stimulate people into action, creating partnerships and developing districts for the city around innovations.  OMSI believes that education will change in the future to involve communities to contribute to news ways of learning. The innovation district should create jobs, create action and create new ideas.

September Event Recap

The Challenges of Urban Development: The Wizer Block, Lake Oswego

Written by Andrea Beall, Rose City Office Furnishings

During the September Lunch Program, Patrick Kessi, founder of PHK Development, Inc., presented to a sold-out crowd of Portland CREW members and guests on his planned development project in downtown Lake Oswego, known as the Wizer Block.

PHK Development specializes in mixed use, residential projects, with below-ground parking, street level commercial and retail space, and upper level residential units. This type of mixed-use development helps to create a vibrant downtown core, where residents can live, work, shop and play, all within walking distance.
PHK strives to create developments that complement their neighborhoods, enrich their communities, and follow sustainable building and operating practices, and the Wizer Block is no exception to this rule. From the beginning, PHK sought neighborhood input on the development of the Wizer Block, incorporating ideas and suggestions from Lake Oswego residents (including a significant redesign in 2014, based on their input).

Despite the PHK team’s efforts to please local residents, and the project’s strict adherence to local codes and regulations, the Wizer Block has endured a roller coaster of opposition. Opponents have fought to halt the project, taking their arguments to the city’s Development Review Commission, City Council, the state Land Use Board of Appeals, and the Oregon Court of Appeals.

Throughout the struggle, the Wizer Block development has come out on top. Opponents have recently filed another appeal with the Oregon Supreme Court, but Kessi and his attorneys have confidence the previous courts’ decisions will be upheld, and the project will break ground at the end of September.

April Lunch Recap

How Would Portland’s Proposed Energy Policy Affect You?
RECAP BY:  Jodi Prentice, Jones Lang LaSalle

The April program was about how the proposed Portland energy policy will affect owners of commercial office buildings.  Since the lunch was held, the Portland City Council met on April 8th and passed this policy that will require buildings over 50,000 square feet to track energy usage and report it on an annual basis starting on April 1, 2016 and buildings over 20,000 a year later on April 1, 2017.  

Chris Lowen, Northern Region Energy Director for Glumac and Renee Loveland, Sustainability Manager at Gerding Edlen spoke to the group about what this policy will really mean for owners and managers of commercial real estate.  

U.S. Energy Consumption by sector can be broken down as follows:  Building and Construction Materials 5.9%, Industry 24.4%, Transportation 28% and Building Operations ranking the highest at 41.7% thus the need for Portland wanting to adopt this policy that is already utilized in cities such as Chicago and Los Angeles.  Commercial building owners will be required to track and report the energy usage of building over 50,000 RSF (4/1/16 start date) and over 20,000 RSF (4/1/17 start date).  


The energy used to power buildings is the largest source of carbon pollution in Portland, similar to a MPG rating for a new car; the energy performance policy would allow potential tenants and owners to have access to important information about building energy performance.  Commercial energy reporting policies in 10 other U.S. cities have proven to motivate investment in efficiency improvements that save money and reduce carbon emissions.


The Energy Performance Reporting Policy would require commercial buildings to track energy performance with a free online tool called ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and report energy use information to the City of Portland on an annual basis. There are nearly 5,000 commercial buildings in Portland and fewer than 100 claim ENERGY STAR certification.


“The proposed policy will build awareness in the commercial building sector about energy performance,” said Bureau of Planning and Sustainability Director Susan Anderson. “Energy-efficient buildings are a win for the building owner, the tenant and for Portland’s carbon reduction goals.”

CREW May Off-Site Recap

An Adaptive Reuse of the Historic 511 Federal Building
By: Brenda Mejdell

Construction wrapped in January 2015 to relocate the Pacific Northwest College of Arts to its new resting place on the North Park Blocks off of Broadway. The original building was built in 1918 and was site to the Historic Post Masters Office. This $34 million project is now complete with rooms for classes, art exhibitions, apartments for students, and a new well-designed library. While this project now provides a space for students inspired by art and design, it also caters to Portland's creative side thanks to Creativity Works Here, a $15.3 million philanthropic project aimed at balancing art education and creative design.

