After working for local and national brokerage companies for 15 years,
Craig founded and opened Urban Works Real Estate in 2002. As Portland embraced the revitalization and redevelopment of it’s central city neighborhoods the need for boutique quality, local, urban property services was apparent. Urban Works’ team approach toward real estate assignments was new and untraditional in Portland. Brokerage assignments were delegated by each brokers specialty, knowledge of a neighborhood, restaurants, retailer types and approached as a group assignment. We pooled our real estate resources and shared it as a team.
All brokers at Urban Works are company employees with health benefits working towards the common goal of what is best for our clients. As a native Portlander raised and schooled in southeast and northeast neighborhoods, Craig has always been an advocate for central city neighborhoods and the critical role they play in making our city interesting and unique. Today, Craig manages the brokerage team as a principal broker and oversees the daily operations as of the company with his wife and CFO, Linda Sweitzer.
His continued goal is to enhance urban neighborhoods with authentic, quality tenants that help provide a true sense of place for all of us. Real estate is in a constant state of change and that is what helps makes our city livable and interesting. Creating an equal balance between local and national retailers with the needs of a neighborhood are essential and ultimately sustaining.
What are your favorite restaurant memories in Portland?
I got into commercial retail brokerage because of my interest and love for great food and drink. I was lucky enough to have parents that loved to dine out and that was exciting to a kid in the 70s. Watching Portland’s restaurant industry grow and evolve has been fascinating. Fortunately, Portland was in the shadow of both Seattle and San Francisco, and most of the national chains missed us. I believe we developed our taste for independent restaurateurs long before it was in fashion. There were so many brave early restaurateurs and chefs; The Polish Princess, The Brasserie, Uncle Chen’s, L’Auberge, The Carnival, L’Omelette, Couch St. Fish House, Jazz d’ Opus, and the original Trader Vic’s.
Today V.Q. & The Goose keep those traditions alive.
Favorite Portland Brand?
I marvel at the achievements of the McMenamin brothers. They have been building a great authentic brand since the 70s and kept true to their original origins. Purchasing their real estate at a modest constant rate and making real improvements to communities. Also, who wouldn’t want to own a great outdoor concert venue and sell only your food and beer!