One-on-One Interview with BizWest: Kevin Brinkman: CEO and co-founder, Brinkman
BIZWEST: Brinkman has taken on high-proﬁle projects in the past few years. What has prepared the company for these projects?
ANSWER: Over the last 12 years, every project we’ve done has been a big project for us at the time. The success of each project paved the way for the next, each increasing in scope and complexity. In recent years, we’ve focused our business goals on building strong public/private partnerships so we can be a part of community-building projects like The Foundry and The Exchange. This is the space we’ve always wanted to be in and plan to stay in for the foreseeable future.
BIZWEST: The Foundry project in downtown Loveland has required complicated public and private partnerships to get to this stage. Do you have advice for others seeking to do similar projects?
ANSWER: My advice would be, if you feel passionately about the project, persevere. Projects that depend on public/private partnerships are rarely easy and straightforward, but they’re worth it. With The Foundry project, we knew this would change the landscape of Loveland for the better so we never gave up. We went to 25 City Council meetings! The only other thing I’d say is that a strong partnership doesn’t happen overnight. Our relationship with the City of Loveland started with The Gallery Flats back in 2012 and we worked tirelessly to make sure it was a success for all stakeholders. When the opportunity arose to build The Foundry, we were able to enhance our strong history of working together.
BIZWEST: What’s on the horizon for 2018 for your company?
ANSWER: We’re ﬁnding our niche in downtown transformations and working with community stakeholders to make those projects successful. We have an amazing pipeline right now of these projects that we refer to as “Meaningful Places.” We’ll be wrapping up The Exchange south building and plaza in downtown Fort Collins. The hotel and theater at The Foundry will go vertical early this year and we’ll begin working on the Downtown Windsor revitalization project. On the residential side, we’ll be opening Copperleaf Place to tenants in May and breaking ground on a new HUD 221(d)(4) multi-family development in Longmont. We’re planning to break ground on a mixed-use project in midtown Fort Collins at the existing Spradley Barr property that will include 200 residential units, a 110-key hotel, and 17,000 SF of commercial space. In addition to these projects along the Front Range, one of our biggest goals in 2018 is to expand into the Denver market.
BIZWEST: What one project has been the most rewarding for the company?
ANSWER: Deﬁnitely The Foundry. This project is going to redeﬁne Downtown Loveland and is exactly the type of development we want to be a part of. We have committed to taking a triple bottom line approach to all of our projects by making sure we’re positively impacting people, creating a sense of place in a sustainable way, and producing a desirable economic impact. This project hits all three. We’ll be bringing a hotel, a community plaza, theater, two multi-family buildings, and Loveland’s ﬁrst parking garage to downtown Loveland. We hope this encourages residents and guests to spend more time visiting the local businesses and helping to further propel Loveland’s economic vitality.
BIZWEST: What would you rank as the company’s greatest challenge in the coming 12 months?
ANSWER: We’re at a pivotal point in our company so managing growth is going to be our biggest challenge this year. It’s important to us not to compromise our company culture regardless of how many projects we take on or how many staff we hire. We have incredible projects in the pipeline and are excited about that, but at the end of the day our team is what sets us apart. The most important goal of our company is to make sure they are supported, aligned with our mission, and given opportunities for personal and professional growth.