Pacific Northwest College of Arts is the fastest growing art college in the country. Its 520 students are now able to participate in the new projects on campus such a flex space, Bridgelab, and a new art parking lot. The new flex space offers students the option to bring in their work, have conversations about it, and then move on. This innovative approach helps students gain ideas and share projects. Bridgelab is a start-up for innovations and business ideas. It is the first of its kind in the Northwest. In addition to the new buildings, the flat parking lot is owned by the city's park department. The future plan is to add an “Art Park” along with a community garden and 30 parking spots for students.  PNCA pays for the parking spots which then eventually pays for the park.

Over 20K square feet has been added to the 134,000 square foot building, which has allowed for additional library space. In the new accreditation library, the original oak wall and hidden office door were restored from the Post Masters Office. From the old building, on the first floor, they also left the original counter that people received their immigration papers on. They have added a floating mezzanine made of 8" of solid concrete that is suspended with cabling over the ground floor lobby.  

The new site has gained in popularity around the Northwest and has helped student retention increase 28%. With its new features and community focus, the Pacific Northwest College of Arts welcomes students and city goers to explore its creative transformation.

March 2015 Lunch and Learn Recap

The March Lunch and Learn was a great success! Thanks to Unico for hosting, and providing an excellent lunch!


Jennifer Levy with Cascade Environmental Solutions introduced us to environmental site assessments, and how important they are for property transactions, and the health and safety of building occupants. With the help of a qualified environmental professional, you can uncover potential hazards, such as asbestos, radon, and hazardous vapors. A qualified environmental professional will ensure these hazards are addressed appropriately, and your property gets the proper certification, so as to avoid issues down the road, or even a lawsuit!


Elaine Aye, the president of Green Building Services, discussed the importance of sustainability and how it affects us all, personally and professionally. She talked about building energy consumption (nearly 50% of all energy consumed!), and explained how that is being addressed through building codes, and various organizations and certifications, such as LEED, Energy Star, the Living Building Challenge, and Architecture 2030. Making your building, and your business, energy efficient affects property values, leasing rates, and operational costs. It doesn’t just help the environment to have energy efficient buildings; it makes good business sense!

  • Elaine Aye
  • Jennifer Levy

February Lunch Recap

No Vacancy: Financing, Innovations, and the Future of Hospitality in Portland
Program Recap by Catherine Stacy

The event was introduced and moderated by Portland CREW member, Desiree Flanary with HVS Portland. HVS Portland is a Hospitality sector consulting firm. Desiree gave an overview of the outlook for the Portland area Hospitality growth. http://www.hvs.com/

  • 2400 new rooms have been proposed to hit the market between now and 2017. That is a very significant increase for our area.
  • The main drivers of Portland occupancy are corporate use from Nike and Intel, but she predicts as tourism increases it will “deepen the well” for a more diverse set of users.

The next speaker was Matthew Behrens who is a broker with CBRE Hotels. He is currently based in Seattle and has been involved for over $500M hospitality transactions throughout in the NW region. Notable local transactions include: Hotel Fifty, River’s Edge Hotel & Spa, Governor Hotel, and The Vintage Plaza Hotel by Kimpton. www.cbrehotels.com



  • Nationally, the hotel sector has shown six consecutive years of increasing occupancy - longest since 1988.
  • The rate of new supply has not reached pre-recession levels (130,800 new rooms in 2009 vs. 48,000 new rooms in 2014)
  • However, the rate of increase so far is suggesting accelerated development nationally
  • The Portland pipeline includes 3 projects that are “boutique” products from large national brands (Hilton, and Hyatt, Hampton Inn), attempting to compete with the smaller boutique hotel brands that have been successful here.
  • In general, he has a very optimistic outlook for the Portland market. The sale of the Heathman set record Cap Rate (3.99%) which is similar to numbers seen in San Francisco.
  • Majority of buyers are REITs

The following speaker was Elliot Eichner with Sonnenblick-Eichner Company based in Beverly Hills California. Mr Eichner is real estate investment banker and has been responsible for the successful placement of debt for some of the nations’s landmark hospitality deals. http://www.sonnenblickeichner.net/


  • It is a borrowers’ market and currently there is an abundance of liquidity so all parties are trying to increase for volume.
  • Strongly recommends refinancing now for lower rates
  • 200 billion worth of loans will be maturing in the coming 24 months
  • Portland is an “institutional market”

The final speaker was Bashar Wali, president of Provenance Hotels, a boutique hotel owner/operator, based in Portland. Their local portfolio includes Hotel Lucia, Hotel deLuxe, and the Sentinel. http://provenancehotels.com/.


