“We take a market driven approach to civic renewal. We focus first on connecting stakeholders in the community—particularly those who control businesses, buildings, and land use, because they drive the engine of change. Forging these relationships and understanding a place’s complete ecosystem are what allow us to facilitate economically successful development projects and revitalization programs.”

Thumbnail image for Do You Want Every Small Business in America to Close?

Do You Want Every Small Business in America to Close?

March 24, 2020

April 1st is coming people, and most of our small businesses have seen such a big drop in sales, they are not going to be able to pay rent in a few short days. More than that, they are not going to survive this economic pause without immediate infusions of cash and assistance. Current GOP-forwarded […]

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Small Biz Commercial Eviction Moratorium NOW!

March 23, 2020

If you want any of your favorite small retailers, restaurants, bars, and service businesses (for example, nail salons) to be in business after COVID loosens its grip on on America, the most important thing local jurisdictions can do right now is to issue a moratorium on commercial evictions. WHY IS TIME OF THE ESSENCE? Rent […]

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Cool Freaking Shoes, Publishing & Third Places

May 18, 2019

At a large common table at a fave coffee shop early last year, I spied a man alternating between working intensely on his computer, and furiously sketching on a pair of canvas Vans. (Okay, spied is a bit dramatic, he was sitting right across from me!) Honestly, I was mesmerized by his drawings… their color, […]

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Building District Brand, One Experience at a Time!

January 31, 2018

The Executive Director of the Historic Monterey Trail District, Nathan Ulsh, inspired me with a new tour he created for his South Sacramento corridor, so much so that I asked him if he wanted to guest post about it here! He does a great job bringing big picture resources to his district, and executing on […]

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Thumbnail image for Commercial Revitalization: Stop Displacing, Start Improving

Commercial Revitalization: Stop Displacing, Start Improving

July 5, 2017

You can look at commercial district revitalization in two ways: The first way, which is the common way, and unfortunately not the best way, is to hatch a scheme to get rid of everything that is underperforming and replace it with something else. Bulldoze it, and start over with a blank slate. This approach to […]

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Thumbnail image for Oh the Stories They Could Tell…Astoria Armory Edition

Oh the Stories They Could Tell…Astoria Armory Edition

April 3, 2017

This nondescript building in downtown Astoria, OR was hiding a surprise: a breathtaking expanse of clear span space with a rare domed lamella roof system. As unlikely as it appears on the exterior, this warehouse-like building was actually an Armory, constructed to provide entertainment for military personnel during World War II headquartered in this lovely […]

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On Nov 8th Morn…I Experienced Everything Great about America

December 20, 2016

My election day began with a meeting of a group I was recently asked to join, the NE STEM/STEAM coalition in Portland, Oregon. The group’s mission (I paraphrase) is to help students from communities of color gain access to careers and education in science, technology, and the arts. It is an incredible collection of people […]

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My What a Quaint Bridge Tender House You Have Chicago

July 31, 2016

Who knew that competition was so fierce and cutthroat in the world of architectural boat tours in Chicago? According to our guide, who was a docent volunteer on the official Chicago Architectural Foundation tour, CAF has turned their river meanderings into one of the top visitor draws in the city, which, of course, has spawned […]

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