Looking to the Future from a New Perspective
By Chamber Visionary Casey Barrett, Vice President of Obie Companies
I’ve had the good fortune of working directly with a man I consider a tremendous visionary – Brian Obie, president of Obie Companies and my grandfather. Since I was 13 years old I’ve worked in the family business, starting with sweeping floors and now, almost two decades later, as vice president and co-developer of the 5th Street Public Market Expansion. Through my grandfather, I’ve seen the power of community and the Chamber’s role in it. That’s why I wanted to serve on the Chamber board and why we’re all working so hard to bring this Market Expansion project to fruition. Like the Chamber, this project both builds and creates community.
The project includes The Gordon Lofts, a 127-unit apartment building. Housing is new for our company and the construction environment is challenging right now, but it’s a risk we’re willing to take because we think it’s important to the health of our city’s downtown. We’re equally excited to be partnering with Homes for Good on their 55-unit apartment building just west of The Gordon Hotel site. Homes for Good provides the affordable housing component to go along with our market-rate apartments, helping to give downtown Eugene the diverse housing mix it currently lacks.
As a new father, I know my vision for the future and my role in it is evolving and changing. I’m looking out over a longer horizon now and thinking about the world and the community I want my son to grow up in. A baby adds a whole new dimension to life and gives me a new perspective on the work we do. It makes me more committed than ever to finding ways to facilitate growth and still maintain the elements of this community that we all treasure.
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