Meet SHP’s Newest Leader, Community-Builder Steve Kenat

Our SHP family continues to grow! Steve Kenat, AIA, has joined SHP as Principal and Director of Community Development. The veteran architect will lead our Community studio, where he’ll build on his reputation for designing projects that are difference-makers to the economic vitality, societal health and authenticity of urban communities. He’ll also help expand our commercial work.

According to incoming president Jeffrey Sackenheim, Steve brings a rich and unique skillset to our firm. “He has a passion for projects that are transformational for neighborhoods—whether that’s at the policy level to create systemic change or using great design to increase neighborhood equity and vibrancy. We are stoked to have him on our team,” Jeffrey says.

“We had known, respected and admired what Steve had done during the course of his career,” he continues. “When we learned he was exploring options for the next phase of his career, we jumped on it!”

Steve is equally enthusiastic about joining SHP. After spending 27 years at GBBN, he was looking for a fresh perspective and a new challenge. His connection with our leadership team quickly piqued his interest in joining the firm.

“SHP has been doing far more community and civic work than many people [locally] know, so the opportunity to help surface and build that work even more—in a very strategic and focused way—is really exciting to me,” he explains. “There’s also a commitment to client research and advocacy; access to a top-notch engineering team; our office in Columbus and burgeoning presence in North Carolina and Western Pennsylvania; and, of course, the ethos of the firm: Simply Helping People. It felt like a great cultural and professional fit for me and what I’m passionate about.”

Noteworthy projects from Kenat’s portfolio dot Cincinnati’s urban core. You may be familiar with a few of these:

  • 1010-on-the-Rhine, a 55,000sf Kroger grocery store and food hall, parking structure and market-rate apartments
  • Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, a new, 250-seat contemporary theater in Over-the-Rhine’s cultural corridor
  • Cincinnati Union Terminal, a $220M restoration and reinvention of a National Historic Landmark site for Cincinnati Museum Center
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities (RHMC) of Cincinnati’s guest house expansion to the largest RMHC facility in the world
  • Union Central Trust/PNC Tower, a historic renovation of the iconic skyline office building into 260 apartment units
  • United Way of Greater Cincinnati, an $11M renovation of the organization’s 1930s-era headquarters
  • Willkommen, a three-site mixed-income and mixed-use infill development in Over-the-Rhine

In addition to making his contributions to the Cincinnati skyline, Steve is a tireless advocate for the region. He is on advisory boards for ULI Cincinnati and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and has long served on the Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce. Steve is also a board member of the YWCA Greater Cincinnati, helping design and build a new shelter for survivors of domestic violence. He is also a vocal participant in Bridge Forward Cincinnati, an ongoing effort to optimize the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor project for future growth of Cincinnati’s urban core.

Steve is a registered architect in Ohio, Kentucky, New Jersey, Colorado and Tennessee. He is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and is a LEED Accredited Professional. He earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP).

Welcome, Steve, and cheers to a promising future together!