Projects International

Representative Projects

Client Comments

Some of our recent clients have been kind enough to send along a quote describing their thoughts on our work and the value of our firm to their project.  I'd like to thank every one of them for their willingness to do so and for the kind words they've expressed below.

Jim Portner, President
Projects International, Inc.

Mike Smith
Senior Vice President Real Estate and General Counsel
TRT Holdings, Inc.
Dallas, TX
Parent Company of Omni Hotels, Inc.

While working on our first project in Tucson and Pima County, we realized not only were there a lot of rules to work with, but there were also a lot of "grey areas" and negotiations to deal with. We knew we needed someone local to help navigate that process. We were glad we hired Jim Portner of Projects International, Inc. He knew the written rules, but more importantly, he knew the unwritten rules and the people. He has the kind of relationships with the government leaders and with the government staff that allowed us to talk with the right people at the right time to get our project completed. He was a great guide for us and our project. He was always very responsive to us and was a pleasure to work with.

John H. Bremond, President
Bremond Company, LLC
Past President, KB Home Tucson, Inc.
Tucson, AZ

Jim Portner has been an invaluable member of our team as we envisioned, planned, entitled, and have begun to develop the Bridges, our 350-acre mixed-use project in the heart of the City of Tucson. With the multifaceted land uses and multilayered governmental and neighborhood involvement in the process, Jim was the go-to person for strategy and execution. We are very fortunate to have had Jim's insight and guidance based on his many years of experience working in the often challenging and unpredictable environment that exists in the City of Tucson.

Frank Egan, President
Eastbourne Tucson, LLC
A Wholly-Owned Subsidiary of
Eastbourne Investments, Ltd.
Toronto, ON

Jim Portner's guidance and vision have been invaluable as Eastbourne navigated the very complex Tucson governmental process. Jim has the intellect and acumen necessary to formulate a game-plan while possessing the personal relationships to achieve results. He is respected equally for his judgement and personable nature.

Having pursued development projects in most parts of the United States and Canada, I can attest to the challenges of working in Tucson. The unique wants and needs of City Council - coupled with their inherent vagaries - makes the task at times seem insurmountable. As a veteran of these battles, Jim Portner has been invaluable to our efforts and instrumental in our success. We would not have achieved our objectives in Tucson without his assistance.

Jim is the unique combination of someone blessed with intelligence, candor, determination, pursuasiveness and the ability to think and act strategically.

Mr. P. Eric Davis, President
Retail West Properties, LLC
Boise, ID

Retail West Properties, LLC has enjoyed a long working relationship with Jim Portner, Projects International, as we concluded a multitude of unique and complex land use entitlements and approvals to construct the 108-acre Tucson Marketplace, the retail /commercial component of The Bridges development at I-10 and Kino Blvd. in Tucson.

Our partnership paid $22 million for the site in June 2005 and took on the challenge of zoning and planning in a notoriously complicated and difficult jurisdictional environment. Given what we had at stake, the odds against our success at times seemed breathtaking. My company and our partners took comfort in Jim's guidance and consultancy throughout the entire process.

Substantive accomplishments planned and executed under Jim's direction included:

  • Creation, completion and Mayor and Council approval of our Planned Area Development zoning handbook for The Bridges.
  • Development Agreement with the City of Tucson and three separate formal amendments; all of which needed Mayor and Council approval.
  • Development Agreements with Pima County to enable construction of a $6 million wastewater interceptor and a $5.5 million stormwater/master drainage facility.
  • 350 acre Final Block Plat for the Bridges - Full Mayor and Council approval including Assurances.
  • Full responsibility for project representation at all neighborhood meetings, both required and otherwise.

We allocated millions of dollars under Jim's guidance and counsel toward achieving our goals in Tucson and not once had second thoughts about his actions and advice.

Jim Portner has built Projects International on a foundation of deep understanding of urban land use and design and, in Tucson, the legal framework that codifies the planning boundaries and limitations. His years of experience in Tucson and Pima County, and his professional intuition enable him to define project parameters in a context that staff will more predictably find acceptable. He continually finds alternative pathways through the city/county matrix; managing relationships into productive working alliances and channeling efforts to common ground, knowing that a mutually beneficial outcome is essential.

Above all, we found Jim Portner's integrity to be unquestioned and deeply recognized at all levels of Tucson and Pima County government and throughout the ranks of our neighborhood groups.

I encourage anyone to contact me for further dialog and reference on Jim. The success of Tucson Marketplace going forward will be, in very large part, to his credit.

Darrell Sherman, VP & General Counsel
Taylor Morrison, Inc.
Scottsdale, AZ

Tucson is an unusually challenging and unpredictable environment in terms of its politics, regulatory framework, and permitting processes. No one should attempt pursuing approval of a project there without Jim Portner's insight and guidance.

Mitch Stallard, President
Stallard & Company, L.L.C.
Tucson, Arizona

I have known Jim Portner in a professional capacity for almost thirty years. During the last ten of those, I've had occasion to retain Jim on three different projects:

  • (i) the development of a large retail lifestyle center,
  • (ii) the planning and entitling of another retail center site, and
  • (iii) the planning of a 12,000-acre master-planned community.

Jim's ability to understand and navigate the multi-faceted land-use codes/requirements of both the City of Tucson and Pima County are unique and rare, and he has the abilities to develop strategies that become win-win scenarios for all parties in the development process. His straight-forward approach minimizes and mitigates problem areas and with his experience, he is able to develop and define the critical issues in such a manner as to clearly understand their respective priorities as well as develop strategies to successfully achieve the goals of the project. Most of all, his integrity and honesty, on all issues and with all parties, lend themselves to achieving a working environment of genuine trust and respect.

Charlie McPhee
Senior Vice President - Arizona Development
Macerich Company
Santa Monica, CA

I think if you invest in the Tucson market you must get granular on local politics. Much like many municipalities I've encountered in California, it's critical to have a local entitlement representative that combines a keen understanding of the nuances of local politics with credibility at the leadership and staff level. Jim Portner of Projects International, Inc. is the right choice on both accounts.

Nick Pearce
Real Estate Manager
Target Corporation
Minneapolis, MN

Nick has indicated to us at Projects International that Target corporate policy prohibits him for allowing any public statements or quotes on consultant websites. However, he was kind enough to allow us to provide his direct phone line (612.761.1171), at which he is happy to discuss his experience with our firm during Target's approval and construction of the sole SuperTarget store in Tucson, Arizona.