In 1996, the company's founders, Mark Edlen and Robert Gerding, created Gerding Edlen Development with the vision to approach real estate with the singular focus of creating places for people. Beyond just “bricks and mortar,” they were committed to developing vibrant properties where tenants could live, work and learn. This vision established a different kind of real estate company, one with a deep commitment to innovation and sustainability, that was dedicated to sound research based on meeting the needs of its tenants in mixed-use projects that included housing, retail and office uses. Bob and Mark’s vision is articulated in the Firm’s Principles of Place, where community plays a pivotal role alongside design and technology in the success of its properties. This pioneering vision has supported its success in the investment and development of office, apartment and mixed-use properties.
In 2009, Gerding Edlen Investment Management was formed under the leadership of Molly Bordonaro and Kelly Saito to focus exclusively on the Firm’s institutional investment management practice. Today, Gerding Edlen is a vertically integrated, full service real estate company with investment management, development, asset management and property management expertise.
As the Firm has grown, the founder’s original vision continues to guide Gerding Edlen, grounding the company in the goals of owning, managing and curating transformational buildings that build community, strengthen neighborhoods and minimize impact on the environment. As early proponents of sustainable development, Gerding Edlen is a recognized national leader in sustainability, contributing significantly to the overall advancement of how environmentally responsible commercial properties are designed, engineered, constructed and operated. Gerding Edlen's properties have won multiple local and national awards and has more than 75 LEED certified or certified pending properties in its portfolio.
Through the efforts of Molly Bordonaro and Kelly Saito, who were named managing partners in 2017, Gerding Edlen has established a reputation as one of the nation’s leading, vertically-integrated real estate companies. Kelly Saito, who was among the first employees of Gerding Edlen, hired during the Firm’s first year of operations in 1996, has significant experience in every aspect of acquisitions and deal sourcing, development and construction, and has contributed significantly to the Firm’s expansion and national reputation. Molly Bordonaro, who joined Gerding Edlen in 2009, has pioneered and led the Firm’s investment management and asset management business. Over the past eight years alone, Gerding Edlen Investment Management and its co-mingled, real estate funds have amassed a portfolio of 22 buildings within seven high growth U.S. cities, totaling 2,490 apartment units, 1.2 million square feet of office space and a total asset value of $1.7 billion. The Firm’s base of operations has grown from Portland, Oregon, where the Firm is headquartered, to adding additional offices in San Francisco, California and Boston, Massachusetts.
Today, Molly, Kelly and the Firm’s partners, senior managers and employees continue their commitment to owning, managing and developing highly sustainable, transformational buildings that not only add profound value to residents and tenants, but also provide investors and partners the opportunity to achieve investment returns.
Looking to the future, Gerding Edlen will continue to cultivate its expertise in creating and owning exceptional apartment, office and mixed-use properties that add value to the environment and communities in which they work.
About Bob Gerding, Co-founder
Robert (Bob) Gerding was an outdoor enthusiast and Oregon native. He was passionate about making the built environment more sustainable and helping people understand the benefits of sustainable development to the environment and communities. Prior to retiring in 2006, Bob managed all aspects of development and was well-known for his expertise in structuring complex projects. His responsibilities included establishing and maintaining relationships with members of the development team, coordinating with government and private groups and raising capital, including equity and debt. He also managed lease and sale transactions and provided general oversight of the development process. Until his passing in 2009, following a long battle with cancer, he continued to be involved with the firm and remained active in various civic and philanthropic ventures.
Bob’s personal commitment to education and the arts profoundly impacted his professional life. Believing that a strong, major university is critical to the health and robust development of the region, he contributed development services to Portland State University for multiple projects. Bob was an avid supporter of the arts. The Portland Armory, now home to Portland Center Stage, was renamed the Bob and Diana Gerding Theater in recognition of Bob and his wife’s support of the arts community.