Portland Rooftop September 2017

Portland, Oregon, United States

Date and Time

Wednesday, September 20 2017 - 4:30 PM

Event Details

SPIRE held our first event in Portland on September 20!  The evening was action-packed starting in the Central Eastside district for a tour of Beam Development'811 Stark project, a new ground-up creative office/retail development, followed by a trip across the Willamette River to downtown where members got a first-hand look at Portland based Provenance Hotels latest project - a major renovation of 2 historic buildings into one hotel, to be known as The Woodlark.

Jonathan Malsin, Principal of Beam Development, was the tour guide for our group of 15 as we walked the completed 811 Stark project. This commercial building is a continuation of the simple tectonic commercial structures of the early 1970's, synthesizing a timber frame in lieu of steel as a nod to the historic timber ware houses of the industrial central east side of Portland. A recent article from the Portland Business Journal highlighted the growth and significance of use of CLT in commercial construction where Portland is the guiding light in the US. Jonathan shared direct insight into Beam Development's use of this in their projects.

Next stop was downtown Portland. SPIRE members gathered downtown at the corner of 9th and SW Alder where they met up with Bashar Wali, Principal and President of Provenance Hotels. Bashar is described as a "Jet setting nomad. Deal junkie. Expert on trends, adopter of only the best. Investor in good people. Many irons in the fire. Always." It was a special opportunity to hear directly from him about the major renovation of 2 historic buildings (Woodlark & Cornelius) at this intersection being combined into a single hotel, to be operated by Provenance Hotels. Both projects are currently under construction.

The French Renaissance style Cornelius Hotel dates for 1908. In its early days, the hotel welcomed everyone from "railroad official to the king and queen of the burgeoning Rose festival", but became low income housing by the 1950's. A colorful path continued through the 1980's when the building was damaged by fire and has sat vacant up until now. Adjoining the Cornelius is the Woodlark building, which was built in 1912. The early commercial style building was built for a wholesale drug company. Until recently, it was in use as Class C office space with ground floor retail. Bashar was recently featured in Portland's Interview Magazine where he talked about his growing portfolio of hotels both locally and nationally.

To toast the celebration of SPIRE's first Portland event, members and guests went for dinner and drinks at Omerta where conversation and Q&A's continued with our hosts. A special thank you to SPIRE Regional Director, Mark Hefner ('81), Managing Partner, Mohr Partners, for inspiring this event. SPIRE welcomes Mark's enthusiasm for getting Stanford alumni together and increasing SPIRE membership in this region.