  • The boutique hotel product succeeds because they offer authenticity that is relevant for the people occupying it
  • The owner/operator model is successful because it can create wealth from the value of the real estate in addition to the profits from products and services.
  • Provenance is planning a $30M renovation of the Woodlark and Cornelius buildings for a new hotel located at SW Park and Alder in downtown. It will It will include 150 rooms and space for two leased bars or restaurants.

CREW Network Marketplace and Convention Recap

Elissa Looney, Tara Kramer, Patti Moller and Jo Economaki
Elissa Looney, Tara Kramer, Patti Moller and Jo Economaki
This year’s CREW Network Marketplace and Convention was held in beautiful Miami Beach, one of the fastest growing commercial and residential real estate markets in the country. There were a record number of attendees – almost 1,300 – and they were not disappointed. Attending from the Portland Chapter were: Patti Moller, Elissa Looney, Jo Economaki, Tara Kramer and Evelyn Galloni.

Jo Economaki was the recipient of our Chapter’s Convention Scholarship and travelled to her very first National Convention. Here are her observations:

“Attending the CREW National Convention in Miami earlier this fall was truly a rewarding experience. Over the years I have heard many of our CREW Portland members rave about this event and it certainly lived up to the expectations endorsed by them.

The CREW National organization is impressive and the convention definitely reflects the professionalism of the group.  The program was packed with top notch speakers (Hillary Clinton, Steven Forbes, and Katty Kay) and their messages were meaningful and delivered with polish and poise.  A host of breakout sessions covered a wide range of topics from multi-family housing to social media, collaborative workspace to healthcare and even a presentation about the Panama Canal expansion -  just to name a few.  I came away with insightful and valuable information.

And, the networking was fabulous.  The CREW National board members and officers were friendly and welcoming, and with attendees from all over the country (Canada too!), it was a great way to find out what is going on in different markets. The premier networking event, "The Market Place Exhibition", was an energy charged trade show with tons of information, mega networking opportunities and lots of great food.   

I also enjoyed the walking tour of Miami where we were able to view a number of buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, a few Art Deco, Modern and Mediterranean styled buildings including an amazing symphony center as well as an innovative parking garage (where some of the 'most expensive' weddings are held - yes, in a parking garage).

A final bonus was spending time with the other Portland area attendees.  With our busy schedules and limited time at events here at home, it was good to have a little extra time to get to know one another.  We were honored to have an award winner, Tara Kramer, on our team and could bask in her well-deserved recognition as well.  All in all, it was an amazing convention and I join my predecessors in highly recommending it!”

Elissa Looney is our Chapter’s National Delegate and this was her second Convention. Elissa attended last year’s convention in Dallas, TX on a Portland Chapter Convention Scholarship. As the National Delegate, Elissa attends three leadership conferences and the National Convention as a representative of our Chapter. Here are her impressions and thoughts on this year’s convention and being a National Delegate.

“On September 30th I arrived in sunny Miami Beach, Florida, with my fellow CREW members from all over the country and Canada.  The 2014 CREW Network Convention was full of nothing less than the best in educational opportunities, networking, and world renowned speakers, including Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Steve Forbes of Forbes Media, and Katty Kay of BBC World News.

Hillary Clinton was a fantastic speaker.   Steve Forbes was right on the mark with his insights about our economy and marketplace. Katty Kay was a surprise.  She took the stage to talk about women in business, and what she had to say was absolutely compelling.  So good, in fact, that her new book, Womenomics, is now in my Kindle library for future reading.   Katty's speech dovetailed perfectly with the theme of the entire convention, 'The Rewards of Risk.’ Her presentation catalogued the research regarding how risk averse women tend to be; the reasons why they are risk averse; and how to move beyond.  We ourselves, are often the biggest barrier to climbing the corporate ladder to highest of ranks, due to our tendency to worry and doubt our own abilities more than our male counterparts. Far from any kind of 'man bashing' or 'poor me' message, Katty's speech was insightful, relevant, and inspirational.   

For our local chapter, one highlight of the week was the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award, won by CREW Portland's very own Tara Kramer of Ri Ky Roofing.  

