ULI Northwest Blog

Portland YLG Leadership Forum Series: Kevin Cavenaugh

Below is a brief summary of the second in a series of Leadership Forums by the Portland YLG Leadership Team written by YLG members Jackie Gruber and Suja Shyam:

On Wednesday March 20, Kevin Cavenaugh, of Cavenaugh & Cavenaugh met with Young Leaders in the Portland area for the second Leadership Forum of 2013. Kevin is a respected small-scale urban designer and developer based in Portland whose portfolio includes the Burnside Rocket, Dr. Jim is Really Nice, and Box & One.

Kevin spoke about his background as an architect and what it takes to become a designer and builder. He acknowledged the need for some degree of appetite and tolerance for risk and the necessity of bringing in investors with the current market. He provided inspiration to the group by reflecting on his experience with both successes and setbacks, and pointed to his website which openly displays the floor plans and proforma of each of his projects.  The importance of reputation in a smaller town like Portland was brought up more than once over the course of the lunch.

The conversation also touched on issues discussed during the previous session with Jeff Myhre, such as the city’s change in parking requirements. Kevin is a bold supporter of allowing developers to include less parking and critical of attitudes desiring of easy parking at the expense of increased density. Kevin also expressed his disappointment with developments that put residential units instead of retail at ground level because of the effect that choice has on the liveliness of streetscape.

The Portland YLG group thanks Kevin for his enthusiasm, optimism and openness, and welcomes ULI members (under 35) to join us for the next Leadership Forum to be announced soon.

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