Blog
May 2, 2018

Otak client Walter “Skip” Grodahl presented “Tigard, Where Collaboration Meets Goals” at the National Planning Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, with representatives from the City of Tigard, Miller Nash Graham & Dunn and Trammell Crow.

Grodahl and other panel members shared their story about “The Fields,” a 264-unit affordable multifamily development and 100,000-square-foot office development in Tigard, Oregon. The property is unique because it is an undeveloped infill site in a mostly built-out community.

Otak provided survey, civil engineering, architecture, land use planning, and landscape architecture services for the design of this ground-breaking project that makes housing affordable to those earning 60% of median family income. The site was challenging to develop because of its substantial slope, access constraints, and the desire to protect a substantial stand of trees on the site. The project team worked closely with city staff and nearby residents to design a project that met the city’s economic development goals and the neighbors’ desires, while providing attractive and well-located housing and office space.

“Affordable housing is important to me personally and to Otak as an organization,” said Li Alligood, senior planner on the project. “It has been rewarding to work with DBG, city staff, and the neighbors to create a project that is well integrated and attractive and serves people who earn 60% of median family income. This type of integrated affordable housing is what keeps our communities vital and accessible to people at all stages of life.”

This collaborative economic development success story unlocked a constrained site to create a mixed-use employment and housing development with infrastructure improvements that spurred economic activity and quality of life.

Skip Grodahl, doing business as DBG Properties LLC, is a visionary private developer who specializes in finding creative ways to fund and develop affordable housing for people who work hard for relatively low incomes. Grodahl’s connections with equity investors and people help him navigate public financing programs.

The Fields project won a Local Innovation and Fast Track Housing Award in 2016 from the State of Oregon Housing and Community Services.

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November 27, 2017

November 15 was a day to remember. Otak advanced into the future, unveiling our new brand to the entire company. The rebrand, which includes Otak and its divisions Day CPM and Loris, involves a complete redesign of company logos, typefaces, and collateral material (resumes, financial sheets, etc.). The new logo will grace everything from letterheads to company trucks. 

The logo is designed to “represent Otak’s foundational benefit to our clients – a convergence of people, disciplines, services, and companies moving toward a common horizon.” 

Soon to follow the rebrand will be the unveiling of our new website.

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April 14, 2017

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June 7, 2016

 

Ben Bortolazzo | Director of Planning & Design, Portland

Ben Bortolazzo has been promoted to Director of Planning & Design in the Portland office. Ben’s unique talents and experience as an urban planner, urban designer in urban planning, design and architecture, provide him with the comprehensive skills to take on this leadership position and strengthen the connection between Planning and Design, Architecture and the TIS civil team. As part of this role, Ben will also be working closely with our landscape architecture team in Vancouver in association with the common clients shared between both teams.

As Ben takes on this role, Don Hanson will continue to provide mentorship and guidance with client relations and team management. Ben will help guide the Planning and Design group as a facilitator and incubator of the type of exciting projects that are often result in integration of all of Otak disciplines. Ben will continue to be active in managing clients and some discreet architecture projects to support continuity and growth within the architecture practice.

Mike Morrow | Survey Party Chief, Gearhart

Mike Morrow has been promoted from Survey Field Technician to Survey Party Chief in our Gearhart office. Mike has been a quick learner and is a great member of our team; this promotion is a reflection of the great work Mike has done and we’re looking forward to a strong future with the current opportunities to expand our work on the Oregon Coast.  

Paul Pellicani | Manager of Architecture, Tempe

Paul Pellicani will take on the role of Manager of Architecture in Arizona.  Paul has largely been filling this role since he joined Otak last August and has done an exemplary job with client service, staff leadership and management of projects to completion while maintaining profitability. Paul will be working closely with Brian Fleener and our architecture team in Portland to continue to build our architecture business in Arizona and deliver great design work for our clients.

Windi Shapley | Project Manager, Redmond

Windi Shapley has transitioned her role from lead Project Engineer to full-time Project Manager over this last year. Windi has played a key role in our work with Community Transit and is leading management of SWIFT II BRT, which involves a 13-mile transit route and 30 new transit stations in south Snohomish County. Windi is highly organized and very client focused and we are confident that she will continue to excel in her new role, moving forward.  

Sylwia Jaszczak-Follehr | Survey Party Chief, Redmond

Sylwia Jaszczak-Follehr has been promoted from Survey Field Technician to Survey Party Chief in our Redmond office. Sylwia has advanced quickly within our survey team and enthusiastically taken on increased field responsibilities this past year. Sylwia’s work ethic, eagerness to learn, and commitment to quality have been a great benefit to our team and projects.

Tyson Hounsel | Project Manager, Redmond

Tyson Hounsel has been promoted from Project Engineer to Project Manager. Tyson continues to be a key technical resource for WNR and for the Redmond/Everett offices and has been expanding his role to include various project management assignments. Tyson provides a broad background that includes both public sector and private development experience. Among his many duties, Tyson is currently managing work for Snohomish County and just beginning a newly won project for the City of Shoreline.


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January 22, 2016

Along Spirit Lake, in Mt St Helens, Washington, The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers bored a 1.6-mile tunnel through bedrock to provide a new outlet after the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens blocked the lake’s natural outlet.  Without the tunnel, the lake could fill and begin overflowing onto nearby highways.  Recently, it was discovered the floor of the tunnel has been rising effectively shrinking the diameter of the tunnel. Otak is part of the team working to fix the tunnel to keep in in operation. Our Professional Land Surveyors are establishing survey control in the Spirit Lake Tunnel and marking the locations for the work to take place using robotic total station survey equipment. This project is 6,000 feet inside the tunnel. Work in a tunnel that is always wet, with running water from 2” to 40” deep, dark, and strongly ventilated is difficult. The crew spent their days a mile and a quarter inside the 11’ diameter tunnel. The remote location is a 2 ½ hour commute from the nearest town. The crew worked Friday-Tuesday, 14 hours each day and our office technical staff worked each evening starting around 8pm when data could be sent in from the remote location. Data was processed each night so new information could be used the next day.  Construction is scheduled to be complete by May 2016. 

 

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