"The Entrepreneurial Spirit Award honors a CREW member who has achieved a unique career success or milestone in the past 24 months as the result of an exceptional entrepreneurial spirit. This person is often a risk taker and is willing to step outside the box to create something new or different. They provide services, develop products, or improve practices by innovatively organizing, developing, or deploying available resources, either within their own company or a larger organization."

Tara's company is one of only two certified WBE roofing contractors in the country and she is expanding across the nation, with locations including Portland, Bend, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Denver, and San Antonio.  I was proud to be in attendance when Tara took the stage to receive her award in front of nearly 1,100 people from across the nation, and grateful for the opportunity to spend more time with her throughout the week.  

As the National Delegate for the CREW Portland chapter for 2014, I truly believe that my career has been positively impacted by the experiences gained by attending the national conferences and conventions that CREW Network hosts each year.  The training, research, and local and national networking available through CREW, as well as the unwavering passion to support women in business is unsurpassed.  I look forward to being your delegate once again for 2015, and I highly encourage you to attend the 2015 CREW Network Convention, which will be held just north of us in Seattle, Washington.”

October Tour Recap

Washington High School Revival
By: Jackie Safko

Craig Kelly, President of Venerable Properties, LLC, led a limited number of CREW members through the ongoing remodel of Washington High School.  The school is designated as a Portland historic landmark and was designed in the classical revival style by Portland’s architectural firms Houghtaling & Dougan.

Plans for the revitalization focused on preserving the building’s historical importance, restoring the exterior facade and giving new life to the interior core.  SERA was selected as the project’s architect and Bremik Construction is the general contractor.

The tour started on the 23,000 square foot ground floor where seven new entries have been added, allowing direct access for retailers along SE Stark and SE 14th Avenue. The second, third and fourth levels feature over 50,000 square feet of creative/flex office space.  New Seasons is moving their headquarters from North Portland to this location and has leased the entire fourth floor and half of the third.

At completion there will over 200 people working in the building, with the majority moving from offices in downtown Portland.  Employers noted that many of their staff lived on the Eastside and felt it was important for them to work in the same area.   

At the heart of the building, the existing auditorium will be used for music performances and corporate events with all of the 320 original seats remaining.  The new addition is a 2,680 square foot roof deck. With views of downtown and Portland’s Eastside, the deck will be available to rent as an event space in addition to being a tenant amenity for lounging and barbeques.

Craig described what he wanted people to take away from the transformation of the building.  He said that Art DeMuro, preservationist and founder of Venerable Group, was instrumental in the property being sold by the Portland Public School District.  Art wanted to save the building and its history for the next 100 years.  Art emphasized the importance of structures like for the community and future generations.  Art had a vision of what this project could be and how much it meant to him for it to be completed the way he saw it.

Art passed away before his dream could be realized, but Craig Kelly and the team at Venerable persevered.  With the addition of investment partner Pacific Reality Associates, L.P. “PacTrust”, a feasible new use for the property was found and in October 2013,  and PPS sold Washington High School to the partnership.

September Program Recap

More Than an Encore to the Encore: Block 15 Condominiums
By: Veronica Lee, Interdent

Tiffany Sweitzer, President of Hoyt Street Properties, introduced a packed house to the Pearl District’s exciting new addition, known under the working name “Block 15”.   The 28-story condominium tower, to be named The Cosmopolitan, is the first condo project to be built in seven years and will be the tallest residential building in the Pearl.

Designed with a distinctly Portland priorities, the building will feature energy efficient systems and materials throughout.   Each until will have a striking view; nestled between the Tanner Springs and Fields parks, this project also has city, river and mountain views.  The location, at the Northeast corner of NW Northrup and NW 10th, is located on the streetcar line.

Construction on the project commenced earlier in the year, and with the great recession behind us and a dwindling supply of new condos on the market, Hoyt Street felt the timing was right to break ground.  This upscale building will also feature ground-level retail, continuing the mixed-use trend in the Pearl that Hoyt pioneered.  Delivery of the residential and retail units is expected in Summer of 2016.  

2014 CorksCREW Event Recap

CorksCREW Event Another Success
By Catherine Stacy, Art, etc.


