For over 35 years, Bob Naito and his family have been involved in the development of over two million square feet of commercial real estate—both new construction and historic rehabilitation projects—in Oregon and Washington. Operating as Naito Development LLC, Bob Naito and his son Will Naito continue the legacy.
Bob’s grandfather, Hide Naito immigrated to the United States from Japan in 1912 eventually settling in Portland where he married, raised a family and built a successful business importing giftware from Asia under the name Norcrest China Company.
Beginning in the 1960’s, Bob Naito’s father, Bill, expanded Norcrest China Company into several other retail and wholesale companies including the Made in Oregon chain of retail stores and Import Plaza, which was modeled after Cost Plus in San Francisco. In addition, Bill Naito began to move into commercial real estate by buying up derelict buildings in Portland’s Skid Road (which he later renamed Old Town) and “fixing them up.”
By investing in Portland’s faded Old Town area and turning it into a viable commercial and retail area, the Naito family made a significant imprint on the City of Portland.
In 1975, the Bill Naito Company redeveloped The Galleria. The project transformed a vacant department store located on a prime block in downtown Portland into three floors of specialty retail with a wholesale apparel mart above. Six years later, the company acquired an abandoned riverfront industrial site north of downtown Portland and developed a 302-unit market rate apartment project. In 1985, the company purchased a functionally obsolete 800,000 square foot, nine-story warehouse located on 17.6 acres in Northwest Portland from Montgomery Ward. In the largest historic rehabilitation project in the Pacific Northwest, the building was renamed Montgomery Park and converted to a multi-tenant office building for large office users including Wells Fargo Bank, Kaiser Permanente and Freightliner.
While at the company, Bob also developed a build-to-suit 40,000 sq. ft. computer data center for Kaiser, and was the project manager for the conversion of Albers Mill, a 135,000 square foot historic waterfront grain mill into offices and laboratories for the Wheat Marketing Center.
To this day, Bill Naito’s presence is still felt in Portland and his legacy of community service to a number of civic, cultural and educational organizations remains. He served as a trustee of Reed College, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Wildlife Federation. He chaired the Multnomah County Library, and founded the Urban Forestry Commission, Artquake, and the Association for Portland Progress and Portland Vintage Trolley. He worked on drafting the landmark Portland Downtown Plan and influenced development in the Central City for decades after.
Today, Naito Development is inspired by Bill Naito’s vision, creativity, tenacity and unquenchable optimism. We are guided by his example of unquestioned personal integrity. We strive in our work to build successful projects that create lasting community benefits.