Thursday, December 27, 2012

Group working to connect investors to Portland neighborhood infill projects

A group under the working name Guerilla Development Capital is hosting a meeting this week to stoke interest in a new kind of investment platform that would connect individuals who have money to invest in real estate with community-minded developers looking to build innovative infill projects.

Tom Osdoba, a consultant who was recently named vice president of green initiatives with affordable housing company Columbia, Md.-based Enterprise Community Partners, is leading the effort.

"We've been working on this for over a year," Osdoba said.

Guerilla has half-dozen neighborhood-oriented developers lined up who are looking to raise money for community-scale projects that mix housing with retail and other uses. Now the group aims to find investors to connect with those developers.

"There should be a platform for investors interested in community development," said Osdoba, who is the former director of the Center for Sustainable Business Practices at the Lundquist College of Business at the University of Oregon.

The idea for the effort began when MBA students Osdoba was working with at UO collaborated on a project with Mercy Corps NW which became a neighborhood real estate investment trust focused on the Lents neighborhood and launched earlier this year.

The idea crystallized further when Osdoba heard the story of the Eco Flats project, a bike-friendly, mixed-use apartment building on North Williams.

The developers behind that project, Jean-Pierre Veillet and Doug Shapiro, told Osdoba, "It took us two years to get our financing in place. It took us 30 days to lease the building."

Read More on Sustainable Business Oregon:
Article by Christina Williams

Friday, December 14, 2012

Stash Tea opens first tea bar

Forty years in, Stash is working to restore the focus on loose-leaf and other specialty teas. And last weekend it opened its first retail space in Portland — a North Mississippi Avenue store and tea bar that offers 250 loose-leaf teas and 65 by-the-ounce flavors.

Working with Siteworks Design-Build, Stash removed water-damaged flooring in a portion of the store and replaced it with Subway tiling. They scraped the paint away from the rest of the floor and refinished the wood.

Stash also reoriented the store to open up sight lines. Though it sells more than 300 kinds of tea, several brewing methods and dozens of accessories, the store has a minimalistic look. The tea bar has only seven seats. The result is a space that looks larger than it did a few months ago. Customers continue to ask if Stash expanded the store, but the square footage is the same.

Full Story on Oregon Live:

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

ecoFLATS: Energy Trust of Oregon

Path to Net Zero
Watch Jean-Pierre showcase the ecoFLATS featured on Energy Trust of Oregon's "Path to Net Zero:
Incentives for net-zero commercial projects."

Net zero is the future of the building industry. That’s why Energy Trust offers enhanced incentives for building owners who set net-zero or net-zero-ready goals.

ecoFLATS Case Study

A closer look at Jean-Pierre's ecoFLATS presented as a featured case study created by the Energy Trust of Oregon.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Jean-Pierre Veillet elected in PNCA Board of Governors

Whoooohooooo!!! Congrats Jean-Pierre!!! All of us at Siteworks have eagerly anticipated for this moment to happen for you, and we're so happy & excited for your future as one of the Board of Governors at PNCA.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

NPR: Think Out Loud w/ guest Jean-Pierre Veillet

Jean-Pierre, is a guest on NPR's 'Think Out Loud' radio talk show today!

We are so proud and excited to hear our Creative Director having a discussion about 'Apartments with No Parking.' Please tune in today and listen.

If you miss it, we will be sure provide a link to a podcast soon...
Apartments with No Parking
AIR DATE: Tuesday, September 18th 2012

More and more developers are putting up apartment buildings in Portland with no room for cars to park. There will be plenty of room for bikes, however. Developers and city planners say the lack of car parking will encourage residents to be car-free. But people who live in the neighborhoods where these buildings are going up are concerned that street parking will become even more challenging.
Do you live in a neighborhood where a new apartment building is being built? Are you concerned about how that will affect parking near where you live? Are you looking for a place to live? Does an apartment building without car parking appeal to you?

Thursday, August 9, 2012


"Artist Lofts function in unexpected places when a mixed use buildings original retail Dreams are no longer viable."

Siteworks transformed the ground level retail of the Enso Artist Lofts with good design and efficient construction processes.  This was accomplished by retaining existing entrances and store front creating a common gallery, and access to light and air by lowering the entry to a structural floor.  Siteworks maximized high cielings, and by introducing our industrial design and fabrication capabilities were efficiently partition the interiors of units. 

Siteworks not only provided creative solutions to an un-leasable commercial space.  Siteworks' team of Project Managers, Super Superintendents, Architects, and Designers delivered the project complete ahead of anticipated schedule.  


Visit Enso's website:

Friday, June 8, 2012


PNCA's Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design from PNCA - Pacific Northwest College on Vimeo.

PNCA’s new home will become a bustling new hub for creativity and entrepreneurship, reflecting the transformational power of art and design. The 134,000 square foot building will enable the College to shed expensive leased spaces and to grow the student body to 1,000 by 2018. PNCA’s Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design will serve as the gateway to the transformation of the North Park Blocks, which also encompasses PNCA’s partner, the Museum of Contemporary Craft and ArtHouse, a spectacular new residence hall opening in 2013.