On July 17th, CREW Portland held our annual CorksCREW event on the patio of the Oregon Historical Society in downtown Portland. This event is great success every year and this was true to form. Over 125 members and non-members gathered to network, wine taste and enjoy what turned out to be a beautiful summer evening. Bergstrom, Penner-Ash, Avalon Wine, Inc., and Saffron Fields Vineyard were the local wineries pouring at this year’s event. The evening was sponsored by Bank of Oswego, Glumac, Lane Powell, ABM Janitorial Services, Willis, And Perlo Construction. A big thank you to this year’s committee members for such a wonderful event. Everyone is looking forward to next year!

  • Jan'l & Peggy

July Program Recap

Beautiful Addition to Portland's Skyline and Economic Recovery
By: Paul Watts, Founder/CEO, Grafitti Removal Services

At July’s CREW member’s luncheon, we were treated to the exciting news of how and TMT Development was progressing on Park Avenue West, the new building at the corner of SW Park Avenue and 9th.


Park Avenue West Tower will be a 30-story, 546,000 square foot mixed-use development in the heart of Portland’s Central Business District. Portland’s newest tower will include 13 stories of Class A office space, 15 floors of residential units, and feature unobstructed, 360-degree views from virtually every floor.  Park Avenue West Tower takes a comprehensive approach to sustainability, and has secured pre-construction LEED Platinum certification with the U.S. Green Building Council.


The tower, which is certified LEED Platinum, will be the most environmentally-friendly building in Oregon, surpassing Platinum designation.  It was designed to reduce potable water by 40 percent, cut energy costs by 32 percent and features Portland’s first 40,000 gallon rain harvesting tank.


Vanessa Sturgeon, president and CEO of TMT Development, explained some of the great amenities the new tower will offer and how her family works with local contractors and local vendors to bring this new building very local.


Vanessa emphasized the importance of having a local contractor build the towers and explained that Hoffman Construction was picked because of the long friendship and working relationship both families have had over the last 40 years.


When asked how the elevators will cope with the heavy traffic of people and long lines waiting for the elevators, Vanessa explained that TMT Development has installed a state of the art elevator that will move at speeds of 1000 feet per minute.  Ladies and gentleman hang on to your coffees, this speed will get you to your destination faster than you can say “ what floor was I supposed to go to.”


Vanessa also announced that River Stone Property Managers will be managing the residential part of the building and TMT Development will be managing the commercial side.  One of the most exciting aspects of the new tower is that every floor will have 36” operational windows to let the Northwest sunlight in and give every floor a reason to be in a good mood.

CREW Connection Recap

Sniff Dog Hotel

by Jodi Prentice, Jones Lang LaSalle


It was a beautiful night for the most recent Portland CREW Connection event held at the Sniff Dog Hotel located at 1828 NW Raleigh Street in Portland.  Members gathered on the rooftop and enjoyed amazing summer weather, a selection of Oregon beer and wine and incredible views of Portland’s hip new Slabtown neighborhood.  Several members took advantage of being able to bring their beloved dogs along to event which provided for endless member entertainment!  Elissa Looney and Melany Gutierrez split the much coveted prize for the “Who looks most like their dog” contest in a very heated “pose-off”! 

June Program Recap

Green Zebra
By: Brenda Mejdell from Unico

At the June Crew Lunch Program, Lisa Sedlar, COE of The Green Zebra enlightened us on her concept of a healthy convenient store new to the Portland area. The CEO, Lisa Sedlar, is originally from Detroit and is eager to see her “Whole Foods meets 7-11” concept thrive in this region.  Lisa was formally the CEO of New Seasons Market in Portland and worked as the Director of Purchasing for Whole Foods Market in the Midwest. Green Zebra is a small format retail grocery concept focused on convenient natural foods for a broad range of customers in a local neighborhood. The Green Zebra is aiming to please Portland’s urban food savvy crowds by providing a suitable downsized store that offers the same local, hearty foods as the big health food industries.

This revolutionary business is very keen on getting customers involved in the food community of Portland. They are planning to do this by sharing information about local farmer’s markets, food events, mom’s groups, social media, and their customer loyalty program. In fact, The Green Zebra is so ambitious that they plan to build twenty additional stores by 2020. Each store would generate fifty jobs, and in turn strengthen the regional food economy. The Kenton location is located on N. Lombard Street and Peninsular Avenue.  The Woodstock store will be located at the corner of Woodstock and Southeast 49th Street


Evelyn Galloni’s, the Vice President of R&H Construction, team shared some remarkable details of this location. They created covered spacious onsite parking, as well as easy access bike parking and an outdoor seating area for customers to enjoy.  The project design is built to manage storm run-off by diverting it into a green area.  Evelyn also shared that 98% of the demolition materials were either repurposed or reused.


