Realizing the dream: Port Townsend entrepreneur thrives on challenge

PORT TOWNSEND — Some came to seek their fortune.

Others wanted to make a name for themselves, to carve an empire out of remote corner of the world.

Kevin Harris says his motivation can be summed up in one word:

Challenge.

Harris is one of the new generation of entrepreneurs who are realizing the dreams of James Swan, Henry Landes and others who cast their financial fate with Port Townsend, known as the “City of Dreams” by early settlers who hoped it would become a West Coast center of industry.

Those men saw their paper fortunes turn to worthless scrap with when hopes for a railroad collapsed.

But now, with distances spanned by electronic bridges, business people like Harris are linking Port Townsend to its future.

“As a person who lives here and likes to go downtown, it benefits me to have healthy, vibrant city,” Harris says.

Like the city founders, Harris has a vision for the hometown he adopted four years ago, when he moved his software company, MacroSystems, from Seattle to Port Townsend.

To house the business, Harris bought an abandoned brick warehouse — the historic Cannery Building — on the downtown waterfront and is restoring it at a cost of $1.2 million.

“A lot of people had looked at the building, but I took it because I knew it would be a lot of work,” Harris says.

“I have a good ability to discern opportunity, and I’m not afraid to go after it.”

———————-

The rest of the story appears in Monday’s Peninsula Daily News.

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