Obie Companies is committed to hard work, making a difference, creating opportunities, and leaving the world a better place. Its legacy is a work in progress. The joy is in the journey.
Obie Companies today can trace its roots to a number of successful local businesses that have one thing in common: Brian Obie.
Work in sales for his father’s sign company brought Obie to Eugene in the 1960s. In 1976 Obie became a founding partner and investor in the 5th Street Public Market in downtown Eugene, acquiring sole ownership in 1985.
Also in 1976 Obie was a founding director and chairman of what would become Centennial Bank. After it became publicly traded, Centennial was merged into Umpqua Bank, which today is Oregon’s largest state-chartered bank.
In 1987 Brian Obie founded Obie Media Corporation. By the time it went public and was listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange in 1996, Obie Media had 32 offices throughout the United States and Canada.
A strong business leader, Obie has been a strong community and civic leader as well. Beginning in 1970 he served variously on the Eugene Planning Commission and Eugene City Council, culminating in a term as mayor from 1985 to 1988. During his two terms as a University of Oregon Foundation trustee he served as president, and also was president of the Oregon Chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization.
Obie’s grandson Casey Obie Barrett joined Obie Media in 2002, while he was still in high school. Today he is vice president of Obie Companies and leads many of the operating and development activities. The two have shared the experience and adventure of expanding the business. With offices just across the hall from one another, they collaborate throughout the day. Obie credits his grandson for doing the heavy lifting and providing the excitement about the future.
Obie Companies today comprises the 5th Street Public Market and two hotels, and the company is growing.
- The Market has continued to grow and expand its offerings in food, shopping and offices. A Eugene icon, it is the area’s number one visitor destination. Currently the Market is preparing for its most significant expansion to date. Ground breaking is anticipated in 2018.
- As part of its vision to expand the 5th Street Public Market and establish a greater Market District, Obie acquired three properties to the north and west of the Market: Station Square, the 5th and Pearl building, and a corner lot that is home to the David Minor Theater and the old Vitus building. Eventually these properties will be incorporated into the 5th Street Public Market to extend its vibrancy and success and to create more opportunities for retailers, visitors and shoppers.
- In 2012 Obie built its first hotel, the Inn at the 5th, a very special boutique hotel in the Market. The Inn is a separate company owned by a large group of primarily local investors. The hotel has been a great addition to the Market, creating synergies between guests, locals and retailers. It has an enviable occupancy rate, and in recent years has landed among TripAdvisor’s top 25 hotels in the country.
- The success of the Inn at the 5th in Eugene prompted Obie to expand its vision and build a 110-room boutique hotel in Boise, Idaho. The Inn at 500 Capitol opened in 2016. This $29 million project has proven equally successful and has led the company to plan future hotels in other western markets.