The teamwork on this project between Evelyn and Lisa definitely shows by receiving the 2014 Association for Retail Environments Sustainability Award.  The smaller store footprint — 5,000 to 6,000 square feet — makes it both leaner and greener, Sedlar said. It will take less of a toll on the environment, take fewer staff to operate and can fit into more neighborhoods

May Off-Site Program Recap

Coopers Hall
By Brenda Mejdell, Unico Properties


The May monthly CREW event was an off-site preview of Cooper’s Hall, urban winery, restaurant and event facility.  Cooper’s hall is located at 404 S.E. 6th Ave. CREW members and guests were able to sip a variety of wines and enjoy complimentary hor d’oeuvres. The 8,000 square foot winery/taproom houses over 4,000 gallons of wine in 44 unique wines on tap, 36 local and international wines and 8 other suds, including beer and cocktails.  Due to recent  legislation, take out or bulk wine of 7.5ml up to 2 gallon containers is now allowed.  Two coolers are controlled at different temperatures, one for white wine which is stored at 38F and one for red wine at 68F. Some of the wine is blended and others are served as arrived.

Robert Sacks and Dave Schrott, co-founders, spoke about the development of this unique 8,000 square-foot winemaking restaurant and event space. Robert Sacks opened the first indoor mountain biking park west of the Mississippi, and now he has the first business in Oregon to innovatively offer wine in a keg at Cooper’s Hall.  The keg is just the vessel for the wine and this allows re-use of the containers.

The General Manager, Joel Gunderson and winemaker, Phil Kramer also shared their background into wine making and launching of the first on-tap wine bar in Oregon.  Joel  shared the benefits to being involved with the wine making, when the restaurants are typically not. This includes the better gage margins on tap, plus less glass to throw away.

On the edible side, Roscoe Robertson, former sous chef at Racion, will be cooking up a rotisserie-based, family-style food menu.  Look for rotisserie chicken, tri-tip and pork loin with mashed potatoes, salads and other sides.  This summer, Robertson will be bringing high-end chef supplies including chef gear, cocktail gadgets among other culinary related item for sale at Cooper’s Hall.

April Program Recap

Multi-City Mayoral Discussion on Economic Development Challenges and Opportunities
By Trish Nixon, LRS Architects


Lisa LaManna with Pate LaManna Commercial, LLC moderated a lively discussion with three metro area city mayors on the Economic Development challenges and opportunities that each city faces.  Mayor Shane Bemis with Gresham, Mayor Doug Neeley with Oregon City, and Mayor Lou Ogden with Tualatin shared their city’s histories and future visions with the group.


While the three cities are very different in many ways, there were also some interesting similarities.  One was the current and future focus on industrial land development.  Oregon City is especially challenged due to the lack of available shovel ready land resulting from old infrastructure.  Gresham on the other hand has 220 acres of state certified Industrial land complete with infrastructure that the Port of Portland has purchased and entered into a partnership agreement with the City to develop.  Tualatin not only has 600 acres of shovel ready industrial land but is working with the City of Wilsonville on some long term planning for the 2,000 acres of land that sits between them.


Both Oregon City and Gresham are very proud of their Main Street areas.  Though it is the 4th largest city in population in the state, Gresham still has that “Mayberry” feeling, with Mayor Bemis boasting that they have the best Main Street in the country.  This is due in part to that city’s very successful Garage to Storefront program that has taken 200,000 square feet of vacant storefronts in the downtown area and turned them into 160 new businesses.  


Once made up mostly of absentee property owners, Oregon City’s Main Street has also undergone a dramatic transformation.  In the last 10 years people have been purchasing properties and developing them using the City’s Storefront Grant program.  Main Street is book-ended by 2 promising developments: the old Blue Herron Mill Site to the South and the Clackamette Cove site to the North.  The Clackamette Cove project is moving forward with 800 housing units over commercial/retail space.  While the Blue Herron site is currently on its fourth potential development, the City is focusing on public access improvements that will allow people to really enjoy the Willamette Falls.  Mayor Neeley called it the “if they will come, they will build it approach”. The thinking is that if they can get people there, it will spur development.  


