As Port Blakely Communities (“PBC”) seeks a partner to help move forward the retail and commercial development in the town center at Issaquah Highlands, a senior officer of Port Blakely Companies, the parent of PBC, will now lead this effort.
René Ancinas, President and COO of Port Blakely Companies (“Port Blakely”), also became acting president of its subsidiary, PBC, earlier this month. He replaces Alan Boeker who resigned in mid-January to pursue other real estate industry opportunities. During his nearly two years at Port Blakely Communities, Alan contributed in many ways. These include the YWCA Family Village and zHome transactions, land sale to Swedish Hospital, joint venture with OPUS for the office project and stabilizing the Town Center project amidst a tough and unforgiving economy, which helped lay the foundation for the company to pursue a partner.
René has been involved in Issaquah Highlands for many years in different roles. He followed it closely for several years in his role as President of the Family Council, the governing body of the family ownership group. He then joined the company as Senior Vice President in 2005, and one of his early assignments was to evaluate and restructure the Highlands Fiber Network in 2006. Since becoming President and COO of Port Blakely in 2008, he has been actively involved in overseeing the operations of PBC.
“René’s experience, collaborative style and values-driven leadership are exactly what this community needs as we move into the future,” said Judd Kirk, former PBC president who now serves as a senior advisor to René and the real estate team. “He clearly understands the vision we have for Issaquah Highlands and has championed it within the family and the company.” Kirk added that over the years the support from senior management has been essential to keep the project on course for the long term.
The current head of Port Blakely, Jim Warjone, has been actively involved since 1989 and will be turning over his position as CEO to Rene this July. The current change at PBC will remove one level of management, giving René an even more direct role. With his background with the company and an MBA from the University of Washington, Rene will continue to be guided by a tradition of progressive leaders and the counsel of Jim Warjone and the entire PBC management team.
“The top priority for my family and our company today is to complete Issaquah Highlands consistent with the vision we set out for the community,” Ancinas said. “While the economic climate continues to be a significant challenge, we are fully committed to finding a solution that will facilitate building out the next phase of the community.” He added that he looks forward to working closely with the excellent team, led by experienced managers “who continue to do an amazing job as stewards of our real estate assets and the community we’ve been building for many years.”