The Campaign for PNCA's Vision of the North Park Blocks

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Transitions Professional Center

Transitions Professional Center is located in the LEED certified Ardea tower in the South Waterfront. Offices are constructed using modern green building practices, designed and built by Siteworks Design | Build. Salvaged wood materials and Yolo Paints create warmth and narrative in our new space. Energy efficiencies in lighting and HVAC are supported by the Oregon Energy Trust.

Below are Transitions interior spaces photographed by Scott Gerke.

New rules on funding could aid sustainable business
Portland Business Journal by Erik Siemers, Business Journal staff writer
Date: Friday, May 4, 2012 

New rules making it easier to use the Internet to attract equity investors could provide a new pathway to capital for the world of sustainable business.

But questions over when and how the “crowd funding” structure may be applied still hold equal weight to the excitement over its potential.

The JOBS Act — an acronym for Jumpstart Our Business Startups — signed into law last month by President Barack Obama will enable small businesses to use the Internet to raise up to $1 million in small investments from lots of people.

The funding mechanism has generated excitement in the world of sustainable business, where goals are often driven by a mission rather than profits, making it difficult to attract angel investors or venture capital.

“I think everyone can really benefit from this,” said Jenny Kassan, CEO of Oakland, Calif.-based Cutting Edge Capital, one of the earliest advocates of crowd funding who stood alongside Obama at the White House Rose Garden bill signing ceremony.

Before the JOBS Act, soliciting equity capital online was forbidden under U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission rules. Companies were limited mostly to seeking out “accredited investors” — individuals with a net worth of at least $1 million — giving them just a tiny fraction of the population from which to solicit equity capital.

The JOBS Act, though, opens the field to an endless array of equity investors and could allow sustainably focused enterprises the ability to link-up with investors that believe in their mission.

“There are all kinds of people out there with all kinds of different motivations for investing,” said Kassan. “Some might be looking for the next Google. Some might be looking for a business in their community. Some might be looking for businesses that promote women’s equality. It opens up a huge new potential group of investors.”

Though the bill was signed into law, Kassan warns that it could take at least two years before it can really be applied.

The law requires companies to use an SEC-approved intermediary service to solicit investors online, and it could be a while before the SEC completes the rule-making process. That isn’t stopping advocates from thinking about the possibilities.

“We have a lot of entrepreneurial activity looking at things like energy, water, shelter, food that’s really improving the quality of life for our community,” said Tom Osdoba, the former director of the Center for Sustainable Business Practices at the University of Oregon’s Lundquist College of Business. “We now have the opportunity to let people in our own community have access to these investment opportunities they didn’t have before.”

The community-backed solar energy projects that have become popular in Portland, now reliant on tax investors, could become truly community owned under crowd funding, said Osdoba, who now runs the sustainability consulting firm TAO Strategies.

Developers of environmentally friendly real estate projects that struggle to attract bank loans could take their pitch directly to the community in which they want to build.

“All of a sudden people can put $20,000 and $50,000 into those kinds of investment projects they weren’t able to do before,” Osdoba said.

Jean-Pierre Veillet can certainly see the appeal.
The president of Portland-based Siteworks Design Build last year developed EcoFlats Northwest, a net-zero apartment complex that opened last year that had its own share of troubles attracting bank financing.

Though the concept is attractive, Veillet said he turned away the several offers he received from people interested in putting $5,000 or $10,000 into the project.

The reason? There was no easy way to manage multiple stakeholders.

“I quickly conceded that I had enough on my plate with the whole project,” he said. “I had already consolidated all these costs into one person. I couldn’t manage multiple investors.”

The challenge for sustainable industries in wading into a larger pool of investors comes is that their projects are often rooted in a set of beliefs. And those viewpoints may not intersect cleanly with those of the people from whom they’re attracting investment.

“How do you deal with micro investors and get everybody on board?” Veillet asked. “If somebody can put that together, it really does make a tremendous amount of sense.”

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Creating The Future of The Building Industry

Jean-Pierre Veillet, owner of design/build firm Siteworks, and his partner Doug Shapiro were inspired by the idea of creating a highly sustainable mixed-use building.  With a site chosen along Portland's North Williams bike corridor they needed design and cash resources to make their vision of a net-zero building a reality.  Energy Trust stepped in to provide that support, and the result is ecoFLATS, a highly sustainable 18 unit apartment building with ground-floor retail space.

"I saw the opportunity, when the economy slowed down, that we could change directions and take a new course," said Veillet.  "With more limited resources we could focus on what people really need - on what would benefit the greatest amount of people - and what popped up was the Path to Net Zero.  I thought, oh, this is perfect, this make sense."
The project team decided to focus its goal of achieving netzero energy use on the residential portion of the building.  Early design assistance from Energy Trust paid for an energy-focused eco-charrette to identify building goals and ensure all parties involved - from owners to architects to contractors - shared the zero-energy vision and collaborated throughout the design and construction process.

"Energy Trust made ecoFLATS possible," said Veillet.  "Their participation validated our project and streamlined the process by offering one central place to go for technical assistance, design advice and cash incentives."

