Sponsored by Lane Powell

TMT Development's president struggles to revive Park Avenue West

| Print |  Email
Articles - June 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Sturgeon operates from a modest, south-facing office on the Fox Tower’s 20th floor. She can be approachable and charming, flashing sparkling eyes as she talks of her imminent escape from spring dreariness to Mexico with her husband and two small boys. But as the conversation shifts to business, it shortens, each of her words measured cautiously. Despite the fact that she’s held the title of president for 10 years now, since she joined TMT as a young Willamette University graduate student at Moyer's request, she admits to being “nervous” about how the ongoing Park Avenue West saga is playing out in public. “I’m worried I’m going to get reamed over it,” in future press, she says.

I'm worried I'm going to get reamed over it. -Vanessa Sturgeon

Sturgeon offers brief glimpses of how difficult the last three years have been. She signed the stop work orders at Park Avenue West in April 2009, a week after her second son, Cole, was born, and a few days after closing on a new house in Lake Oswego.

“It was all a blur,” she says.

Shutting down the project “was incredibly hard. The hardest part was there were no other construction jobs for the workers to jump to.”

“[The downturn] has been hard for people in the office,” she says. “They call counterparts at other firms and they’re just gone, voice mail disconnected. These are people who’ve worked for the same place for 10 or 20 years. So it’s tough for morale.”

But asked if the sight of that dormant hole kitty-corner from the Fox Tower gets under her skin, she grows terse. “It’s just part of the landscape now,” she says.

There is undoubtedly a hard-nosed edge to Sturgeon. She reportedly announced intentions to sue her father, Elie Kassab, for ownership of a theater property in Vancouver, Wash., after dinner at his house with her brother and sister in 2005. The children thought they’d been wronged in a divorce settlement between their mother, Kimberly Moyer, and Kassab, which granted him the company. (Sturgeon and her siblings lost in court.)

By the accounts of business associates, Sturgeon is now the developer in charge at TMT. But she says Moyer still remains a close adviser, descending from his condominium to the office every day, and checking in by phone when at his second home in Rancho Mirage, Calif. “We talk about everything,” Sturgeon says.

 



 

Comments   

 
Jeffrey
0 #1 Signature Downtown TowerJeffrey 2011-06-13 19:03:15
The proposed Park Avenue West tower is located on a prime block in downtown Portland and will be a positive addition to the skyline. Office and retail tenants will add vibrancy to the immediate streetscape. The office tower should become a "signature address" for corporate firms to relocate into - one of only a few recent proposed projects in Portland that has some dynamic potential...
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Downtime with John Helmick

June 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Live, Work, Play: CEO of Gorilla Capital.


Read more...

Fixing Oregon’s broken roads

The Latest
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
RUCCostComparison rev4-30BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

The technology at the center of Oregon’s road usage fee reform.


Read more...

The ancient fish that stops bullets

The Latest
Friday, May 08, 2015
hagfishthumbBY CHRIS NOBLE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Hagfish may not have evolved much over the last 300 million years, but their protein-heavy slime promises advances in super-materials.


Read more...

Oregon businesses face destruction from future earthquake

The Latest
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
htctthumb1BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

An earthquake would completely destroy many Oregon businesses, highlighting the urgent need for the private and public sectors to collaborate on shoring up disaster preparedness, said panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast summit today.


Read more...

Queen of Resilience

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Astrid Scholz scales up sustainability.


Read more...

Intrepid reporter checks out ZoomCare rebrand

The Latest
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
dentistthumbPHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Like all good journalists, OB editorial staff typically eschew freebies. But health care costs being what they are, digital news editor Jacob Palmer couldn't resist ZoomCare's offer of a three-in-one (cleaning, exam, whitening) dental office visit, guaranteed to take no more than 57 minutes. 


Read more...

Frothy Battle

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY ROBERT MULLIN

Latest development in Nestlé plant saga sparks debate about the value of water.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS