Edge Rocks in Oregon
Edge Development brings construction, management and development under one roof
When Scott Elliott started Portland, Oregon-based Edge Development (Edge) in 2000, he was building single-family homes and a few townhome projects. Today, his firm is an established design, development and construction company delivering commercial, retail and multifamily projects.
“Design and development are the cornerstones of Edge, but beyond that is construction and asset management,” says Edge Director of Construction Dave Didier. “We’re built on a three-legged stool with our design and development as one leg, construction as the second and asset management as the third. Each can operate independently, but they are all complementary.”
Edge develops its own properties but also offers all of its services to others, Dave says. In 2019, almost 50 percent of the company’s construction revenue was from clients. Moving forward that may be a larger figure as the construction leg brings in the most revenue, he adds.
The asset management division launched three years ago initially managed Edge’s holdings; but that side of the business has grown from two employees to eight. About 80 percent of the asset management division’s business is for other clients, Dave says.
“Most developers don’t build. Most designers aren’t investors. Most investors don’t design. Most builders are not managers,” explains Dave. “Our company creates an edge by uniting all of these elements into one cohesive team to maximize the value of a property.”
Creating Smart Solutions
Dave says Edge offers clients an advantage when it comes to performing construction work. “Because we are developers, we understand the challenges that come with bringing a project to life. We don’t have to call a consultant to get advice on how to handle a challenge because we have the experience to handle whatever comes along,” he says.
One of Edge’s construction projects involved working with Fred Meyer—a grocery chain affiliated with Kroger—in Beaverton. The company wanted to build a fueling station in its parking lot, but the city wanted more retail added to the site before approving the gas station.
“Kroger came to us because they saw us building some retail nearby and asked if we would be interested in purchasing a plat of the land and building a retail center on it,” Dave says. “We created a two-story multiuse concept and our design for the building that included some restaurants and medical office spaces. We wanted to make sure all of the infrastructure was in place for growth and expansion, as well.”
The result is the 13,000-square-foot Canyon Crossing, a commercial property with four restaurants and a physical therapy office. Edge acted as the developer/contractor and is the property manager for the project as well, Dave says.
The biggest challenge with the project was waiting on other parties—from the time the plat was purchased until construction started was almost five years. The construction part was simple once it started, Dave says, and the center was rented up before the project was even completed.
“Because we were there from the start, we were able to collaborate with each tenant to design the space. For the physical therapy office, we created a comfortable and relaxing environment for both patients and employees,” Dave says. “Being able to collaborate directly with the tenant allowed a smooth design phase and shortened the overall project schedule from the beginning of construction to the tenant handover.”
Dave says Edge takes its developer experience with complex projects and delivers it to clients like Green Light Development, which hired Edge to serve as general contractor for a challenging multifamily project called The Marigold. The project site in Portland originally housed two older fourplexes on just a one-half acre site. Edge demolished one of them to create five three-story townhomes. The remaining fourplex was remodeled, Dave says. The end result: a total of 24 rental units with off-street parking, community gardens, grilling areas and more.
Another customer is Earl & Brown, a virtual supply company that handles fulfillment for companies like Amazon and The Home Depot.
“They handle lots of automated orders and their business is booming, so they needed more space in their commercial warehouse,” Dave says. “Renovation and expansion proved more challenging than expected. We took care of the permits and worked with their architects and engineers, and then completed the construction portion,” Dave says. The 18,000-square-foot, tilt-wall concrete building was completed in time to help the firm deal with the inevitable Christmas rush. “The result is a very functional workspace,” he says.
“The Edge team was professional and committed to completing the project on time and within scope,” says Chuck Taylor, CEO/President of Virtual Supply, which is the parent company for Earl & Brown. “Scott and his crew are top-notch, and I would recommend them for any commercial project. They care about doing great work, and it really came through on the finished product.”
Edge is currently rehabbing a historic building the company owns at 4589 SW Watson Ave. in downtown Beaverton. “We are gutting the building and putting in three new restaurants: Sizzle Pie, The Sudra and decarli. The building was built in the 1940s and we are taking it down to the bare bones to keep that historic feel, while creating an updated atmosphere,” he says.
“We believe new development calls for a vision, not a formula,” adds Dave. “We also believe in the strength of synergy and a collaborative process that takes into account the unique variables and the potential of any given property before embarking on a project. We believe in creative solutions based on logic and the need for added value. We understand economies of scale and deliver innovative design, functionality and maximum revenue potential that can expand the possibilities for developers, investors and property owners.”
Why Edge Rocks
The team is proud of its hashtag and motto: #EdgeRocks.
As a team, “Edge ‘rocks’ because we are all about camaraderie,” Dave says. “We have weekly meetings with our teams and everyone has the same equal say. Everyone is required to bring up their top one or two priorities for the week and they’re tracked in our meeting minutes. It is a great way to demonstrate accountability and challenge ourselves.”
Another way the Edge “rocks” is by giving back to the community. In light of COVID-19 precautions, Edge leadership opted not to host its annual holiday open house for its vendors and team and instead spent that money giving back to three charities selected by the employees.
“It just felt like the right thing to do,” he explains. “We had the money budgeted anyway, so it might as well go to a good cause.” Continuing that rockin’ theme, Edge has been acknowledged as a star, most recently, on the Portland Business Journal’s 2020 list of the 100 fastest-growing private companies. With 22 employees, the firm has grown its revenues by more than 50 percent between 2017 and 2019. “We’re always shooting high, and our current goal is to do 20 percent more projects with 20 percent more revenue year over year,” he says
“We are in growth mode and I want our company to be known for being an open book through our honesty and integrity,” Dave continues. “We have no secrets. We have created systems where our projects, whether Edge projects done in-house or projects for someone else, get equal attention. There is no differentiation between an Edge property or one we are building for a client. They are all run through our system identically and treated the same in regard to importance.”
“We have staked our reputation on building properties with lasting value and delivering high-quality projects in a safe, timely and cost-effective manner,” he says. “We identify, design and build with purpose. We take investment opportunities and turn potential into reality.”