Though Main Street is not as prominent in Tualatin, the City had the benefit of starting with a lot of green field sites and good planning that has provided a community where residential, commercial, and retail uses are where they want them to be.  As Mayor Odgen put it “We are living the dream”.  With half of their economic base coming from residential users and the other from commercial users they have a very balanced tax base and one of the lowest tax rates in the region.  The City was fortunate that they had positive growth throughout the recession thanks to both retail and industrial developments.  Their current Nyberg Rivers project will have businesses open as early as September this year.

March Program Recap

Real Estate Financing 2.0: Crowdfunding and Beyond
By Jennifer Levy, Cascade Environmental Solutions, LLC


The March CREW luncheon was full of both energy and information. Coni Rathbone, a shareholder in Zupanic Rathbone Law Group, Inc. and Kevin Cavenaugh with Guerilla Development, explained the new reality of using crowdsourcing for real estate financing to a group of over a 100 people in attendance at the MAC.

Coni informed the group that the ability to use crowdsourcing to raise capital for real estate development was a direct result of the Jobs Act and now falls under three categories: crowdfunding, Reg D and Reg A+. The purpose of all three is to bring together money and projects through the power of the Internet. Coni discussed how anti-fraud provisions apply and what should be included in disclosure agreements related to crowdsourcing. She explained that crowdfunding has helped fund projects such as parks, electronics, apparel, and board games. The focus on the presentation was how crowdsourcing will affect the real estate market moving forward with the potential to open up new projects to developers that previously could not find funding.  Coni explained that now having the option of non-traditional funding through crowdsourcing is the most exciting thing that she has seen happen in real estate finance in her 30+ years of practicing law.

As an example of a project funded through Reg A crowdsourcing, Kevin Cavenaugh discussed the Dumbbell project located off of Burnside Street, NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and NE Couch Street. In October 2013, Kevin partnered with Fundrise, a Washington DC based investment platform that allows accredited and non-accredited investors to directly invest in local real estate projects. Together Guerilla Development and Fundrise have raised over $3.5 million dollars towards the $15 million dollar project, with more money expected. The average investment is $3,883, with pledges ranging in size from $100 to $25,000.  Kevin’s excitement for crowdsourcing was contagious as he explained how he is the first developer in Oregon to partner with Fundrise and allow local people to invest local dollars into a local project. He shared a quote from Daniel Miller, a Fundrise founder, stating “when you change who writes the check, you can significantly change what the project looks like.”     


Crowdsourcing looks to be promising for the real estate market and is sure to keep us excited as it continues to evolve.

February Lunch Recap

The Lloyd Superblock Project: Design-to-Development
By Jeni Meyer, Zupancic Rathbone, and Christina Chamberlain, Norris & Stevens, Inc.
This “Portland Cool” presentation was a big hit!  With registration of 144 attendees, the February luncheon had a huge turn-out.  The Hassalo on Eighth Project proved to be a topic of great interest.  Kyle Andersen, Principal and senior lead designer at GBD Architects, presented a wide range of details, explaining the complex design dictated by economic, financial and social contexts.  He also gave our audience the first public preview of American Asset Trust’s preliminary plans for the surrounding blocks – Hassalo on Eighth is only the first phase of developing the Lloyd District into a vibrant, new, and distinct neighborhood.  

The Project’s design specifically targets three categories of residents: the empty nester, the urban family, and the young professional.  The residential buildings have amenities specific to each resident category, to include features like a sauna, steam room, and rooftop deck for the empty nesters, as a prime example.   Lloyd 700, the existing office tower, will receive a make-over, including bright and transparent ground-floor retail windows.  Designers hope that the outside gathering place becomes a sort of “Living Room” for the development, much like Pioneer Square is for the CBD.  Time was even devoted to the discussion of ideas for sprucing up the edge of the Superblock that faces the currently dull back-end of the Double Tree Hotel.  Kyle reviewed the highly skilled development team on this project, which includes Turner Construction, Glumac Engineers, Place Studio, KPFF Engineers, HHPR, and Geodesign, who are collaborating with GBD Architects and American Assets Trust on the many facets of the plan and execution.  

This new information was an exciting introduction to witnessing the progress of Hassalo on Eighth as it rises out of the ground.  

Please click here to download a pdf of Kyle’s presentation.