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD: 'Creating The Future of The Building Industry' PDF

ISITE Design Virtual Tour

ISITE has announced a virtual tour of their headquarter space on Google Places.  Click on the picture to take the tour ...

Thursday, May 10, 2012


There is a lot of activity going on at the Lemon Hotel Building these days with the new storefront windows being installed, second story addition taking shape, and interior framing going up rapidly.
Here are some photos highlighting the buildings progress.

Friday, April 20, 2012


European details inspire North Park Blocks project

POSTED: Thursday, April 19, 2012 at 01:04 PM PT
BY: Lindsey O'Brien

Tim O'Leary, left, and his wife, Michelle Cardinal, are renovating a 10,000-square-foot building in Portland's Pearl District. The space will feature two ground-floor office spaces, a restaurant and a second-story rooftop bar. (Photo by Sam Tenney/DJC)
Development in the North Park Blocks has been slow relative to the rest of Portland’s Pearl District, but some people say it has finally reached its tipping point.
Recently, a seven-story dormitory building development on Northwest Park Avenue was announced, and Tim O’Leary, CEO of advertising agency R2C Group, and his wife, Michelle Cardinal, are working on their third project in the area. The renovation and addition under way on the corner of Northwest Everett Street and Park Avenue is part of a larger vision to re-energize the North Park Blocks.
“I like and believe in this part of the park (blocks), but it’s been slow to develop,” O’Leary said. “For the first time in 15 years, the pieces are coming into place – and my guess is there will be a time when this area is as good of real estate as there is in Portland.”
O’Leary purchased the building at 235 N.W. Park Ave. about a year ago. The only tenant, Urban Fauna, relocated, and O’Leary then rented out space to production companies shooting scenes for the “Grimm” and “Leverage” TV shows in the U.S. Custom House across the street.
Siteworks Design | Build began renovating the 10,000-square-foot building in March. Crews gutted it and installed a huge structural system featuring steel and concrete. When work wraps up this summer, the space will be divided into two ground-floor office spaces – for Acme Business Consulting and actor representative group Talent Direct – along with a restaurant and a second-story rooftop bar.
Jean-Pierre Veillet, president of Siteworks, likens the project to Davis Street Tavern and Andina, two of his firm’s recognizable efforts on the west side. Siteworks preserved the building’s original heavy timber, added complementary elements of structural steel, and used fasteners and connectors that appear “like they’ve been there forever,” he said.
“The conversation began with, ‘If this was Europe, what would be happening here?’ ” Veillet said.
Similar to a European café, the second story will feature a door that opens the full width of the building, which skirts the tree line. Skylights will frame the views of taller buildings in the neighborhood.

A rooftop bar will be added to the vacant building on the corner of Northwest Everett Street and Park Avenue. It will feature skylights and a wide doorway. (Rendering courtesy of Siteworks Design | Build)
“I’m 100 percent convinced the North Park Blocks will be the next go-to spot, so we’re putting things in place that are in line with that,” Veillet said.
The biggest challenge for the design team, led by Koch Architecture LLC, has been bringing the nearly 100-year-old building up to present codes, according to lead designer Larry Nutt. For instance, usable space on the second floor was limited in order to avoid additional costs related to an elevator installation.
But the open design and unique rooftop bar bolster Nutt’s confidence that the building will be a significant part of what he too predicts will be a major transformation of the North Park Blocks.
“Our grand scheme on this thing is to kind of drag the whole area into a more European feel,” he said. “I really think it’s been quietly ignored, and this development is going to bring a lot of activity.”
The purchase, renovation and tenant improvements total approximately $3 million, O’Leary said. Office tenants are expected to move in this summer, and negotiations are ongoing with a handful of potential restaurant and bar owners.
O’Leary said he may start focusing on plans to bring more retail and dining to the neighborhood, after this property is fully leased.
“I didn’t think it was the right time for that before, but it’s time now,” he said. “There’s a few blighted properties left on the block and something needs to be done with them.”

Monday, March 26, 2012


ISITE Design has shared with us the time lapse construction video that was taken for the renovation of an 18,000 sf warehouse in NW Portland into their new headquarters building. Enjoy!

Friday, March 16, 2012


Siteworks has begun retrofitting two underutilized retail spaces of the ENSO apartment building in NW Portland, transforming them into 8 ground floor apartments. New entry corridors where created to add security and privacy to the units, while generating gallery spaces and places of interaction. Custom steel wall panels accentuate the raw concrete and glass shell, while fir framed windows provide daylight and add warmth to the interiors. Here are some renderings of the spaces.

nw lobby corridor looking west

interior unit 102

nw lobby corridor looking south

interior unit 103

nw lobby corridor looking north

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Siteworks Design | Build is partnering with Larry Nutt Design Service and Koch Architecture to design and renovate a 10,000 sf building on the corner of NW Everett St. and NW Park Ave. A new 2nd story addition and rooftop deck will provide a vibrant outdoor seating area that will make one feel as they are in the canopy of the adjacent trees. Here is a sneak peek at some renderings of the design.