Hilarie Portell
Urban Placemaker

Every place has a story – a unique blend of history, culture, people and vision. Tell it well and you’ll create a dynamic place where people want to be. I work with leaders to get to the essence, that unique personality that informs the brand, physical design, communications and end-user experience.

Portell Works is a consulting firm advancing urban districts, downtowns and development projects. With 25 years of experience on staff and as a consultant for public and private sector firms, I'm your partner on the leadership team to make a great place happen. I’m a strategic thinker who can manage the details of bringing a place to life, while never losing sight of our vision.

If we do it right, our place will speak for itself.

Portell Works
The creativity
and insight
to make it happen.

I’ll work with you on:

End-to-end commitment

It’s all about energizing a plan, creating momentum and support throughout the process. I’ll help us communicate with many different audiences; and prepare us for issues that crop up along the way. I’ll collaborate with all of the professionals on the team, the media, officials and other stakeholders to keep the project true to our vision and rolling forward.

Defining and promoting a distinctive identity
From day one, I’ll synthesize all that we know into a unique brand identity that resonates with our audiences. I’ll work seamlessly with internal resources or manage outside firms to tell our story in a compelling way.

Integrated planning
Tapping a team of experienced, talented professionals, we’ll infuse the brand into the place through art, language and design. I’ll be a relentless advocate for our unified vision because we have one chance to create something important.

Professional Involvement

Downtown Denver Partnership
Urban Land Institute
All In Denver
Downtown Colorado, Inc.
International Downtown Association
Transportation Solutions
Denver Streets Partnership

Portell Works


  • Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, leadership program
  • Colorado Economic Development Council, economic development certificate
  • University of Colorado at Denver, MA in public administration
  • University of Utah, BA in political science with honors


  • Marketing Director of the Year, Homebuilders Association of Metro Denver
  • Women of Distinction, Commercial Real Estate Women
Portell Works
Verve, energy
and attention to detail.
Portell Works

Relevant Experience

Mixed-Use Urban Commnities

  • Boulevard One at Lowry, a 70-acre, sustainable mixed-use community. Developed brand identity and ensured that it informed architectural design guidelines, public realm design, art program, mixed-use site planning. Direct public art, pedestrian safety and mobility projects.
  • Clayton Lane, an upscale mixed-use district in Cherry Creek North with 182,000 sq. ft. of retail. Public relations lead for project redevelopment by OliverMcMillan.
  • Project team for Horizon Uptown, a 500-acre mixed-used sustainable community by Lend Lease Communities. Led branding and community center design.
  • Colfax Mayfair Business Improvement District of 220 local & national businesses. on Denver’s iconic Main Street. As executive director, lead economic development, business support, public improvements and clean/safe initiatives. Led a streetscape/mobility design plan; succesfully advocated for $20 million in capital improvement funding. On steering committee for East Area Plan and Colfax Bus Rapid Transit Task Force.
  • Lowry Redevelopment Authority, an award-winning, 1,800-acre mixed use community. Executive team directing all branding, public relations, marketing. Led the Lowry Foundation dedicated to enhancement of public spaces.
  • Downtown branding & marketing strategies for Brighton, Castle Rock, Monte Vista and Lamar.

Affordable Housing

  • Mariposa, Denver Housing Authority’s award-winning sustainable, transit-oriented development Led branding and public relations.
  • Strategic public relations for Boulder Housing Partners, Colorado Community Land Trust and Gorman and Company.

Portell Works

Cultural Initiatives

  • Led capital campaign for the Armory at Brighton Cultural Center, a downtown performing arts venue.
  • Helped draft & advocate for Colorado Creative Districts legislation, resulting in arts-related economic development throughout the state.
Portell Works Portell Works
Portell Works
Nothing worthwhile is ever easy...
but it should be fun!